Pondering instinct: cats chase dogs.

Is 3 separate cats doing the same thing a coincidence or a conspiracy? 

It’s a question I asked on Facebook this evening having noticed a new pattern amongst the neighborhood felines over the past few days. Rather than running or freezing when they spot us on our dog walks they’ve started following us. Perhaps they’ve realised that this befuddles DaisyDog. (HoudiniDog isn’t bothered.)

As I explained in Walking – With and Without Dogs DaisyDog is our first non-mongrel. As a greyhound she’s the product of years of breeding designing her to chase small fluffy creatures. It’s pure instinct, and I never really witnessed the power instinct could exert until we had her. Our other dogs have been trainable, more or less. But there is nothing that will distract DaisyDog when she sees a small fluffy creature running away. All I can hope is that I see it first and have a tight hold of her before her launch attempt.

The muzzle is in case I can’t stop her launching.

A small furry creature chasing her completely confounds her. She knows she’s supposed to chase it. She twists and turns to keep it in sight. She does not want to move away from it. She doesn’t understand why it isn’t behaving naturally. I have to wrestle her until we’re out of sight of it, only these last few days the cats have then been following us around the corner, watching contemptuously as I drag a protesting dog away. 
I imagine them laughing maniacally as we fade from view, dazzled by their power over the giant dog. (Who doesn’t anthropomorphize animals?)

As someone prone to over thinking I’m amazed by DaisyDog’s connection to her instincts. She eats when she’s hungry, drinks when she’s thirsty, sleeps when she’s tired, and tries desperately to chase small fluffy creatures. I don’t recognise my needs that well. I eat when I’m stressed, drink when I remember, sleep when my anxious brain succumbs to medication and flounder around wondering what my purpose is. I wish I could stop my churning brain and recognise what my body is telling me. I wish I knew instinctively when things weren’t right. I wish I could sleep when I’m tired.

Tired out after being frustrated by the feline masterminds!