I think this story, that Dan kindly drew to my attention, is a subtle form of cat abuse despite the charitable aspect. I’ll agree it is a controversial topic but needs to be aired. Please go easy on me!
This is about a cat with a cleft palate or lip, I am not sure exactly what the medical problem is and neither it seems does the cat’s caretaker. I am surprised that there is lack of detail on the medical condition.
The condition makes the cat ‘ugly’ in human terms (other cats don’t see it that way). And the cat’s owner has used that ugliness to raise money for charity. I am very skeptical and would ask whether all the money raised – $4,000 – has gone to charity. Let’s be realistic, a lot of charities are in fact businesses. I am not saying that is happening in this case.
The cat’s name is Quasi. I don’t know if Quasi is male of female. I guess he is male. The owner, Renee, has built a website around Quasi and sells items to raise money.
This is a way, using an animal, of raising money on the internet that is not uncommon nowadays and a lot of people find it very nice.
I don’t know if I am in the minority on this but I believe that Renee is exploiting her cat and not showing enough respect for her cat. I am being honest but realise Renee will hate what I am saying if she finds out and other people too will probably shoot me down.
I am all for raising money for charity. PoC does that too. But I have this gut feeling that it would be more ethical if some of the money raised was used to improve Quasi’s condition if that is possible. It is not clear from Renee’s website if this has happened.
Quasi’s condition is more than a hair lip, a cosmetic condition. It seems to be a cleft palate. If I am correct this leaves a gap in the roof of the mouth and food can go up into it. It can be corrected with surgery. Martha Kane has a cat whose cleft palate was corrected with surgery.
A cleft palate is a birth defect of the nasal and oral cavaties. The palate bones fail to fuse together. This leaves an opening from the mouth to the nose which might be the cause of Quasi’s sinus problems. Sinus conditions can cause pain. Is Quasi in pain or discomfort?
To summarise a cleft palate is uncomfortable for a cat and it can be corrected. Martha Kane lives in Malta and she paid about $400 (USD) I recall. I may be wrong. It would probably cost more in the USA and there are risks associated with this sort of surgery such as infection.
But would it not be better to spend time and effort improving the life of Quasi first? There is no doubt that no matter how well you dress it up, exploiting ugliness in a cat is a form of cat abuse.
And, yes, before someone screams at me, I know money is raised for charities and Quasi was rescued from a shelter. That is good, very good. Praise is definitely due to Renee for that. I think she should also be gentle criticised for exploiting Quasi’s so called ugliness.
This aspect of this story is totally ignored by Catster.com who feature this cat. I don’t think it can be ignored and I believe that in not addressing this difficult aspect of this story they are doing the cat a disservice.