Cats, LOLCats and birdfeeders

May 1, 2008 at 2:00 am 3 comments

A busy week this week, so no time for daily posts. But here’s a question for you – if you chuck a whole lot of domestic cats under a bird feeder, would they all be salivating at the thought of a yummy bird dinner and should the birds be extremely nervous? According to Science Daily, the birds can go on stuffing their faces happily because it seems that domestic cats aren’t interested.

A research team, looking into bird feeding habits, found evidence that a flurry of bird activity around feeding does not necessarily increase birds’ risk of predation. And for some odd reason, the presence of feeders is associated with lower levels of predation by domestic cats. We could conclude a number of things:

  • domestic kitties are just plain dumb (cat lovers: don’t send me an abusive email, I don’t believe cats are dumb)
  • domestic kitties are so well fed they can’t be bothered leaping up to capture a bird dinner from the feeder on the balcony
  • kitties, after thousands of years of domestication and being worshipped as cat gods in Egypt, are used to the luxury life of sleeping on cushions or gazing out a window for hours. So they’ve had the hunting instinct bred out of them.

And my History of LOLCats post continues to be ThinkingShift’s No 1 post and after a spot of research and help from a ThinkingShift reader, I have now uncovered further historical details. LOLCats were around in the Medieval era. How insidious these cats are! No new cultural craze these LOLCats; they have a solid historical pedigree. You want proof? Check out this marginal illustration from a 14th Century Book of Hours (British Library MS Stowe 17) from the gotmedieval blog:

I will be looking into whether LOLCats actually originated in ancient Egypt 🙂


Entry filed under: Animals, LOLCats, Science.

Hello? ET, are you there? The feathers were flying

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. suzy2110  |  May 1, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Very interesting! My (extremely stupid) cat watches our bird feeder as if it was TV- he finds it very frustrating and I think the birds may taunt him some… 🙂

  • 2. lockemonda  |  May 2, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Hi, ThinkShift:

    I like your blog a lot. I’ll be checking it out regularly and I’m adding you to my blog’s ( blog roll. I look forward to reading more!

    In the meantime, please note: to those people who think domestic cats not have that pedator instinct, even in plain view of birds in a bird feeder, are they are way off the mark! I had a domestic cat that couldn’t contain herself whenever my indoor, caged parakeet was nearby. The cat’s teeth chattered uncontrollably, like Hannibal Lechter sipping “a nice chianti.” And once in a while (when she thought we weren’t looking) she would launch herself off the kitchen floor and land, swinging, on the birdcage (crazed, shrieking bird inside), all four legs wrapped around the cage bars. The cat never learned. It did this again and again. So cats are stupid—but they are pedators!

  • 3. thinkingshift  |  May 3, 2008 at 5:25 am

    Hi lockemonda…thx for leaving your comment. I have this image of your cat clinging to the birdcage with some sort of crazed expression on her face. What a hoot – would love to have taken a photo of that situation! and thx for adding the ThinkingShift blog to your blogroll. I’ll check out your blog too.


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