Dobrzyn: Tuesday in the country with Hili

The weather was excellent again today: 12°C and sunny. It’s been a day of work interspersed with noms and, of course, the Queen:

Hili asleep

Hili even found her way into my room for a bit—a rare occurrence.

Hili in my room

Lunch was sliced peppers, a very thin sausage (I can’t remember its name) and metka, a soft, spreadable pork sausage that, I believe, is uncooked. It’s like pate, and is slathered on bread:

Lunch

After lunch, Hili insisted that we all get back to work, and resumed her job as Chief Editor of “Letters from Our Orchard.

Hili supervising

In the afternoon, Fitness, the black cat who lives upstairs, was let out (he doesn’t go out much when it’s cold). Fitness and Hili absolutely despise each other, which is why they are never let out at the same time. The following two videos demonstrate this animosity. As an experiment, Andrzej carried Fitness to the windowsill when Hili was watching.

Hili and Fitness, part 1

Hili went nuts, and I was told that her owners had never heard such sounds coming from her mouth.

Hili and Fitness, part 2

Of course Hili is very brave when she’s behind a pane of glass, but had she been outside she would have run for the hills.

31 Comments

  1. Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Hili and Fitness – that most definitely is a very strong territorial rivalry.

  2. koseighty
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Have Hili’s people seen “My Cat From Hell” on Animal Planet? That guy can get any two rival felines sharing a dinner bowl.

    http://animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/my-cat-from-hell

    • natalielaberlinoise
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      thanks, there’s some interesting stories there. pretty scary though how little most people who have cats (on these examples) seem to know about their animals. is it that difficult to speak cat?

      • Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        I think the thing is that cats are smart enough to see right through all the bullshit that people try to use on each other (and often get away with). Punishment is the perfect example; people think that they can intimidate others into doing what they want, but all they’re really doing is demonstrating that they’re dangerous, inconsiderate, and untrustworthy — and generally irrational to boot.

        It’s a shame more humans don’t have that kind of intelligence.

        Cheers,

        b&

        • natalielaberlinoise
          Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          I’d never come across the idea of “punishing cats” for bad behaviour until I just saw the clips from that link. The insanity of it!.. That guy Jackson Galaxy seems to be doing a very laudable thing, weirdness of the clips set aside, helping cats to be understood by their owners who otherwise might put them down. But even he does this very strange thing, like the people he tries to help: He holds his hands out to cats at moments where they clearly display anxiety or defiance. Why on earth would anybody do that to cats? Or even worse, the cat clearly wants to be left alone, and the human in the video will try to quickly swipe the cats front paw. Why???? Just to prove a point that the cat “is vicious and will hit you”? I don’t get that approach… If anybody tried to touch me in a way I didn’t invite, I would let them know about that too in no uncertain terms. Does that make me a vicious feline?

          • Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

            I didn’t see any holding-out-the-hand behavior, but it can a good way to let the cat sniff you (if it decides to do so) and to show that you don’t have any aggressive attentions. But it definitely should be palm down, not palm up.

            I didn’t see the paw-swiping, either, but that’s something I’ll often do to Baihu in the middle of play sessions; it generally quickly leads to a game of patty-cake. My hands often look like I’ve been picking blackberries, but such is the price of being an ambulatory cat toy….

            b&

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, animals are honest. If they don’t like another animal, they feel no compunction to let that animal know it. I like that they make up their minds almost immediately & sometimes from a distance.

          • natalielaberlinoise
            Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

            Although what they don’t like doesn’t necessarily have to be the identity of the other animal, but it could also be the other animal’s behaviour. Thus, if the behaviour changes, the “liking” or “not liking” can also change accordingly, no?

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

              Yeah that happens too. My dog sees a dog in a distance and decides if she likes that dog or not. I can’t for the life of me find a pattern to it as some dogs are quite nice and she hates them. She has her own criteria I guess.

    • Posted January 7, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      Nice cat video. Maybe if Prof. Ceiling Cat got his head shaved and grew a beard like Jackson’s, he could scare Fitness straight. :)

      Seems to me that Fitness has a lot of pent up energy and maybe his minions could try tiring him out more with toys and distractions and such.

      I’m also wondering if the cats were safely in their respective carriers or on leashes, and observed their minions having some nice social times together (like a picnic or walkies), would this help at all to set the tone of a better relationship — perhaps convey the notion of shared territory?

  3. Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Now that’s a territorial display if I ever saw one.

    I wouldn’t give up hopes for detente and even friendship, though. But it might take a bit of work on the part of the human slaves….

    b&

    • natalielaberlinoise
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      I was introducing my Kotik very gently to the residing cat of the area, Gandalf, a white tyrant. Twice, the checked each other out and then went their separate waysabsolutely peacefully. The third time, the 12 year old boy from Gandalf’s family came to join us just as Kotik and Gandalf were approaching each other with caution in the garden. Paul came up to Kotik to pet him “What a sweet cat” he said and wanted to stroke my Kotik. Gandalf immediately attacked Kotik viciously. I have never heard anything like it and don’t want to, ever again. I tried to intervene, but it was a huge struggle. Gandalf hit Kotik so bad, his nose was a bloddy mess. Consequently I never let him out again. And I believe this is how he contracted the virus that killed him a few years later.

