Simone Williams, a woman and cat lover from Brighton, has maintained that her male tabby cat, Scruffles, would eventually modify his behaviour following her passionate and well-argued lectures on the morality of killing prey when food was plentiful.
Ms Tinnock, who adopted Scruffles as a kitten less than a year ago, has been distraught of late as her pet has proven quite successful at hunting fledgling birds before bringing him into her house, torturing them for an hour and leaving their mangled corpses on her pillow.
She told us, “He knows he’s done wrong. It’s just he’s young and his instincts override him.
“I know that if I show him enough love and voice cautious disapproval in terms only humans who speak English would understand, then surely he will stop slaughtering any slow creatures that happen to enter my garden.
“Look! He’s licking his genitals as we speak. That’s surely some attempt at communication.”
However, Professor Chuck Matthews, Head of Feline Studies at the Royal Veterinary College, explained that emotional pleas were unlikely to have any effect on Scruffles’ hunting habits as he develops into an adult male.
He explained, “It is true that cats, like dogs, can respond to verbal stimuli and can also understand when we are distressed.
“It’s just that cats – in particular – don’t give a shit. The only reason a cat will sit on your lap is that it’s warmer than the floor.
“For some reason, hundreds of thousands of people chose to cohabit with highly efficient thrill-killers but expect them to have the sensibilities of a vegan sociology student.
“No, I don’t get it either.”