HomeCat AnatomyCelebrating or Exploiting the Disabled Cat?

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Celebrating or Exploiting the Disabled Cat? — 15 Comments

  1. I think this article makes some really good points. Things you’ve raised relating to the way videos are shot & openness of information about the cat and owners given are very important & speak volumes. These are things I’ve been wondering about when looking at the grumpy cat websites. There is only brief mention that the grumpy cat ‘probably’ has some genetic disorder, yet they avoid going into much detail, instead saying they didn’t want to stress her out with medical tests, as she seems happy & healthy. Obviously we’ve only got their word on how healthy or happy she really is.

    The amount of brilliantly shot photo stills of her out there, compared to few videos is telling. From the videos you can see she often seems a bit slow in her reactions when playing, she struggles with walking distances, or moving between height levels, & sometimes is obviously tired & uninterested despite their filming. I suspect had there been as many videos as photos of her, we would notice the true extent of her disabilities, which they are able to downplay at the moment.

    There is also some debate on the net as to how the grumpy cat got her name “Tard”. Some have observed that in early videos she was just known as “Tard” (not Tarder Sauce) which some have interpreted to be a crude reference to her disabilities. Obviously that is just speculation and is impossible to prove or disprove either way.

      • It’s so nice to read a comment from someone else obviously as concerned about Grumpy Cat as we are!
        People who think it’s funny are in denial about the way the poor creature creeps away to hide in the video on the ‘What is wrong with Grumpy cat’ article, she wants peace from cameras and attention.
        A happy healthy cat doesn’t hide away!

  2. Great article. The market and money, as we know, has very little or no principle most of the time. It’s usually a purely opportunistic system so there is no surprise when it comes to making money in any way involving animals – that it exploits. Of course all the cattle and fish and etc that we consume get a really bad end of it. The fact that we also exploit cats just goes to show that we will do it to almost anything or anyone. We do it indirectly to people too. Next time you buy a cheap peice of clothing you are exploiting people and maybe animals too. This cat video business is just the blunt edge of that sword. It says that we even exploit the ones we love and live with. Thats how ridiculous humans are – they often have no shame nor integrity, especially when it comes to animals. Sad but true and nothing new. We should try to teach children otherwise since our generations are not going to make it right.

    • Children can change it but it is unlikely they will because they are taught by the wrong people. The human is inherently an abusive, insensitive animal 😉 There are exceptions thank heavens. One of the great problems is that the exploitative human thinks he is wonderful and is completely immune to self-doubt. He has cast-iron confidence in his behavior. He has no idea he is exploiting his cat in his precious video.

  3. I enjoyed watching your video of Charlie again, Michael. He looks a lot like Monty, but his meow is very different from Monty’s. Monty has a high pitched, pretty little meow. Charlie’s makes him sound very demanding. To post a video of a human you’d want to get permission. That would just be the right thing to do. We can’t ask our cats if it’s ok to share pictures and videos of them. I think Charlie would be ok with it.

    • Yep, Charlie is demanding. He has some Siamese in him. He is a Siamese cat without the white bit in the middle 😉 And yes, we should ask for permission. As we can’t we have an extra duty to be very careful and proper when we use our cats in videos and pictures etc. to make money from them.

  4. I currently have two blind cats—–one of which was rescued from a hoarder and one who was rescued from abuse. I’ve had many blind cats——-someday I promise to write about the first one. her name was Marshmallow and she changed everyone in the family for the better. I’ve had diabetics, amputees, and just very old ones. Some of these lived with me all their lives——others came to me at the end for what another rescuer described as hospice care. I’ve loved them all and learned from them all.

  5. I agree with the posters above- context is everything. I have a houseful of partial cats ( I joke that if you put all my cats together I really only have 3 whole cats so that is not too many) but I think that seeing that animals that are missing parts or have needs, are not disposable or throw away- and that they can live happy, joyful, enthralling lives with the people that love them! People should never shy away from a tripod ( 3-legger) or pirate ( one-eyed) or even blind cats- they do just fine and humble me every day of my life.

  6. People fell in love with Sealy from the very beginning of his story. I hope to use him to raise awareness of car fan blade dangers.I also hope to encourage people to think before having an injured cat euthanised because many can recovery from a serious injury if given time. Sealys quite a character. His mental challenges outweigh the physical, but he’s improving. If any of the other cats come over to play he falls over on his side and doesn’t move. This is what he does at the vet.

    One thing I like about Gwen is she donates a % of her sales to cats in need.

  7. Hi Michael,

    That’s an important distinction. It matters how the video is framed.

    I agree that it should contain positive commentary. It should explain a cat’s abilities and talk about how the cat has become well adjusted and content in spite of deformities.

    It might even take the fear out of adopting a disabled cat and perhaps even inspire someone to adopt and take care of cat with special needs.

    I’m against exploitative videos that exist simply to earn money and fame (which tends to also translate into even more money).

    Solution – I’ve been concerned and offended by some of the exploitative animal videos and was wondering what to do about it. I think complaining to video hosting sites and bringing it to the attention of PETA would be a good start. It should be stopped.

    =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

  8. This is a good subject that might promote comments from either side. I personally think that seeing a three legged cat thriving in a respectful attentive home situation promotes the rescue of perfectly fine pets. Cat House on the Kings had a long run of Facebook posts of Marmalady, a ginger three legged kitten that was rescued from sure death and eventually adopted into a loving home. Elisa demonstrates this often as well. I think it is educational, informative and probably saves lives of disabled cats. I don’t see it as exploitation.

    Grumpy cat is another issue. I hope he is happy and not hurting.

    • Thanks dw. The thing is although I love Charlie and respect him totally I did make the video to add to my YouTube Channel. That was the motivator – not very pure.

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