Will They Die Laughing?

I’m seriously worried. My slaves have been laughing all morning – ever since they heard the seven o’clock news.

It seems that a previous Labour Minister of the Crown who was sacked from his own caucus for misusing a ministerial credit card has been appointed to a job in Afghanistan in charge of a department which seeks to eliminate corruption.

SS and HS find that hilarious and can’t stop laughing. I’ve heard that this can be fatal to humans so I’m mega concerned.

Who will meet my needs if they die laughing?


Would You Rather Have Tigers or Toilet Rolls?

Greenpeace are at it again with another weird headline hogging campaign. Asking whether you would like to give up your favourite choice of loo paper to save Sumatran tigers.

They have bullied supermarkets in NZ into disclosing which brands they sell and ranked these according to environmental acceptability i.e whether the paper used is sourced from rainforest timber and has the Big Tick from the PEFC (Programmme for Endorsement of Forest Certification).

I’m pleased to say that the slaves need not blush over the variety found in this household as, surprisingly, it is one of the eleven that pass the THT (tiger hugger’s test). A further three brands await acknowledgement that they recognise the rights of indigenous people, protect forests of critical importance and endorse schemes with strong links of custody while three others are totally beyond the pale.

All this fuss over bathroom habits. Homo Stupidus should take lessons from more advanced species and learn to dig holes in the garden and fertilise the soil.

I should add that that since only 400 Sumatrans are left in the wild and slaves increase in number every day maybe it is time the latter become serious about saving the rainforest which is needed for tiger survival.

I’d rather have tigers any day.

Arran or Glengarioch…….What a Decision

I am deeply concerned. Last night the slaves went down to the local watering hole for a malt whiskey tasting.

Okay, I’m not unreasonable. They are allowed to ignore me and have a bit of fun occasionally. But there are limits. Last night after trying half a dozen malts they couldn’t agree upon a favourite tipple so they ordered two bottles. Well I hope it was bottles and not cases!

Now I am not one to criticise extravagance but extravagance should only be exercised towards me and my needs (wishes/desires/preferences). My fear is that they will spend their pension money on bottles of malt rather than treats for moi.

A lifetime of Jellimeat looms.

In Praise of O

i.e. of Oxytocin.

Patricia Churchland, a philosopher and neuroscientist describes a link between oxytocin and social behaviour in an article in The Chronicle Review.

Experiments have shown that prairie voles (who have heaps of oxytocin receptors in their brains) pair bond and are excellent parents. Montane voles on the other hand, lack those receptors and are lousy at rearing their pups. Research on humans showed that those humans given a nasal spray of the chemical were more generous than others.

I’ve got an idea. Homo Stupidus is infected worldwide with thoughtlessness, lack of empathy, child abuse, inadequate parenting and poor education all of which leads to negative outcomes,social disintegration and an increase in crime.

Why not try mass dosing with oxytocin. For ten years or so to see if it makes any difference. If it did it would have been far less costly than the ‘ambulances’ that society has to provide at present.

And don’t tell me that mass dosing = violence against the person. What humans do at present to deal to social problems isn’t working so what is wrong with trying something different.

Just remember you saw it here first……..now I’ve got to purr off and work out how to put in a link………

Cats Are Tops

According to a survey held in April by the New Zealand Companion Animal Council (I’ve never heard of them, have you?) the country’s pet population is approx 5 million which is more than the human population of 4.4 million.

There are 1.4 million cats, a mere 700,000 dogs, 88,000 rabbits and 572,000 pet birds. I’ve got to be honest and tell you that in fact fish top the list at 1.678 million but I don’t think we should count live food as pets. Whoever heard of anyone cuddling a goldfish? Cats are definitely tops. Yippee!

The rest of you cats out there know what you should do. I’d help out by visiting the neighbour’s fish pond but there’s ice on the ground so I’ll wait until the weather improves. Not that the goldfish in that pond provide much sport – they just hide in the weeds hoping I shan’t see them and it is kit’s play to scoop them out.

And I love it when the neighbour complains……

The Sad Tale of Nim Chimpsky. b 1973 d 2000

Nim was taken from his mother at ten days of age and reared in a human family as though he were a human child. He learned to use over 100 signs of American Sign Language, the communication system used by deaf Americans.

When he was eventually returned to a cage with other chimpanzees he would sign “out” to any human who passed by. (This after all was an animal who, when asked to sort photographs of chimps and humans put photos of himself amongst the humans).

I’ve spent a snowy winter afternoon curled up in the hot water cupboard thinking about Nim. Humans should think about him too. Especially the researchers who chimpnapped him, then when they tired of their experiment, tortured him by treating him like an uneducated ape and ignored his pleas for help.

Fortunately Professor Peter Singer and Paola Cavalieri have set up the Great Ape Project which lobbies for recognition of the emotional and intellectual abilities of the great apes along with the establishment of some basic legal rights.

For my part I think all animals (maybe even dogs but especially cats) should be given such consideration and not used against their will in experiments.

Instead humankind should use some of their own ferals.

Winter’s Woes

This is the view from my perch on top of the bookcase underneath the library window. Am glad I’m inside and warm as it snowed yesterday, it snowed last night and according to the weather forecast it will snow again today. The whole household is hunkered down for the duration and the SS is rediscovering the bottom of her freezer. I’m okay as there is plenty of Fancy Feast in the larder cupboard (I checked) and I saw a packet of interleaved smoked salmon in the refrigerator.
The roads are icy and treacherous so I hope the SS doesn’t walk to the village for the newspaper as she might slip on the ice and then there might not be treats for me. The HS (he slave) usually ignores me and if he were my only household staff I’d probably starve.
Think I’ll take a snooze in the hot water cupboard.