Has been COTD!
|Purred: Sat Dec 4, '10 7:34am PST |
|Obviously, the voices that reach Japan are the noisiest ones, and that can lead someone like me, whose only contact with the U.S. is through cyberspace, to believe that they are in the majority.
Perhaps I have little patience with people who keep repeating the same patently false beliefs over and over without thinking (I may be accused of doing the same thing, but at least my beliefs are unique; I'm not following the status quo) because I live in Japan. The Japanese have a tendency to repeat things they've heard, no matter how idiotic. Perhaps over half of the Japanese population believe that they are the only country in the world with four seasons.
OK, that was OT.
As for getting a purebred cat to get around your landlord--your response was a hoot. Now that I think of it, anybody who is spending hundreds or thousands of dollars for a cat either lives in a place where cats are allowed or owns their own home. Actually, buying a purebred cat as a way to get around landlords IS something people do in Japan. This could be another reason why buying a cat at a pet store is popular--no checking whether the customer is allowed to have pets.
As a breeder, I'm supposed to ascertain if a client lives in a place where pets are allowed (still rare in the case of rental housing), but like most breeders, I just take the client's word for it. In theory, rescue groups are much more fussy, although again, when I was looking for a rescue cat, I found that no one asked to see my lease.
I lived for twenty years in a place where I wasn't allowed to keep pets, but my landlord didn't live on the premises and my cats didn't go outside, so no one ever found out. If they had, I would have moved to a place where pets were okay. I did move to such a place eventually anyway. My cats then were moggies that I had inherited from a friend, and later, cats from my vet's place. He knew that I wasn't allowed to have pets in my apartment, but a lot of people keep pets anyway.
And yes, this is another area where breeders can be considered irresponsible. The clients I've worked with so far have all either lived in houses or in apartments and already had a pet, so I figured they were legitimate. When I advertised my kittens, I got a lot of responses, and weeded out the obvious loonies from the people who seemed legit. In fact, all the people I ended up selling my cats to were extremely nice. Some came with their spouse or family. Some brought me gifts, the way it's done in Japan.
Which brings up another issue: buying pets online. Famous catteries may get away with having a waiting list for their pets, but most catteries have to advertise. This used to be in cat fancy magazines; now the Internet is the main advertising medium, whether you advertise your cats on your cattery's website, or through a cat breeder group site. I still don't have my own website (anybody wanna design one for me?), so I use the latter. The site I use is the one my own breeder used, and it's the way I found Harvey. Even breeders who have their own website will advertise on other sites as well, just to make sure that their cats have a better chance of getting sold. The site forwards e-mail from prospective buyers to the seller. This e-mail takes the form of a questionnaire that asks questions like where the person lives, whether they are allowed to have pets, and a place where the prospective buyer can write about what they want in a pet, etc. Some of the prospective buyers are obvious loonies, so you don't respond to them. I prefer people who live in or near Tokyo so that I can meet the clients and have the clients meet the cats. This last is left entirely up to the breeder. In theory, the law requires that there is a meeting between breeder and client, but no one checks. My own breeder had no qualms about shipping off cats without meeting the new owners. I have shipped cats myself, but only to people who I knew either through cat shows or through other breeders. This is sort of a grey area. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with advertising over the Internet, but shipping a cat without meeting the owner can be thought of as irresponsible. On the other hand, the breeders who advertise on the site that I do are not sleazy fly by nights who take the money and don't deliver. The site requires documentation that you are a legitimate breeder, and if you do anything dishonest, you can be reported to the local government and have your license revoked. The problem isn't clients not getting the cat they paid for, but anyone who is willing to have a cat shipped to them sight unseen is (I've heard--I've never had this problem) without legal recourse if they don't like the cat once it arrives. Obviously, if the cat is different from the one advertised, or sick, that's a different matter.
I don't think that this situation is ideal, but the breeder does have the choice (legally speaking, the obligation) of demanding to see a lease and demanding that a client actually come to the cattery and meet the cat. Breeders who are eager to sell off their cats as quickly as possible so that they won't have to deal with unsold cats may be less picky about who they sell to. Actually, one breeder refused to sell a cat to me because I wanted to put it in cat shows and eventually use it as a stud. The breeder said that the cat was a fraidy cat who wouldn't take well to showing, and that she wanted to sell the cat as a pet, not as a cattery cat. I was disappointed because he was a beautiful red tabby who looked a lot like Harvey. The punchline was this: it turned out that he and Harvey shared the same grandfather, so the cat wouldn't have been suitable as a breeding cat anyway, since all my cats are related to Harvey in some way.
As a breeder, you do come up against a number of moral issues, and you find yourself constantly asking, "Is this the responsible thing to do?"
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