During my trip north I stumbled into many dogs. The
area is deep, dark forest land and hence birddogs are rare and the
overwhelming majority of the gundogs are moose hounds, hare hounds and a
few barking birddogs. The people up there are calm and secure as they often use
to be in the Swedish "outback" and stress is more or less unheard of. Even if I
go there only for a few days I feel very relaxed and full of energy when I go
Now, moose hounds are by birth much calmer than
pointing dogs but still it was striking to experience their secure and
harmonious attitude. It was obvious that they catch the atmosphere of their
The only other animals I was able to compare with
was their cats. There was no difference to our cats. Cats are cats, even if you
fry them in butter (as they say in Finland).
Cats do also learn to manipulate humans. At our
friends house, there was 2 moose hounds and 5 cats.
On of the cats was particularly skilful in waking
up its mistress in the morning. To start with the cats were forbidden to go into
the bedroom at any time of the day. The first thing this particular cat,
descending from the Norwegian wild forest cat, did in the morning was to
go into the bedroom, that it never visited at other times of the day. That
was alarm level 1. At alarm level 2 the cat started to pull the quilt with its
claws. At alarm level 3 the cat jumped up on the table at the side of the bed
and started to push down different things like paper, pens, magazines,
books on the floor with its paw, slowly and one by one. This was
usually enough to force the housewife out of the bed and feed the cat. I do not
remember what the final alarm level RED was, but obviously the cat had a precise
plan on how to get food in the morning.
The difference to dogs seems to be
that after the cat has been fed, it is more or less completely indifferent to
humans and starts to live its own life again. Until it gets
"Merciful God the Almighty!
Deprive me my common sense
I can at least to some extent
accomplish my commitments as a
the European Union!."