December 30, 2009

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Cat

Here is an excellent article Indoor Vs. Outdoor Cat Debate. In this day and age of sadists, diseases, felons, animal experimenters and those who use cats as bait in dog fights, it amazes me that this is still being debated at all. But, then I'm also amazed at the naive reasoning on the part of the "outdoor-only" crowd who reason that:
"It's a cat's nature to be outdoors".
How valid is this? One only has to reference bazillion animal welfare organizations and hospitals to dispute that in a millisecond. Also ...could that alleged reasoning substitute for an "excuse" to abdicate their responsibility as an owner? Or possibly a lack of imagination to create an atmosphere in which a cat would actually prefer to stay indoors? Some people can be so creative in one way and yet so incredibly devoid of it when it comes to implementing ways and means of coercing and training - yes I said 'training' - their cats to not only stay indoors but enjoy doing so. I speak not from my hip, but from my own experience. All but one of the cats I've had were formerly outdoor-only cats who I enabled to live a healthier and safer life indoors thereafter with just a little patience (well a lot of patience) and ingenuity on my part. As with anything worthwhile, you have to ask yourself just how much time and effort you're willing to put into something. They were all worth every second of my time and every scintilla of my effort, which in retrospect, involved no real effort at all. Just love.

Whether it's not wanting to clean out that dirty ole litter pan or the total disconnect with 'owners' and their companion animals or the much maligned and continued fallacy that cats are distant, unresponsive and aloof, I'm sure there are a myriad of other reasons that the people who expound what is - in my opinion - a misguided reasoning that cats 'belong' outdoors simply because "the cats really want it". Hello? If your child really, really wants to do something that someone else sees as harmless and judges 'natural', yet in your opinion presents an enormous potential for harm and is in no way 'natural'....then on which side do you err for their welfare? Doesn't all life deserve the same consideration? Or are animals just disposable, and if one gets hit by a car because you think they 'belong' outside, you blithely replace it with another? Are we such a throw-away society that philosophy should extend to living creatures, too? Apparently in some folks' estimation - it does.

This isn't the days of horse and carriages plodding along the streets, but fast-moving and reckless cars. It's also the day of increasingly sadistic youth who gain more pleasure from seeking the pain of an innocent kitten than they do in their next video game. Illness, disease, other animal predators and nefarious human predators who steal kittens and cats for animal laboratories and, more commonly, as bait in dog fighting are all part of this wonderful new millennium of ours.

And yet, there are still those who cling to that notion of "live free". Well, this isn't Africa and Fluffy isn't Elsa and, quite frankly, The Veld is safer than Main Street.

In the final analysis who's getting more pleasure and safety out of Fluffy being outside: You or Fluffy? Is it really and truly in their best interest or are you just trying to convince yourself they're better off outside so you can slough off your guilty conscience when they get hit by a car, stolen, poisoned, murdered or tortured?

Toss around in your head some of those questions and scenarios and information you can easily cull on the web and hopefully rethink your formerly held fallacious philosophy. Spare at least that much time and effort for your cats' welfare.

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December 29, 2009

Just One Dog

One animal out of millions. One life saved.

It only took one person to care enough and urge another to care and another and another until each paid it forward to save one life. How many innocent lives could be spared? How many other abandoned, lonely, hurt and hopeless animals would be able to feel love, safety, kindness ...and hope if each person cared enough to make the first move?

Only one animal saved. Yes. But there are millions more waiting for their one person.

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