I have a cat who has always been exceptionally kind and friendly, both to other cats and to people, even before she had her first litter. (She has had two 2 kitten litters; the second pregnancy happened before she weaned her first litter, and she is now fixed.) She is genuinely concerned about the health of other cats, and will sit with them when they don't feel well. She was very popular with the tomcats in our neighborhood even when she wasn't in her mating season; they would come by, determine each other's health and what food they'd each been eating. Missy seemed delighted to see these fellows; they would sit comfortably by each other for a half hour or more, very quietly. Scientists who say that cats are not social animals are mistaken; they evidently believe that, to be a social animal, the species either has to live in a hivelike hiearchy like ants or bees, or live in packs, like wolves, or live in colonies, like prairie dogs. There are a lot of species that have genetic rules for interactions upon encounter and have status and privilege distinctions. Domestic cats are very much aware of status and privilege, and assume another cat or person is being favored just because that cat or person is being treated differently.
Missy went into a 6-8 week depression, when my father, who is becoming increasingly more senile, went to live with my married sister out of state. Her eyes were dull, she lost her appetite for everything, and even the presence of her daughter, Emma, with whom she has a pair bond and plays a lot, did not cheer her up. I could not do anything for her. I finally started sleeping in my father's bed, and, after a few weeks, she cheered up and let me attend to her.
Years ago, I worked with a woman who had raised a pig whom she was intending to sell. She shared many stories about this young female pig, who had a sense of humor and was very affectionate. The pig would push my co-worker down in the mud when she felt her pen had not been kept properly clean. My co-worker was at home the day her pig was to be picked up. She had not realized the purchaser was going to slaughter her pig on-site, and she heard it. She vowed never to raise another pig. The woman was quite traumatized, and felt very guilty and ashamed.
One thing I have read several times about animal experimentation: many cosmetic companies are proud to advertise that they do no animal testing, but many of them hire the testing out to labs that do use animal testing. This in spite of the fact that there are now better, more ethical techniques for testing out there, including using computer modeling and tissue cultures.
Edited by fuzzywuzzy6, 19 January 2009 - 01:36 PM.