      So yeah, humans do have a role in it. At least in the case of my Kotik…

      • Posted January 7, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        So sorry to hear.

        Cats can be just as territorial about people as they are about real estate, and, if they’re all wound up for whatever reason, they can also get confused and start lashing out at random for no good reason.

        Here’s hoping Hili and Fitness have a better future than Gandalf and Kotik.

        b&

        • natalielaberlinoise
          Posted January 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the sympathy! Although he would be an old gentlecat by now, but there should have been a few more years in there…

          “…Cats can be just as territorial about people as they are about real estate,..”

          That’s funny. I had thought of Gandalf’s reaction as jealousy, from my twisted human point of view. But of course you are right, we catlovers are mere possessions to the felines, mobile and on two legs, but nevertheless nothing more than their extended territory.

          I wish Hili all the luck in the world to get on with Fitness, but it doesn’t look like a good starting point. Maybe there’s someone on here who has had success appeasing quarrelling cats and could share their strategies?

          • Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

            The general standard technique is a slow and controlled introduction. The two cats are kept in adjacent rooms with the door shut, and objects with each other’s scent swapped back and forth, and feedings on opposite sides of the door. With time, the door is slowly opened fractionally for short periods to permit sound and then sight but not physical access, and then they’re eventually given a chance to physically interact for short periods. And always at mealtimes. After a few days of being able to eat in close proximity without being forcibly separated or undue incidents, they’re ready for unsupervised free interaction; that’s probably the end of the introduction.

            Some cats will acclimate to each other quicker than others. Some cats will never be friends, but in almost all instances should learn to peacefully coexist.

            b&

            • natalielaberlinoise
              Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

              That’s pretty much the info I’m just seeing on the link that koseighty provided (comment 2). CeilingCat has work on his holy paws there…

  4. Diana MacPherson
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Hili is very brave when she’s behind a pane of glass, but had she been outside she would have run for the hills.

    That describes a lot of people on the Internet.

    • natalielaberlinoise
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      …who are themselves in no way as adorable as cats…

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Ain’t that the truth!

      • js
        Posted January 7, 2014 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        Dare I say it….Amen! :-)

        • Posted January 7, 2014 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

          “Amen” is just fine. “Ramen” is good when you’re hungry and / or want to annoy true believers — though, of course, an atheist saying, “amen,” will also drive many into apoplexy.

          b&

  5. moarscienceplz
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Ooh, I love the shot of the wooden furniture, axe or adze-worked. Did Hili’s staff make them, or were they bought?
    Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but I would like to see a few more shots of that if possible, Professor Ceiling Cat.

  6. Jim Maughan
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for the interuption but I just saw this:
    ‘Those of us teaching evolution at evangelical colleges are made to feel as if we have this subversive secret we must whisper quietly in our students’ ears: “Hey, did you know that Adam and Eve were not the first humans and never even existed? And that you can still be a Christian and believe that?”’ – ex-Uncle Karl Giberson

    http://churchandstate.org.uk/2014/01/2013-was-a-terrible-year-for-evolution/

    Back to your regularly scheduled Polanding.
    Hi Hili!

  7. George
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Temperature at McMurdo Station in Antarctica – 32F (0C). Temperature in Atlanta – 22F (-6C).

    In Chicago, we got above zero fahrenheit today – all the way up to 3F (-16C). Felt downright balmy after -15F (-26C) yesterday – windchill was about -45F. Desperately waiting for the polar vortex to go back to where it came from.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      The wind is horrible! It’s howling out there now and holding steady at -20 C. I plugged my car in tonight & I’m going to wear my long down coat that goes to my calves!!

      • Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        I find that an excellent way to stay warm is to drape a cat across your shoulders. As I type, my neck and shoulders are nice and toasty, even though my toes are a bit cold.

        b&

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          :)

        • Achrachno
          Posted January 7, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, cold is a real problem in Phoenix. :-)

          • Posted January 7, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            Hey, you try driving across town in a ’68 VW Camper before dawn when it’s cold enough to see your breath and there’s frost on the windshield! Now that’s some real cold, I tells ya. Brrr!

            b&

  8. Thanny
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    I had a very territorial cat several years back (she died the same week my 6-year-old niece was born). She spent a lot of time outside, and routinely defended her turf against stray and/or feral cats considerably larger than her.

    It didn’t stop at cats, either. On one occasion, a smallish dog came around the house, seeking attention. Though the dog was still about five times larger, she jumped straight through the screen door (the screen was already loose) and charged the dog, which yelped and ran away.

    Completely docile and friendly to all humans though, and couldn’t care less about deer. I had to fetch her down from a tree with a ladder on one occasion, which was probably due to a bear encounter.


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