Our Claire has been watching telly…

I’ve been watching Chris Packham’s Animal Einsteins these last few weeks. This week’s episode was on social networking, which was about how animals team together. A bit that particularly got my attention was when Chris introduced us to his poodles and explained that dogs had bonded with humans to save them the effort of having to look after themselves. It reminded me how I had bonded with my cat, Mia, these last six years.

Mia is the first cat I’ve ever owned. I got her because I needed a companion after my husband died. She was a rescue cat from the RSPCA but, over the years, I think she’s rescued me more than I’ve rescued her. I say that because, the times I’ve got really low and thought about giving up, it’s been my sense of responsibility to her that’s kept me going. There is a definite bond between us – I only have to see her sleeping for my heart to melt and she often comes for cuddles too.

People say she only comes for cuddles to keep warm but that isn’t entirely true because she also comes for cuddles in the Summer. Furthermore, when she comes for cuddles, she sometimes starts to dribble which, I’ve read, is a sign of contentment. They also say you can’t train cats but that isn’t true either. Over the years I’ve learned that you can get her to do practically anything for Dreamies and she’s learned that the command “get off” means get down. She’s also become a lot more tolerant of grooming over the years, which is just as well because she’s a long hair and, if she isn’t groomed regularly, it can get matted.

However, it’s entirely true to say she’s got me trained too. I’ve learned the signs – and got the scratches – of when she wants to be left alone. I’ve also learned to know when she’s bored and wants to be played with. In that regard, I’ve learned she has simple tastes: She much prefers the string of red wool to any of the expensive toys I’ve bought her over the years.

Chris Packham also featured cats in his program. However, these were lions and he showed how a pack works together to bring down a buffalo. He further illustrated this with a bit of game theory. He explained that if one lion turned on another, they both lost out. It was only by working together that they benefitted.

This is also true of humans, of course. If we were to try to do everything ourselves and not rely on others, we’d soon be exhausted. I also think it’s unimaginable to think anyone could be self-sufficient in the modern world. The average person doesn’t have a clue how to fix their phone, for example, let alone make it in the first place! It’s only by teaming up with one another that life becomes manageable. This is something I hope I reflect when I end my blogs with the statement: Together, we’ll get through this.


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