Why Are Some People Afraid of Cats? How Olga Reacts to Other Humans


Hi, I’m Christopher! Read my introduction to learn more about me and my silly Russian Blue cat, Olga.

Although I’ve owned cats since I was 21, I don’t consider myself a cat person. Olga is a remarkable feline, and I love her, but I also miss having a dog. I’ve never understood why some cat owners hate dogs and think they’re inferior to felines, but I’m more bothered by people, whether pet owners or not, who are terrified of cats.

They have sharp claws and teeth, but how many domestic cats maul their owners to death? Most of them weigh under 12 pounds, and how can you hate an animal that hunts rodents and insects? My Siamese cat kept water bugs from invading my home when I had a creek in my backyard, and Olga kills houseflies and alerts me when a stink bug wanders in after taking a break from destroying my garden.

I noticed that you don’t spend much on cat toys.

Origins of Cat Hating

Several cultures, ancient and present, admire cats, but Pope Gregory IX wasn’t too fond of them. His 1233 decree encouraged Catholic parishioners to murder cats because he believed they were servants of Satan. This undoubtedly influenced how people perceived cats and paved the way for another round of cat killings 459 years later during the Salem Witch Trials.

In some ways, the world is more hospitable to cats and humans than in the 17th century, but I know people who still believe cats can steal your soul when you’re sleeping. I’ve seen adults run when they encounter feral cats, and when the movers were bringing furniture into my house, one of them yelled at me for allowing Olga to roam free.

I dare you to turn the water on in the tub!
I dare you to turn the water on in the tub!

 

Olga’s Frightening Presence

He was terrified of her, and instead of comforting him and telling him she wasn’t a threat, I laughed and said something like, “You’re safe as long as you don’t stare at her, but it’s been a while since she sent anyone to the hospital.” Olga isn’t very friendly to strangers, but she’s not aggressive or violent; even if she was, she only weighs about 10 pounds.

She likes my parents and friends and isn’t jealous when I have a date over, but it takes her time to trust people, which is understandable. She’s unaware of how cruel humans have been to cats, but her first impression of strangers is that they don’t belong in her territory. She hides instead of attacking them but seems relieved when they leave.

When Olga finally warms up to someone new, she lets them pet her and is relatively affectionate. However, she has her limits, and my mom crossed them when she met Olga for the first time. She wasn’t petting her too much or in an off-limits area, but she got too close to Olga while staring at her, and the cat hit her in the face.

She didn’t have her claws out or injure my mom, but she gave her the love tap as a warning to back off. Telling that story to someone who dislikes cats isn’t likely to change their mind; it may make them hate felines more, but the hatred of cats may be cyclical.

The ancient Egyptians admired cats, and the Middle Agers hated them. Maybe we’ll like them again in a few thousand years and won’t run in fear when a tiny black cat crosses our path.



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