Our complicated relationship with cats

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The Guardian newspaper published an article titled “Our complicated relationship with cats” which reported: ” A study in 2010 asked 4,500 people to self-identify as either a dog person, cat person, both or neither, and looked at five personality traits using a self-report questionnaire. People who identified themselves as cat people showed significantly higher scores for neuroticism and openness than dog people, and significantly lower scores for extroversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness. In other words, we (I’m a cat person) tend to stress more, be more open to a variety of experiences, but show poorer self-discipline, cooperativeness and assertiveness.

And according to another survey from 2010, people who are more highly educated were 1.4 times more likely to own a cat than a dog. This doesn’t mean that cat people are smarter than dog people, more that there’s a link between higher education and longer work hours. Cats are less time-consuming than dogs, and so people who work longer hours will be more likely to choose cats as pets to fit in with their work life.”

But a 2007 study by Claudia Edwards and colleagues in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour looked at attachment in cats, and found behaviour consistent with that which you would see in young children.

Attachment theory was developed in the late 1950s as way of characterising affectionate bonds between two individuals, one of which is usually a caregiver. The creation of such a bond between a parent and child, for instance, makes it more likely that the child’s basic needs are met, and the child tends to relax around the caregiver. On the other hand, if the child is placed in the company of a stranger, they might become more anxious, upset with their caregiver, or distressed in some way. Similarly, Edwards’ study found that when cats were in the company of their owners, they tended to show more relaxed attachment behaviours such as wandering around, exploring and playing in their environment. When they were placed with a stranger instead, the cats meowed less, and spent more time waiting by the door.

So maybe cats aren’t as aloof as we first thought.

Read the full article in The Guardian newspaper here.

BCSPCA warned of dog killer.

Updated April 4, 2012.

If you love animals or care about cruelty to animals then please consider joining supporting your local SPCA or other animal rights organization.

My heart almost stopped when my son told me that his mother, Liz Summerfield, had taken my dog Punzhu to the South Burnaby Veterinary Hospital to be killed. Liz had told the veterinary clinic that Punzhu had bitten a postman and she’d been ordered to have Punzhu put down. This turned out to be a lie.

I checked with the post office and found out that Punzhu was with Liz outside her mother’s house when the postman approached. According to the postman and the post office, the postman did not file a complaint nor did the post office order Liz to destroy Punzhu.

I was very upset that the South Burnaby Veterinary Hospital killed my dog without any written documentation from the Post Office. They killed my dog on the verbal advice of my now former wife, who simply lied to them.

Below is part of a letter, which was mailed to SPCA branches in the lower mainland, prepared by my lawyer after checking the facts.

***

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

1205 East 7th Vancouver, BC

V5T 1R1

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

About four years ago I adopted a dog from the Animal Control Pound in New Westminster.

In October of 1995, my ex-wife, Elizabeth Summerfield, separated from me and left the family home, taking my dog with her. I asked my ex-wife where the dog was but she refused to tell me. I learned at the end of November, 1995, that she had had the dog euthanized at South Burnaby Veterinary Hospital on November 16, 1995.

I hope that you will not consider Elizabeth Summerfield (who may revert to her maiden name of Elizabeth Gray) as a potential adopter of animals from the SPCA in future.

Yours truly,

Ted Summerfield

***

Years ago I started making puzzles and called them Punzhu Puzzles after my dog, who died so very young and so needlessly. It is my hope the SPCA will remember the letter I mailed and not consider Liz Summerfield, aka Elizabeth Summerfield or Elizabeth Gray, as a potential adopter of animals in the future.

It was during our divorce Liz lied to the South Burnaby Veterinary Clinic in order to have my dog killed. Liz had my dog killed during the time she had refused several court orders to provide information on what she had done with the large sum of money she had removed from our joint bank accounts.

Fearing for the safety of my son, and what she might do to the other dogs and cats she had taken from our home, I immediately settled the divorce.

Liz works with children as an arts instructor at various lower mainland cities & towns, including Whister, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Richmond, Port Moody, Maple Ridge, Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, and other areas.

Liz teaches puppetry, lantern making, papier mache, masks, as well as instructing children in a variety of other arts related studies at festivals, public events, and community centers.

Parents should be aware of who is instructing their precious children.

There are other articles on Liz and our divorce on this site. Use the search box and search on divorce, or Liz.