Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cats and Fish

I have heard an awful lot about the untimely death of Michael Jackson -- may I offer a lighter note?

I am sure somewhere in the annals of the internet there must be posts and/or musings about this deep philosophical question I’d like to revisit. I know I am not the first person to have wondered about it and Lord knows my friends are sick and tired of me asking it – but here goes.

We all know how cats love fish, right? A stroll down the cat food aisle will affirm this as I imagine it will very likely be stocked with many cans of fish flavored kitty food. But we all also know how cats hate water, right? Picture yourself at one of your cat loving friends homes – what do they do to “punish” kitty? Use a spray bottle filled with water to squirt kitty into line. Or in my case, my brothers threw my poor cat into the pool.

My question, one that haunts me in the middle of the night, is how can this be? Why do cats hate water but love fish? Cats are undoubtedly predators, but I’ve never seen one hunt a fish. Bears yes, dogs yes, ducks, yes, pelicans, yes –but cats don’t even go near the water. Why do they like fish? Is it that they, like so many of us, want what they can’t have?

I know some have offered theories that not all cats hate water, but I for one have never, ever seen a cat that doesn’t. Doesn’t it seem reasonable from a sort of biological standpoint that with this seemingly universal built in aversion to water – they wouldn’t have a pallet for fish? Is this some weird quirk of domesticating cats? Maybe wild cats either also hate water but don’t like fish or like water and hence have a taste for fish.

I don’t get it.