Some time ago, I discussed the question of how dominant cats were compared to dogs and the consensus seemed to be that it depended on the cat and the dog. But now I read of a case where a 22 lb Himalayan cat in Oregon is so dominant that not only is the family dog intimidated but so is the entire family. They had to lock themselves and their dog in a room and call 911 to recue them from the cat.
The full sequence of events that resulted in this strange situation can be read here and was triggered by the father kicking the cat after the cat scratched their seven-month old baby’s forehead and drew blood after the baby had pulled the cat’s tail. So there were plenty of acts of violence all around, escalating with each retaliation.
Owner Lee Palmer told dispatchers the 4-year-old male cat “has a history of violence,” and had scratched his 7-month old son in the forehead.
Palmer said he tried to get the cat off his son: “I kicked the cat in the rear, and it has gone over the edge. He’s trying to attack us — he’s very hostile. He’s at our door; he’s charging us.”
Police arrived and managed to capture the cat with a snare. The cat is now back with the family as they ponder what to do. There have been many offers to take the cat off their hands and criticisms of the father for kicking it but for the moment they are not parting with it. They have also had offers to appear on an Animal Planet TV show called My Cat From Hell. (Talk about niche programming!)
People tend to be very reluctant to part with a pet but a cat that has scratched a baby may be one that is jealous of it. It may be hard to imagine that a domestic cat can so intimidate two adults and a dog, but a cat’s claws can be dangerous and intimidating weapons.