The most popular pet in Switzerland, which has 1.7 million, it has become very close to humans. Some people walk their feline everywhere, sometimes on a leash, in town, in the countryside, or even on a boat… Has the cat become man’s new best friend?
They have dethroned the dog as adventure companions. Suuki, Romy, Baloo and so many others are cats that don’t just chase mice or purr on a sofa: they canoe, paddle, sled, and even snowboard, just like Léo, a cat sitting on the shoulders of his faithful human, Jérémy. They are inseparable, in all seasons and in all places.
“We both trust each other. He follows me without any problem. I think that from the start, he has always had confidence. He knows that if something happens, he can get on my shoulders”, confides Jérémy Grasset , the proud owner of Leo, a Bengal, in the 7:30 p.m. of RTS on Wednesday. Photographer for fifteen years, he now specializes in animal portraits. With his animal, he has a naturally photogenic and very accommodating model.
“I saw that we could make the same friendship as with a dog, going for walks. It’s not given to all cats, but this one started to follow us quite simply when we were going to do the shopping. One day, I decided to take him in the car to go for a ride in the heights of Leysin. He runs, he frolics, he watches what’s going on… He’s not a cat stressed. The day he’s fed up, when I see signs of weakness, we’ll stop,” he says.
No dogs on a leash in the 19th century
In a video posted on their YouTube channel, Clo and Clem explain to their audience how they travel with their cat Kiwi. Sometimes intriguing, this complicity between human and cat-life companion is relatively recent.
“Cats are currently going through what companion dogs lived between the 19th century and the 70s and 80s,” analyzes animal historian Eric Baratay. “Take for example Balzac. In the novel Béatrix, he depicts a nobleman who arrives with his dog and walks her on a leash. He is then the laughing stock of the whole town. How can you put a dog on a leash? A dog , it walks on its own!”, we thought at the time.
The cat has adapted to the demands of humans
It’s the same today for the cat, reputed to be independent. “But now we want very close, interactive cats, which was not the case before. Humans having changed in their expectations and their way of doing things, cats have adapted to this new demand and this new environment” , believes Eric Baratay.
Historically associated with the devil and misfortune, the tomcat, who has become the darling of social networks and homes, has a serious revenge.
TV Subject: Marie-Emilie Catier/ct
Web adaptation: Vincent Cherpillod