Your pet puss

by Gail Emerson November 23, 2016

A fearsome huntress

cat licking its paw design

Cats are fastidious creatures - one of the reasons they make such good pets. They are meticulous in washing their paws, especially after eating. Daniel's Cat Licking its Paw has clearly just enjoyed a feast. Or is she gearing up to a hunt?

Cats are commonly thought to have been domesticated in Ancient Egypt, but there is evidence to suggest that they were actually domesticated much earlier during the Neolithic Age (about 10,000 BC). Being brought in from the cold has only changed our feline friend's behaviour to a certain extent however: their wild instincts remain.

Most cat owners have been brought a special 'gift' or 'love token' by their feline companion, in the form of a dead mouse, bird or other unfortunate small creature. These rather gruesome offerings are generally the results of a well-fed puss passing over the fruits of her hunting instincts. In fact, this behaviour may indicate your cat is mothering you. In the wild, female cats in particular bring home dead (or worse dying!) creatures for their young to practise on. So you should take these offerings either as signs of affection, or a vote of no confidence in your own hunting abilities! 

Daniel's Cat Licking its Paw is hunting in a stunning, colourful Japanese garden, with a bird safely high up in the branches! What can the smaller creatures do to avoid falling prey to a feline huntress? This is a question Aesop turned his attention to in his fable 'Belling the Cat':

A somewhat depleted group of mice get together to discuss what can be done about the furry feline terror that is sitting comfortably by the fire in, what they consider to be, their house. After much debate, one mouse grandly declares he has figured it all out.

"We mice," he says, "can run faster and fit through smaller crevices than the cat. Our problem is not with the cat herself, but with her stealth. All we have to do is add a bell to her collar to warn us of her approach." 

With that, he sat back satisfied with his cleverness. All the mice look pleased and begin dreaming of the morsels they will be able to nab in the kitchen that night. 

"Who will put the bell on the cat?" ventures a small rodent. The mice' faces fall as they look at one another in silence. 

"It is easy to propose impossible remedies," reflects the wisest mouse. 

Daniel's Cat Licking its Paw design is available as an art print in three sizes and greetings card. 

Take a prowl through the entire DM Cat Collection. 

Gail Emerson
Gail Emerson


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