Why do people on PoC care more about cats than people?
Ruth (Monty’s mum) asked this very valid question in a comment she made on this post: I feel horrible after my cat was declawed.
I think it needs an answer. I confess that I have learned to care more for cats than people over time. In fact I have probably become one of those “four is better than two” people (meaning I prefer animals to people). In a choice between the human race and the animal species, I prefer the latter. Why?
Because by my standards they behave better. I prefer their way of behaving. It seems to me to be more natural and more honest. Taking the domestic cat, it is definitely easier to get along with a cat than a person. That must count for something. Obviously it requires the right attitude from the person if the cat/person relationship is to succeed, but with the right attitude the relationship is infinitely more straightforward and predicable. It is therefore more reassuring, quieter and more supportive.
However, I am generalizing. There are many individuals, in particular the regular visitors to this site who I like as much as my cat! But not more than my cat.
The domestic cat does not do fraud, tell lies, bend the truth, muck around, rewrite history, go behind your back, behave in a two faced way, argue with you, shout at you (unless he or she is Siamese!) etc…
Cats are highly predictable which is comforting and we all need a bit comfort in this difficult world that we have made difficult through our selfish and greedy behavior.
Another reason why people care for cats more than people is because cats are vulnerable and many people feel a need to support vulnerable animals or indeed people. They are drawn to it emotionally. People can look after themselves, the domestic cat can’t do it that well in the world that we have created.
However, people need people and we cannot just rely on a cat to satisfy our need for a relationship and community.
There are confusing elements to the above argument though. The domestic cat is in our charge. We control the relationship. This does simplify the relationship and it is a point that does not support the argument that a relationship with a cat is better than one with a person because a relationship with a cat is like a relationship with a young child in many ways, only easier.
Ruth’s comment was in a thread of comments about declawing. People care more about the declawed cat than the person who had had her cat declawed even though she felt guilty. I am one of those people because it was the cat who was declawed under the direction of the cat’s “owner”. The person is the criminal (under UK law) and the cat the victim. We should have sympathy for a victim not the criminal even if the criminal is remorseful. People who act badly and are remorseful are still due punishment and criticism. Remorse and guilt is simply a mitigating factor (one that should make us dislike the person less or punish the person less).