The second week of October is National Pet Peeve Week, so now is the time to share my list of cat-related beliefs and behaviors that annoy the crap out of me. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
If you say that I shouldn’t be so upset after my cat died or that I shouldn’t spend “so much money” to take care of a sick or elderly cat because she’s “just a cat,” you’ve “just” earned yourself a first-class ticket to the top of my sh-t list.
If I said I have three children, most people would be like, “Awww, how sweet!” But if I say I have three cats, there are plenty of people who would say, “Wow, that’s a lot!” I’d understand if I said I had 20 cats or something, but three cats? What’s wrong with three?
As a woman who has never given birth, I’ve faced criticism from people who seem to be living under the delusion that no woman can be truly fulfilled or mature without having children. This archaic and sexist notion just plain pisses me off! There are biological and genetic reasons I’ve chosen not to have children, but even if I didn’t have these reasons, I shouldn’t have to explain myself to anybody.
Cats can go from fine to very, very sick in less than 24 hours. And what would happen if there were a fire while you’re away and nobody else has keys to your home or a way to contact you? Your timed feeder won’t assuage your guilt if you come home to find your cats missing, critically ill or dead.
A cat isn’t a used Starbucks cup or a broken TV. A cat is a living creature, and you’re not “getting rid of” the cat, you’re abandoning her. If you drop your unwanted cats off at a farm or vacant lot instead of taking them to a rescue, you’re just foisting your problems off on someone else instead of taking responsibility for your actions.
I covered this one at length last week. Bottom line: If you don’t have your cats fixed, you’re causing suffering, not just for the intact cats but for the millions of cats and kittens who are destroyed in shelters every year because there’s not enough room for them.
I understand that lots of people want to do something to help rescue cats from shelters, but sharing every RED LIST WILL DIE TOMORROW OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!! post you find is not only unhelpful, it can actually cause harm and confusion. Most of these “death row” cats can only be pulled by legitimate rescue groups. If you can’t do something more useful than clicking the Share button, you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.
Phew, that felt good. What are your catty pet peeves? Share them in the comments!
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About JaneA Kelley: Punk-rock cat mom, science nerd, animal shelter volunteer and all-around geek with a passion for bad puns, intelligent conversation, and role-play adventure games. She gratefully and gracefully accepts her status as chief cat slave for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing their award-winning cat advice blog, Paws and Effect, since 2003.