Cat Food

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[2010]   The Internet is a great place for strange animal stories. I have previously reported on animals that like to climb into warm engines for a snooze. And there were the ducks, variously lost, trapped or endangered. Now comes a series of unusual animal-kingdom contests.

The first bout featured a mountain lion (fighting weight 68 kg) that lost decisively when it was chased up a tree by an 8-kilogram Jack Russell terrier (and was subsequently shot by the terrier’s owner). The dog apparently makes a habit of chasing cats and was not deterred by the difference of a few kilos. A cat’s a cat, right?

Then there was the black bear sent up a tree by a ginger cat called Jack. Jack was described by his owner, Ms Donna Dickey, as ‘very territorial’. The bear tried to make a run for it, only to be treed a second time by the ferocious tom. Happily, this drama ended with no more than hurt pride for Yogi when Ms Dickey called Jack inside for his supper.

Another cat was filmed at a Louisiana theme park facing down a full-grown alligator. The razor-toothed reptile was forced to retreat to the safety of its pool to escape Pussy’s vicious claws.

But the felines don’t always have it their own way. Footage from Moscow showed a rat challenging not one but five alley cats and living to tell the tale. This rodent had some amazing jumping and bouncing kung-fu moves that had the cats running in all directions. I expected to see credits at the end telling me it was from a Disney film, D’Artagnan the Rat, starring Ratty Chan.

I suppose what all this really tells us is that rats, cats and Jack Russell terriers are not all that bright. I mean, I could step into the ring with Wladimir Klitschko and try to confuse him by hissing, yapping and generally jumping about. He might mistake me for Muhammad Ali in his prime and run up a tree. Or he might just do what that pacifist mountain lion should have done to that pesky dog and pummel me into cat food.