IT is mindboggling how much mindless, even inexplicable, violent contempt there is out there for homeless/stray and feral cats in order to commit so much of the horrific acts that are regularly inflicted upon these beautiful mammals. These include the cats whose owners have allowed to wander the neighborhood at night only to be tortured to death by cat-haters procuring sick satisfaction, or else slaughtered by hungry wild animals.
Also worrisome are the plausibly problematic negative attitudes toward cats openly expressed by news-media commentators, whose recklessly worded views can be influential. For example, the otherwise progressive national commentator Vicky Mochama proclaimed in one of her syndicated columns that “I never liked cats”. In another she wrote that Canadian politicians should replace their traditional unproductively rude heckling with caterwauling:
“My vote is for meowing because I don’t like cats and I’d like to sabotage their brand as much as possible. So if our elected politicians are going to be disrespectful in our House of Commons, they might as well channel the animal that holds us all in contempt.” [I search-engined the Internet but found nothing as to the reason(s) behind her publicized anti-feline sentiments. Still, if her motives were expressed, perhaps she'd simply say, ‘I just do not like cats.’]
Then there's the British Columbia community newspaper editor who wrote a column about Sarnia, Ontario courthouse protestors demanding justice in 2014 for a cat shot in the head 17 times with a pellet gun, destroying an eye. Within her piece, the editor rather recklessly declared: “Hey crazy people, it’s [just] a cat.”
In a follow-up column, the editor expressed surprise at having then received some very angry responses, including a few implied threats, from cat lovers and animal rights activists. Apparently, she couldn’t relate to the intensely heartfelt motivation behind the public outrage, regardless of it being directed at such senseless cruelty to an innocent animal; therefore the demonstrators were somehow misguided. ... The court may have also perceived it so, as the charges against the two adult-male perpetrators were dropped.
The editor had also noted how disturbed she was to learn of (unrelated) opinion poll results revealing that the vast majority of pet owners would choose saving the life of their pet over that of another person. She was astonishedly dismayed, regardless of the hypothetical other person being a complete stranger. Of course I wrote to her that, to me, it makes perfect sense: Especially with their pets’ un-humanly innocence, how could the owners not put their beloved animal’s life first?!
To be fair, that editor spent her life on a family farm, which understandably would have created a bit of toughness/callousness towards the assaulted cat's suffering. …
BUT along with individual people, society collectively can also be quite cruel towards cats, especially the 'unwanted', if not despised, felines.
It was reported a few years ago that Surrey had an estimated 36,000 feral cats, very many of which suffer severe malnourishment, debilitating injury and/or infection. And I was informed last autumn by Surrey Community Cat Foundation that, if anything, their “numbers would have increased, not decreased, in the last 5 years.” Yet the municipal government, as well as aware yet uncaring residents, did little or nothing to help with the local non-profit Trap/Neuter/Release program, regardless of its (and others’) documented success in reducing the needlessly great suffering.
[That TNR program is the only charity to which I’ve ever donated, in no small part because of the plentiful human callousness towards the plight of those cats and the countless others elsewhere. When I made the largest of my monetary donations ($500) to the T/N/R program, a lady volunteer left me a tearful voice mail expressing her appreciation, which to me suggested a scarcity of caring financial donors.]
Additionally, 59 kittens and cats were rescued from a feces-filled Surrey home a few days ago. While the Peace Arch News, to their humane credit, rightfully deemed this worthy of frontpage space, Surrey's Now-Leader newspaper didn't give these afflicted animals any newsprint. Are these felines and their suffering worth so little? [Email the Now-Leader to let them know your thoughts on this atrocious neglect of feline suffering: email@example.com] … At age 54, I’ve long observed that higher human intelligence is typically accompanied by a seemingly proportional reprehensible potential for evil, or malice for malice’s sake.
I believe there's a subconscious yet tragic human-nature propensity to perceive the value of life (sometimes even human life in regularly war-torn or overpopulated famine-stricken global regions) in relation to the conditions enjoyed or suffered by that life. With the mindset of feline disposability, it might be: ‘Oh, there’s a lot more whence they came’.
I believe that this mentality prevails almost everywhere, though especially in Surrey. Yet, these mammals’ qualities, especially their non-humanly innocence, make losing them such a great heart break for their owners.
Indeed, only when overpopulations of unwanted cats are greatly reduced in number by responsible owners consistently spaying/neutering their felines might these beautiful animals’ presence be truly appreciated.