Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Inspector Checks In

In mid-May, the Inspector expressed a willingness to answer your questions and we put that out there for people who were interested in what he had to say.  In true feline form, the Inspector's schedule was more important than the farmer's schedule.  We got the answers when we got the answers.

However, before you make the mistake of thinking the Inspector is a lot like the Sandman, let us assure you that the Inspector is a very different cat (as all cats are).   For the most part, the Inspector is very friendly to humans and he does enjoy positive attention.  He is much more likely to have a longer conversation with the farmers and those conversations are not entirely about his opinion.

Instead of all this preamble, let's just get to the questions, shall we?


to the Inspector (from other cats):   
How do we persuade our human to feed us whenever we wish?
The Inspector responds:
     First, I am a bit astonished that there are cats out there who feel it is necessary to convince their humans that food should be provided even prior to a request.  At the farm, we expect to have food available without asking - which is exactly how it should be.  Clearly, this is a problem that started with the earliest training sessions and it is likely to be difficult to change the bad habits.

   One suggestion that may work - catch yourself a fine rodent of unusual size.  Eat half of that rodent (your choice which half) and place the other half somewhere so the human will see it.  Once they encounter a half-eaten rodent, they will recognize that you know they must be having a difficult time acquiring food and that you are offering to provide your share.  Humans appear to be motivated by guilt or shame and rarely miss getting food to you for some time after that.
Shhh! Don't tell the Inspector that we featured one of his baby pictures!

Do you have a favorite farmer?  Which human obeys most of your directives?
the Inspector responds:
     I find that the human ego is quite fragile, so I make sure that I am very careful to give positive reinforcement to each farmer as they display need.  The Guy with the Red Hat seems to need consoling more often than Pretty Lady does, but once I give him some attention, he usually does exactly what I want (typically a really good skritch).  Pretty Lady is a bit more like a cat (a big complement, as far as I am concerned) and it is harder to predict what she is going to do next.

How do you keep your fur so white?

We tried to get Inspector to respond to this one while recording - please see the Youtube video for his 'answer.'

Indoor cats have small patches of sunshine in which to nap.  With all of the choices of sunshine patches outdoors, how do you find the best one for an afternoon nap?
the Inspector responds:
     Selecting the perfect napping spot is an important aspect of being a proper farm supervisor.  A respectable feline considers all kinds of factors.  Personally, I look at wind direction, air temperature, potential for precipitation, flying insect load, density of diving barn swallows and likelihood that the location will result in sufficient skritches from the humans.  Surface qualities are typically a secondary consideration, but I do like a nice straw bale when I can get it.

Are there any vegetable patches you avoid and why?
the Inspector responds:
     I'm not certain what you mean.... vegetable?

What IS the secret to the universe?
the Inspector responds:
     When the human asked me this question he said "some portion of 42" and then started laughing.  Whatever.  He gave me a good skritching when I asked for it, so I'll let him have his fun this time.  Let me suggest that if you do not know where to look for the secret to the universe, you should find yourself a proper place to take a good nap.  I'm sure it will come to you eventually.

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