A rare photo indeed; I don't often shoot cats but this guy wandered into my yard as I was capturing spring flowers in April.  

"No, you'd love my cat, he's just like a dog."  How many times have you heard someone describing their amazing cat as a dog?  The best of felines seem to always be characterized as a canine.  Strange isn't it?  But as a dog lover I would imagine that it is the best way to describe a great cat to a dog person.  I am not a cat person; I don't dislike cats, I am just not a cat person.  I am very much an animal person, love horses, goats, bears, lions etc. but prefer to live with 'Just Dogs.'   Plus, several members of my family are deathly allergic.  But if I had a farm; I'd have a few pigmy goats (love those little guys) and Alpacas.  I came very close to having Alpacas before moving to California; we were in the process of shipping from Peru.  Anyway, back to cats.

Yesterday Elsa and I were out front putting up some Christmas lights; she is my assistant, constantly by my side.  I spotted the cat first and wondered how long it would be until Elsa noticed it creeping around the yard across the street.  We were up on the balcony so Elsa was going no where if she did see it.  She was so interested in what Mom was doing that it took her a while to move her attention to it but once she did, that was that.  She stood stiff as a board; occasionally letting out the chimp like vocal sounds that she commonly utilizes.  It made me smile as she stomped her feet with intensity.

Then Elsa and I had a conversation about cats.  There was the cat, wondering down the street all on it's own.  I said to Elsa "that cat is going for a walk by itself, weird eh?"  Then I got to thinking how very different they really are.  Not only are cats and dogs extremely different; our whole relationship is with each species is quite distinctive.  This cat who was wondering down the street obviously has an owner; it's always around.  It is even in our yard now and again until the dogs chase it out.  But it's owner had no idea where it was now or what it was doing, weird.

Just the other day there was a loose dog in the same spot where this cat now stood.  A loose dog is always a concern; a dog in the street is a huge concern.  Many people freak out if their dog gets off leash let alone goes for a walk on their own down the street.  A dog that runs away is far different from a cat out for a hunt.  I always wonder about cats and domestication.  It is a controversial subject; many believe that cats are not domesticated.

Domesticated - to tame, especially by generations of breeding, to live in close association with human beings as a pet or work animal and usually creating a dependency so that he animal loses its ability to live in the wild.

Maybe some cats are domesticated fully but most that I know could quite easily go wild.  They seem to be able to wander off into the woods and be self sufficient just fine.  They can go days without interacting with their human and as long as they basic needs are met, they don't really need us.  Even if we do not offer them basic requirements like water or food; they can find it themselves.  So whether or not they are truly domesticated or merely tamed is still up for discussion.

The idea that this cat was out for a walk on it's own yesterday simply brought to my attention how very different the two species are.  Many people choose to live with both; cats and dogs side by side.  Dogs learn to live with and love cats; and cats may even learn to love dogs.  But they are very different aren't they?  Those who choose to live with cats only are VERY different than dog folks.  That cat got me thinking about the whole cat/human connection.  The more I thought about it the more I realized how far it was from a dog/human relation.  I don't think about cats often; mostly when they are outside like this one; triggering something in my dogs that is hardwired; prey drive.

Just something else to ponder on.  Have a great day.