The Cornered Cat
Like a cornered cat

“If you have to fight, fight like a cornered cat.” That’s been my tagline for more than a dozen years. That’s why this morning, my friend John Murphy of FPF Training sent me an awesome video that illustrates this idea so very well.

Here’s the video. [LINK] Please watch it, then come back to read the rest of this post.

Seriously, you want to see this thing. Go watch it! I’ll wait.


A boy and his cat — it’s a beautiful thing.  😉

When I posted the video on my Cornered Cat Facebook page, several people wanted to know why the mom abandoned her son after the dog attack. It’s a good question: why would a mom  simply leave her crying child on the ground after something like that? What was she thinking?

There are two potential answers. Possibly both are true.

First, we cannot hear anything on these surveillance videos, and we can’t see what’s happening off-screen. It is possible, even likely, that the dog had circled around. Perhaps he was growling and snarling just out of camera view. If so, it’s not surprising that the mom stood up and raced out of the frame to chase the dog away again.

Second — and this is really why I’m placing this on the blog — it’s a really good illustration of what we mean when we talk about “tunnel vision.” Sometimes, we talk about tunnel vision as if it’s literally a problem with our eyes (and there is often a physiological component to it). But it’s much more than that. Above all else, tunnel vision is a mindset and information-processing factor.

In this case? I think the mom became tunneled in on chasing away the danger, and lost track of her main priority. What was her main priority? That would be: to keep herself and her child safe. She focused in on fighting the danger instead of staying focused on protecting the innocent.

It’s a subtle difference, but an important one. Guard your mind!

(Want to know more about how to watch a video? Click here…)

One Response to Like a cornered cat

  1. GunDiva says:

    As soon as I saw the video, I thought of you. A thought about fighting like a cornered cat, illustrated by said cat: Immediate, violent response. There was no hesitation, it was an immediate, “leave my person alone!” response by the cat. We would do well to mimic it if our families are ever in danger.

    Also, the cat didn’t continue the fight – it chased off the attacker and circled back to its human. When we (humans) are attacked, I think it’s good to remember that we don’t have to finish the fight – we just have to get away (or make the attacker go away).

    What scared me most about this video is that there wasn’t much warning from the dog. Maybe my dog-body-language skills are sub-par, but it’s not at all how I envisioned the attack would happen. To me the dog looked interested, ears up, tail wagging, almost playful until a split second before the attack.

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