I admit that I criticise some people. I believe that you have to if you want to adopt an honest approach to the subject of cats. I normally criticize people who are obviously open to criticism such as the cat shooters, breeders who breed to extremes and the people who run the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association). It is a good thing to balance criticism with praise. It is actually easier to criticize and find fault than to praise the good. A lot of the good goes on unnoticed or uncelebrated. In time honoured fashion bad news is more popular that good news. Just look at the newspapers.
Who do I think are the good people in the cat world? Nearly all of them are off the radar. They are not high profile people such as Lynea Lattanzio, who I dubbed the world’s greatest cat lady for her creation of and management of Cat House on the Kings.
The people I would like to celebrate and praise as the good ladies and gentlemen in the cat world are:
- The gentle and decent people who work to a high standard at cat rescue centers and shelters. The ones who work to personal high standards and who really care about cat welfare and saving the lives of cats. I have no names. They go about their business day in and day out without much recognition. They are modest people.
- The good people who consistently contribute to cat welfare through education on the internet by making comments and blog posts on various websites and forums. Every time a comment is made to rectify a misconception about cat welfare it is a tiny step towards better cat welfare. Ruth AKA Kattaddorra comes immediately to mind and Elisa Black-Taylor. There are many others and if you’d like to name them please leave a comment.
- In the USA, the veterinarians who refuse to join the vast majority who declaw cats. This small minority do just fine financially which proves that a vet does not have to rely on declawing cats to make a decent profit.
- The senior lady who quietly, almost invisibly, but sometimes against the odds, operates her own trap-neuter-return feral cat programme. She cannot stand by and see feral cats suffer. She doesn’t shoot feral cats. She tries to act responsibly and humanely in reducing the feral cat population. Yes, it is a small contribution and a lot of people will dislike what she does but what she does is right and proper and highly moral.
- The politicians who have a heart. Some do and some have fought political battles to improve cat welfare. People who come to mind are the commissioners or councillors of local government bodies who have banned declawing in their area (8 examples – Malibu is one). Also politicians like Pedro Nava who proposed a law to stop landlords demanding the declawing of cats before people could rent their property.
- People such as Bob Tucker (My Feral Cats is one of his stories; you can search for others if you like) who just does “his thing”. For me, Bob Tucker is the classic example, a paradigm case, of the almost invisible person, the ‘ordinary’ person (who is extraordinary really) doing the right thing every day without recognition. He is the person who answers the question, “who is good in the cat world?”
Do you have someone who you’d like to nominate? I am bound to have left people out. Personally, I tend to leave out of this list the big organisations involved in cat welfare. I do that because despite the good work that they do, I see them more as businesses in the cat world. They are not for profit businesses but there is a business element about them. I am thinking of large organisations such as HSUS (huge) and PETA (a controversial organisation).