So it's #GlobalCatDay and I, a person who has lots of CAT EXPERIENCE, am here to tell you some important things about cats!! Because despite cats being one of humanity's FAVORITE COMPANION ANIMALS, there are still lots of misconceptions about them

We have this...cultural vision of cats as solitary hunters, who only barely tolerate our presence but this is very much not true. Cats have a complex system of social behaviors both among themselves & with their human companions
Cats who live in feral colonies will often nurse each others' young and have different sorts of relationships with various colony members. As long as there are adequate resources, feral cat colonies of females can stay together for years
Cats have complex methods of communicating with one another; they use body language and even scent to express comfort, anger, playfulness, acceptance, and fear.

Cats also communicate with us, just like dogs do! They even began meowing just to "talk" to humans!
Learning cat body language can help you create an even better relationship with your cat and may cut down on negative behavior. Cats are really good at talking...we just have to learn how to listen!

There's this idea that domestic cats are basically like tigers, requiring huge areas of territory to be happy but like, no!! That's not true at all!!
Obviously if given the OPTION cats will take as much space as they can but the way cats understand "territory" isn't the same as the way dogs do.

Cats are mostly concerned with access to resources--food, water, secure spaces to hide.
As long as a cat knows it can access the resources it requires, the AMOUNT of space doesn't matter. So cats can be perfectly happy in small apartments as well as big houses.

And cats ALSO consider vertical space when assessing territory! Bookshelves, sofas, cat trees--
Can all add a lot of space to a cat's mental map of their "territory."

So don't worry if you live in a small space--your cat can be happy & fulfilled as long as you keep their needs in mind

Another cultural misconception we have is that cats are somehow still "wild" animals; this can lead to heartbreak for cats and their owners because they aren't wild animals shouldn't be treated like wild animals.
We tend to hold up dogs as the sort of paragon of domestication because humans had such a huge influence in "creating" the modern domestic dog. It was a very active process of domestication because we used dogs to perform jobs for us like herding animals or guarding homes
Meanwhile cats kind of domesticated themselves--they began hanging around human settlements b/c there were plenty of VERMIN for them to eat and the cats more tolerant of human presence had greater access to food and thus reproduced at a greater number.
So eventually you have the domestic cat....a creature that is distinct from its wild relatives just as the dog is distinct from wolves and coyotes.

Now domestic animals are animals who must be managed by people--it's part of what domestication means
You can have feral cat colonies--just like feral dog packs & herds of feral hogs--but those colonies are still reliant on humanity to exist & if you take a feral cat's babies in at a young enough age they will be just as tame & accepting of human interference as any other cat
So no, cats are not wild and this means we are responsible for them just like we're responsible for dogs. We must accept domestic cats are invasive species no matter where they live & cats require human management in order to be healthy & happy & safe.

Look I get a lot of hate on twitter dot com when I talk about this subject so let me state right out I'm not going to tell you, specifically, what to do or how to keep your pet cats. If you want to ignore this section, go for it
BUT it's 10000% true that a cat can live a happy, healthy, fulfilled life totally indoors.

Cats have strong hunting instincts! But those instincts are so easily engaged inside. Cats like to explore! Another thing that they can do indoors! It may take more effort on your part
but if you're not willing to put in effort maybe you should rethink having a pet.

Anyway. Play with your cat. Give it things to do (for example: hide treats around the room for the cat to find!). Teach it to walk on a leash/harness. Engage your cat just like you'd do for a dog
and I guarantee your cat will be happy & healthy and less likely to succumb to one of the many, many dangers that cats left outdoors unsupervised have to face

Like this shouldn't need to be said but hey! Here we are.

Sometimes people believe cats are just inherently mean. They think cats engage in negative behaviors--like not using the litterbox or scratching up furniture--because that's how cats are
But that's not true!!

Just like dogs, cats engage in negative behaviors for a reason. Sometimes it can be health related (e.g. a cat with a UTI will go outside the litterbox). Sometimes it's due to not enough engagement/interaction from you (e.g. bored cats =destructive cats)
Cats are just as capable of modifying their behavior as a dog; it just takes effort on your part to discover the source of the problem & come up with workable solutions!

