Yeah, I know, you’ve seen it all over the internet and on every TV channel. A cat in Bakersfield, CA rescued his young male companion by apparently fending off a dog who attacked the young boy. The boy will recover, the dog will be put down, and the cat is a hero. End of story. But is it?
Now, I like cats as much as the next dog (which isn’t much), and I believe they are capable of meritorious conduct…like being amused by a ball of string, coughing up hair balls instead of swallowing them, and acting like they’re doing you a favor when they eat the expensive food you bought for them. But heroic conduct in the face of injury or death? Ah, c’mon!
How many millions of cats reside in households across this great land? And how many kids have been attacked by dogs? Considering the numbers, you would think tales of cat heroics would be commonplace. But, have you ever in your life heard of a story such as this? No? Join the club. That in itself makes it suspicious. Oh, I don’t dispute the facts: The cat attacked a dog who was ripping at his young companion’s leg, and the dog retreated. But did the cat do this to save the boy, or for some other reason more consistent with cat behavior? I think there are much more plausible reasons for the cat’s response:
The boy had cat treats in his pockets which the cat expected to receive. When the dog attacked, the cat’s natural instinct was to protect the treats;
The cat is – as most cats are – insane;
The cat had been planning to attack the boy, and was angered when the dog beat him to the punch;
The dog was actually a rival cat dressed in a clever dog costume. Because he was partially blinded by the dog-head mask he was wearing, he believed that the boy was actually his feline enemy, and he attacked;
The dog had been trained by the boy’s parents to chew a bit on the boy’s leg, then the wily parents sprayed the dog with an herbal formula known to infuriate cats, while holding the cat back until just the right moment. The surveillance camera rolled, and Voila!! Instant fame;
The boy had a history of taunting and traumatizing the dog, to the cat’s enjoyment. When the dog had finally had enough and attacked the boy, the cat chased the dog off so that the boy would survive to continue making the dog’s life a living hell.
On the other hand, I suppose it’s possible that the cat acted selflessly and heroically, just as it’s possible that I was an albino wart hog in a former life. So, consistent with my judicious breed, I will maintain an open mind and will reluctantly consider the cat a hero until he is proven otherwise. It’s only a matter of time. The cat will undoubtedly slip up, and the truth will emerge. Perhaps they’ll one day do a cat scan on this ‘hero’ and find that there are no heroic genes to be found. Aussies are quite patient.