How often do we hear someone say: ‘If I have to be reborn on this earth I hope I come back as a cat’. Well, to me that’s the daftest wish of all to make, because cats are the most vulnerable, misunderstood and mistreated animals of all.
Too many people expect cats to behave like humans, they call them ‘bad cats’ for simply doing what comes naturally to a cat. Then the poor creatures are punished! Shouted at, squirted at with various liquids, scruffed, tapped on the nose, hit, kicked, shut in a cage, shocked by scat mats, relinquished to a Shelter, abandoned, the list of the dreadful things that can happen to a cat because of cruel or ignorant people, is endless.
Take jumping up onto the kitchen worktop, the cat doesn’t know it’s wrong, he likes to be up a height, if he doesn’t have a high perch of his own to sit on, who can blame him for sitting on the worktop? It’s cruel to punish a cat for wanting to sit up high.
Take scratching, this is essential to a cat for his health and contentment, he needs to scratch to exercise his muscles, so it’s natural that if he isn’t provided with his own scratching post he uses the furniture or the carpet. He doesn’t deserve to be yelled at, or declawed!
Take wanting to to be let out early in the morning, well of course he does, cats are crepuscular. Humans have taken most of his wildness from him but his deep instinct tells him dawn is a good time for hunting.
Take wanting doors open, it’s natural too that he wants freedom to move around, to go out and to come in when he wants to. He can’t open the doors himself can he!
Take walking away from perfectly good food, well we can’t blame him for that either, we have a choice of what we eat, he has to rely on us and if it’s something he doesn’t fancy then why should he have to eat it or go hungry?
A cat has to adjust to our lifestyle and for his own safety and welfare we have to have a few rules. Even if it’s a safe area where he lives and he can have some freedom, a good caretaker will keep him in at night and when no one is home. This rule followed from kittenhood becomes routine and he accepts it.
He also accepts when he is put in his cat basket and taken to the vet, he has no choice. But he should be treated gently, not just picked up and shoved in. We need to put ourselves in a cat’s place now and again and imagine how we would feel in the same position. We need to get down on the floor sometimes and look at the world from his viewpoint.
Some people think cats should be grateful for a home, some even think the sacrifice of their claws is a small price to pay to be ‘allowed’ to live with them. But why should cats be grateful, they didn’t ask us to take over their lives, take their reproductive organs from them, take their freedom, rule their lives!
Yes we do these things for their own good and because we can, but it doesn’t make it right and I for one would never wish to come back to this earth as a cat, that’s for sure.