People who don't like cats seem to think cats are incapable of affection; they think dogs are inherently Good while cats are just indifferent, no matter what. They believe cats are selfish, distant, disdainful, & incomprehensible
The truth is we created dogs to want to serve us. We endowed them with the instinct to perform, to do what we ask of them & this obviously reflects in how dogs interact with us. We built dogs to be our friends.

But cats are different
Cats built themselves and the foundation of their existence was: we are comfortable around humans.

Seriously. That's how cats were domesticated. It's what made them different from their wild relatives & it's what makes them different today.

Cats are cats b/c they love us
And it is a love with expectations: a love that requires mutual respect and understanding. Cats see us as creatures worth communicating with, worth living alongside; they also see us as creatures with which they can reason, and who are capable of returning their affection
Cats have expectations of us because, to them, we are worth it. They have compromised for us & they expect fairness in return. They have learned to talk to us & expect us to learn to talk to them. They understand our rules & expect us to understand their rules.
It is a unique relationship for us humans; it's unlike the ones we have with other domesticated animals. And if we take the time to understand cats, to learn how they think, to respect their needs then we can receive the ultimate honor:

their love

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More from @ellle_em

16 Oct
So TIL that, when planning the invasion of Sicily the Allies "allowed" a corpse wearing the uniform of the British Royal Marines to wash up on the Spanish coast carrying plans for a false invasion of Greece which the Germans obviously intercepted and believed to be authentic
The body belonged to a homeless dude who apparently died due to ingesting rat poison
Now despite having a graduate degree in History I've not studied the military history of the Second World War so this information is new to me, even though it's probably OLD NEWS to all the WWII buffs out there. I apologize for being ignorant up until now
Read 5 tweets
16 Oct
Friend I went back to check on the cats with some food and....ohh no
Ohhhhh no
Ohhhh no 🥺🥺🥺
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16 Oct
People like ACB believe collecting children is a form of charity and the children they collect are burdened with this imposed inhumanity and it's sickening
and this is dangerous because to some people--even people in the center and on the left--ACB's collecting can seem like an inoculation against racism or ableism. She obviously CAN'T be racist or why would she adopt a Black child????

She adopts BECAUSE she's inherently racist
BECAUSE she and her ilk see Black children as essentially less than and thus in need of "charity" she collects them and they are trophies of her goodness, her tolerance, her grace.

Not people. Never people.
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16 Oct
I love how people assume the response to a global pandemic responsible for millions of deaths should be easy or convenient or take into account their personal preferences.

It's not going to be easy or convenient!! It's a GLOBAL PANDEMIC
Boo hoo I hate masks well guess what the rest of us hate dying of COVID so suck it up
The pandemic isn't a big deal we'd be fine if we just took vitamins!!!! Listen dingus you can go inject urself with Dr. Oz's butt juice all u want but leave the rest of us alone
Read 6 tweets
15 Oct
A bad trigger for me is when someone I don't know (or even people I do know tbh) call me any sort of pet name/hypocorism (hun, babe, sweetie, love, dear, etc.) like it makes me viscerally ill but I feel so bad b/c for the most part the ppl who do this aren't being gross
mostly they're being friendly and I hate that like the minute they use a pet name/term of endearment I immediately want nothing more than to end the conversation/interaction. It's like not their fault at all, and yet it' I am :/
It's like I wish there was a nice way to say "hey person on Twitter you seem really cool and good-intentioned by you just called me "hun" so now I want to block you immediately"
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So for various reasons I haven't really been able to walk much over the past few months. Yesterday I was able to visit one of the cat colonies I hadn't checked on in a while and they remembered me
I didn't have any food with me because I can't spare any right now and they still followed me. I wanted to cry
The black and white cat and the tabby & white are new; probably what's left of this season's kittens. I've never seen them before but they still followed; they were watching the older cats & when they saw the older cats chasing after me they went along with it
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