Have you seen the videos of people scaring their cats with cucumbers? It’s surprising how far up a cat can jump. The videos are funny. We even considered seeing if our cats were afraid of cucumbers until I read that scaring cats can have long term effects on their mental health, as reported on ABC news. Yes, fear of cucumbers can traumatize cats.
I don’t need anything to further affect my pets’ mental health. We have three cats and a dog. They each have some idiosyncrasies.
I have Mittens, whom we rescued from being euthanized when she was a pregnant adolescent. She came to us hungry and afraid, but we loved her into the fat, sleek beauty she is today, about two years later. The problem is that the vet tells us she needs to slim down. She, however, feels mistreated with smaller portions. We have separated her from the other cats so that she cannot eat their food. Belle and Bandit were used to dining throughout the day at their leisure. They still daintily nibble their food and act like they have all the time in the world. They feel cheated as well since their food is then picked up because Mittens, who has already inhaled her portion, races to their dishes and starts shoveling in their food like she is a cookie monster impersonator. Mittens is a very loving cat who likes to snuggle up beside us on the couch or sleep on the bed, but like anyone who might have a little extra weight, Mittens doesn’t like comments about her being fat. She’ll lay back her ears. If we explain she cannot have any more, she even gives dirty looks. We have no doubt that she is intelligent and understands every word we say.
Then we have our dog, Cocoa, who protects us from the neighbors’ Christmas decorations and the wind. She charges out the door announcing to the world that she is on duty. We tried to explain to her that she would do more service sneaking around while being alert, yet she doesn’t listen to advice. However, when I complained about her poor listening skills and said she couldn’t walk on a nature trail with us ever again if she misbehaved, she acted very unlike herself and behaved the entire walk without trying to lengthen our arms, bark at people, or any other behavior she is famous for. Point? She knows she was naughty and knew I wouldn’t take her ever again if she didn’t behave. So why can’t she tone down on her noise levels in other areas? Answer: she has a rebellious nature. Either that or she is afraid of change and strangers and different scents in the air.
Belle really is afraid of leaving the house. She once fell out of the window screen into the window well. Lucky for us she is afraid of grass because she stayed where she was until we rescued her. Someone braver like Mittens or Bandit would have gone off investigating causing us to fear for their safety with all the neighborhood dogs, foxes, coyotes, vehicles. . .
The only things that scare Bandit are the ceiling fan and the vacuum cleaner. He’s so relaxed and laid back that sometimes we have to check to make sure he’s breathing.
So, as you can see, the government may spend millions on studies to determine if animals have feelings or fears, but just living with them makes it apparent that they have opinions and attitudes just like people. It’s probably a good thing that we don’t understand their language. They might be psychoanalyzing us as we psychoanalyze them. Ha ha.
So, if you don’t want someone to scare you, don’t scare others. Same goes for our pets too.
By the way, the reason cats are afraid of cucumbers is because they resemble snakes, fat ones. Hey, I’m afraid of snakes, as are a lot of people. So jumping away from snakes is just being smart for one’s safety. There you have it, don’t misuse your cucumbers. Just eat them in your salads.
Are your pets anxious about anything?