Not surprising to anyone who has deployed – feral animals are a significant issue in any location which has been war torn for more than a couple of years.
Dogs, of course, form packs. Not terribly interesting, well known and in actual practice extremely nasty and dangerous. Feral dogs in this part of the world can carry a number of diseases including rabies and leishmaniasis. Dogs scavenge and think nothing of taking out any human between them and their food source. Well over a thousand reported dog bites last year from Kabul alone. Plus all of the troops who just can’t get it through their heads that strays are not friendly.
Cats, as it turns out, form Clowders.
- Clowder, Cludder, Clutter kendle or kindle of cats, 1801; a group of cats.
- The usual word that’s given as the collective term for a group of cats is clowder.
- Definition: A group of cats collected in the same place, e.g., household Pronunciation: klow-dur. Also Known As: pride of cats, colony (ferals), kindle (kittens)
- clowd·er /ˈklaʊdər/ [klou-der] –noun a group or cluster of cats. Origin: 1795–1805; var. of dial. clodder clotted mass, n. use of clodder to clot, coagulate, ME clothered, clothred (ptp.), var. of clotered; cf. obs. clotter to huddle together; see clutter
Clowder is a much more descriptive term and a bit fun at that. Cats, in this kind of environment don’t provide the same kind of hazard to humans because they have a tendency to avoid people. Additionally, cooperative behavior is not them. That clot of cats is simply not going to swarm or attack your foraging child.
Pounce was in one source as was the term Kindle/Kendle in reference to kittens.
Why am I on this tack? Two reasons – the first I have already mentioned – feral animal control and a search for the correct terminology. The second is a bit more fun – four of us are signed up for a treasure hunt/scavenger history game on Sunday. We had to come up with a name. Proving that you just can’t herd cats:
Clowder. Love it. I can see soldiers reaching out to those dogs as just a little scrap of home.
Love it. I have a clowder of cats. Must let them know.
Love it. And was the Kindle clowd computing?
So that’s what I have in this house! Good luck with the scavenger hunt!