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Evo psych: Meet the cat

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In the wild, cat mothers teach their young how to eat their food by bringing home dead or injured prey. Domestic cats are no different. But in this modern age of spayed domestic cats, many female felines have no young to whom they need to pass on their hunting wisdom.

By leaving a dead animal on the back porch, your cat is acting out its natural role as mother and teacher. You, her loving owner, represent her surrogate family. And frankly, she knows you would never have been able to catch that delicious mouse on your own. – LiveScience

No surprise about those dead mouse presents. But the cats who drag in this stuff at O’Leary for News’s swank editorial offices are … all tom cats. No, really. Honestly. I doubt they have ever had or imagined a role as mother or teacher.

Sponge, feckless playboy, layabout, maybe. Not mother or teacher. Sorry.

Don’t bother telling the evo psych prof. His racket works better without incidental hitches like that.

See also: “The evolutionary psychologist knows why you vote — and shop, and tip at restaurants” (As I have said before, evolutionary psychology often feels like emptying Darwin’s wastebasket.)

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I agree! Indeed, the sponge and the layabout at my place were rescued at about 5 mos - along with a little tom kitty (7 weeks) that they were looking after at the time (later the feckless playboy). Quite likely, once animals adapt to a human environment, it is not useful to sort out relationships as if the humans were "nature red in tooth and claw." Cats bring dead stuff in by preference rather than leave it outside. But the cat probably isn't thinking why that is a good idea in any rational way. He just thinks he should bring it in because "in" is where he goes to feel safe. News
Not me but I move amongst, zealous CAT lOVERS, (say no more) and so must resapond. I don't agree the cats are dumbly bringing in food as if their masters are children to be taught. I remember back in settlement days in ontario how a lazy cat, because of a sudden food shortage suddenly supplied its human family with a rabbit etc every day. the cat simply, oit of affection and wanting compliments, is adding to the home food supply. its not weird instinct. I don't think animals have instincts but at most memories. Its , once again, too quick a evolutionary conclusion to simple things. Robert Byers

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