Do cats have sympathy for other cats?: two yowlers in a pear tree and boy am going to have a surprise for my vet.
The yowling started about a month ago. A male cat seeking females isn't a pleasant sound. I'm on the fourth floor and it broadcast all the way up here. I began to hate the yowler. Also, I began to wonder if the tom would bother Bear. I'm not sure if I'm allowed pets or not... my landlord knows I have a cat. Even though Bear was hiding, he saw all the cat paraphernalia: cat trees, toys and food dishes. Thanks to the language barrier, he didn't say anything.
True fact: When it comes to pets, language barriers are great.
Suddenly, on Saturday, Bear spent the entire day yowling back at the tom. I fed him, then played with him, then put him in the veranda to decompress. The second he was out, Bear started yowling. By Sunday, I knew I had to do something about the tom. Armed with some of Bears chicken treats and a youtube video of a female cat in heat yowling,, I set out to track down Mr. I-can't-shut-up. It wasn't hard. After listening for a few minutes, I located him over there (1). I mewed back at him. He mewed back at me. We mewed and the random passerby gave me strange looks.
As it turned out, there was no need for the cell phone. I had miss judged Mr. I-can't-shut-up. He still couldn't shout up, but he wasn't yowling for females. He's scared out of his mind. I think he may have been a pet not too long ago. He's not friendly like Bear was, but he was brave enough to almost eat out of my had. He got close enough that I actually tried to grab him.
Anyway, after to leaving the yowler, yowling after me, I returned to my apartment. Bear sniffed me and flopped over satisfied. It's easy for humans to attribute human characteristics to pets when there are none. But it's just as easy to dismiss kindness in animals has humans attributing humanizing pets. Rather than get in that debate or fight with my cat, the next night when Bear started getting upset by the yowler, I went out and fed him. When I returned, Bear sniffed me and was satisfied.
Of course, when his mewing equals me leaving ... it could be the reason he stops getting upset, but I also trust that cats understand cat. Anyway, after observing the yowler, I learned that he circles the neighbor hood, mewing and hasn't stopped. Poor baby is in some major distress. This became even clearer, when I saw some other strays finishing off some cat food I had fed the yowler. They slunk away and no amount of mewing at them, was going to get them to come out. In fact, I think I scared them more than most humans do.
There's no TNR (Trap Neuter Release) in Yeongju and Bear Cat (aka Mr. Bear; aka Bear) won't accept "Let someone else take care of it." Thus I ordered a humane trap on Gmarket and more of Mr. Bear's favorite treat because the yowler happens to love them too. (My vet is just going to love my newest surprise) In the meantime Bear has stopped mewing at me and continues to nap when Mr. I-can't-shut-up is yowling nearby.... unless I haven't fed the yowler. Then he won't shut up.
1. Over there: Just yonder.
M.R. Jordan is a writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. Lives in South Korea with her two cats, Bear and Geumbi.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Gold in English)... then (above) and now (below).