It’s a Risky Business

Every day we face some sort of risk or we should be if we are living life to the full. If you cut risk out of life to cut out a part of proper, healthy living. Obviously a bit of common sense has to apply. You have to strike a balance as the experts say. But we should not be too averse to risk. And sadly in Britain we have become too averse to risk. This is linked to excessive political correctness and over zealous health and safety. It is all part of a changed mentality that distances us from how we lived in the past and from what is natural and good for us….and cats!

Diesel is on the right! Photo copyright Rex

Cats have nine lives because they have neither heard about risk assessment nor health and safety. They tend to get into scrapes. They depend on us occasionally to get them out of trouble.

Cats like to climb trees and perversely, sometimes are unable to get down. That is a bit strange when you think about it. It is a bit silly and it can happen to adult cats who should know better. Some cats can get down head first, racing down between the branches. The Norwegian Forest Cat (NFC) is known for that special skill.

However, Diesel a much loved black, moggie kitten is not an NFC. He knew how to climb but not get down. Sadly modern Britain’s public services were unable to help.

Diesel climbed a tree in Foulden, Berwickshire. This is just in Scotland. He was stuck up the tree for ‘nearly a week’ and was in danger of dying. The various services requested to help gave these responses:

  1. Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue – “…we are not going to put the lives of our firefighters at risk.”
  2. Animal welfare charity Scottish SPCA – could not help as too risky.
  3. Northumberland Fire Service – could not send a team across the border from England.
  4. Local tree surgeon – Diesel was too high to be reached.

Kyle, a local 15 year old boy of the classic kind, who is not risk averse and thank God neither is his mother, found the tree quite easy to climb. He was not frightened for his safety. He was concerned for the cat.

Kyle says “I got up and got the cat down with no bother at all…” He can’t understand what is going on with the brave men of the fire service, who are paid to take risks!

I think what might have happened is that the fire service did not want to do it, not because it was too risky but because it was not worth doing for one kitten. I remember reading about the cutbacks in funding due to the nation’s debt and one cut back was for firefighters to stop rescuing cats and other ‘non-esssential’ tasks.

There is something wrong though with risk assessment and health and safety in the UK. Change is needed. The nation has gone wrong. It is time to recreate some of the old values that made Britain great.

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It’s a Risky Business — 2 Comments

  1. Good for Kyle, he showed all those rescue services up good and proper.
    What a world when people paid to do risky jobs won’t take a risk on behalf of an innocent stranded animal. To stand by and leave the kitten to starve was criminal!

  2. It is this idea that we must eliminate all risk in life that makes people want to keep cats indoors 24/7. Keeping cats indoors only leads to people thinking declawing is ok because the cat will not need his claws for defense. (This is a load of BS.) So to keep cats “safe” they are actually hurt in the end. We are doing similar harm to our children. When I was a child playgrounds were fun and kind of scary– high monkey bars to climb, steep slides to fly down from dizzying heights. At least once a school year somebody broke an arm at Bowman Park, where we played at recess. The “big red slide” at Webb Park in Reedsburg had the reputation of causing a few broken arms. It was so fast and scary I could seldom get up the nerve to slide down it. But when I did conquer my fear, I felt great. I have memories of playgrounds that challenged my body and my mind. Today all have been replaced by tot lots consisting of low equipment made for tiny children, with nothing for Tweens and teens anymore. So our children get fatter and softer. Helicopter parents hover and children often fail to leave the nest at all– afraid of the world outside. Thirty year olds still live at home with mom and dad where it’s safe. Our children play indoors safe from broken arms and sunburned skin. And we’re now the most obese nation on earth, much less physically or emotionally healthy than we were two decades ago.

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