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Cook is a stray cat which made itself at home in the authors house. Not your usual sort of moggie. As McNeish explains.
Cook is simple. Or so I thought until I began to study displacement activity. About Cook: His religion is nil, his taste in chairs appalling, his ancestor was either a heart defective or a hamster and when he puffs his muttonchop whiskers and gives me that Mona Lisa smile, I swear he has paternalistic goitre.
Cook is so stupid you would say he had no displacement hormones of any kind. Even though he were perched on the back of a plunging whale, Cook would remain there, unperturbed, looking stupid.
We all displace. We all respond to a difficult situation by doing something quite alien to our nature. I, for example when I am embarrassed or about to lie, cough. Ernie in a tricky moment will crush a dead fly. Sheep in extremis will bite gravel, birds root up grass and cows. All of which is unnatural and very nice for the behaviourists. In the case of cats, however, the behaviourists are wrong. Cats in a moment of embarrassment will do the most natural thing in the world. Hence the mother cat,s advice to her young. "When in doubt, wash."
But Cook from sheer stupidity, does nothing at all. Today he surprised me. Pepper came. Pepper is a boudoir dog, at least he would be if he were washed. He is about six inches high and is all feathering and ruff. Pepper is charming. Upside-down dogs are. He folds his head on one side, like a sister of mercy, and his rump waggles and he conquers you like that, wth melting eyes, all tilted. Pepper terrifies Cook. Faced with the boudoir dog, all tilted, and the brown melting eyes, Cook falls over. Today he fell into his plate of porridge. This in turn disturbed Pepper. Cook, after all, is a big cat and a clumsy cat and when he fell in into his porridge he made a mess. Pepper did not know what to do. In the end he seized a piece of wood and bit it.
Personally, I think Cooks ancestor was a crutched friar.