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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Colorado Springs Cat Named Lucy Confounds Her Owners by Taking Up with a Herd of Deer

"Conquerir l'amitie d'un chat est chose difficile..."
-- Theophile Gautier

Cats are pretty much loners. In the wild they hunt alone and have very little use for their fellow felines except for procreation and to cuddle up with when the nights turn cold.

Domesticated cats live with people but it is generally on their own terms. Although they can be every bit as affectionate as dogs, it usually takes a bit of work in order to earn the love of a cat.

Theophile Gautier put it rather well when he wrote: "Conquerir l'amitie d'un chat est chose difficile. C'est une bete philosophique, rangee, tranquille, tenant a ses habitudes, amie de l'ordre et de la proprete, et qui ne place pas ses affections a l'etourdie. Il veut bien etre votre ami, si vous en etes digne, mais non pas votre esclave."

Sometimes cats can live with dogs, rabbits, and other animals, but generally they prefer to be alone. It is precisely a cat's independence that causes some individuals to love them and others to despise them. It could be argued that the eternal conflict between freedom and tyranny finds no better expression than in the struggle of cats to live as they please in the face of the machinations of ailurophobes who want to take away their liberty and their lives.

Viewed from this backdrop, recent reports of cats bonding with deer are, to say the least, odd. The latest such incident concerns a black and white Colorado Springs cat named Lucy who fraternizes with deer. (See photo above.)

"She came right up and went nose to nose with this little ol' doe," Lucy's owner, Charlotte Plush, told the Colorado Springs Gazette on March 20th. (See "New Cats Gets Cozy with Deer Herd.") "Then she just kind of nuzzled the muzzle."

Lucy's friendship with the deer started a few weeks back and is ongoing. "Whenever they're out there, she'll go see them," Charlotte's daughter, Mary, related. "She'll follow them as they graze up the hill."

Lucy's uncharacteristic behavior has left Charlotte's spouse, Ron, nonplussed. "I honestly don't know what's next. That cat's a real clown," he told the Gazette. His stupefaction has not stopped him, however, from pinning the sobriquet "Runs With Deer" on his resident feline.

Last May, a terminally ill nine-year-old cat named Sammy (See photo above) from Bellingham, Washington was comforted in his dying days by deer. (See Cat Defender post of January 16, 2007 entitled "Dying of Kidney Failure, Nine-Year-Old Cat Named Sammy Is Shown Compassion by an Unexpected Friend.")

At that time, Sammy's owner, Margie Scott, theorized that the deer instinctively knew that he has dying and were empathizing with him. Mary Plush, on the other hand, believes that since Lucy was raised with a dog that she thinks she and the deer are both dogs.

Neither explanation is convincing. The nurturing instinct in all mammals is very strong, however, and there have been innumerable cases of dogs nursing kittens and cats giving their milk to puppies. (See Cat Defender posts of October 15, 2005 and July 7, 2006 entitled, respectively, "Elsa, a Rottweiler Feared in the 'Hood, Shows Her Soft Side by Adopting an Abandoned Kitten" and "Dachshund Named Emma Adopts Quintet of Feral Kittens That Her Mistress Cruelly Stole from Their Mother.")

There has been recorded at least one case of this nurturing instinct being extended from a dog to a fawn. In Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, Jennifer Aftanas' two-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback hound Hogan took it upon himself to groom and cuddle up with an orphaned fawn named Bella. (See photo below.)

Bella has since been moved to a rehabilitation facility on the island where she will be monitored until she is deemed ready to be returned to the wild. It is not known how Hogan has reacted to the loss of his little friend. (See Animal Liberation Front, "Dog Fawns Over Orphan After Boys Rescue Deer.")

It is possible that because of the differences in their respective sizes that the deer mistook both Sammy and Lucy as fawns and that the cats in turn mistook them for big cats. Of course, it is also possible that some sort of natural kinship exists between cats and deer.

It would be interesting to know if cats fraternize with horses, cows, and other barnyard animals. Since most barn cats are kept for rodent control as opposed to pets, farmers generally do not pay too much attention to them and as a consequence little is known about their likes and dislikes.

Whatever the case, the curious attraction between cats and deer is a worthy topic for further observation.

Photos: Carol Lawrence of the Colorado Springs Gazette (Lucy and deer), Margie Scott (Sammy and deer), and Jennifer Aftanas of the Animal Liberation Front (Hogan and Bella).