People who love cats are automatically very concerned about the welfare of cats. One follows the other as night follows day. However, it could be argued that cat lovers can expose themselves to the criticism that they lack a sense of humor and are overly serious in their passion for cat welfare and their hatred of any form of cat abuse. Seriousness can lead to dogma and a entrenchment of opinion; both negatives when fighting for a cause.
Cat welfare is a very serious business and therefore there is a need to take a serious attitude towards it but, that said, a person should be able to enjoy the amusing antics of cats sometimes even if, as is the case in the video below, cat abuse is very near the surface. In fact, I know a lot of people who will say that the video below is a form of cat abuse but at the same time it is amusing which begs the question about where the dividing line is between amusement at the expense of the domestic cat and actual abuse. It can be a fine line which is hard to place.
The two cats in the video are Simon and Wash. Simon refused to walk on his leash (obviously!). In fact, his behavior and body language strongly indicates that he objects to the idea of being walked on a leash. It is almost a conscious act of objection and good for him. Morgan James is the caretaker of his two cats and this is what it says below the video on YouTube:
Morgan James: “We took the kitties to the local park for some outside adventure, only for Simon to completely refuse to walk at all while wearing the leash. He demanded he be carried. He doesn’t care if Wash gets in his way. The pet will become the master.
These are my two cats, Simon and Wash. I have seen some people upset by the video and I wish they didn’t feel that way. Both of my cats are wearing a harness specifically made for cats. The leash attaches at their shoulder blades and is designed so that there is no pressure exerted on the neck…..The grass is healthy and is a low-friction surface, in my opinion.
I do no think either of them were in any distress and I apologize to those of you who are upset by this video, but I love both of my cats very much….I will try to upload more videos soon….I want to buy my cats things with cat money!”
An example of 3 comments are set out below:
Animal abuse! He is being strangled to the point where he can’t even walk!!! Delete this video!
Morgan James: I’m just going to say that I love my cats very much and assume this is sarcasm. :3
It is Morgan. He’s making fun of all the stupid people who leap onto every channel screaming “ANIMAL ABUSE!” for no reason.
The reason why I reproduce these comments on this page is because they do indicate that some people perceive cat advocates and animal advocates as being somewhat crazy and too ready to criticize people of cat abuse. I don’t agree that cat and animal lovers are too eager to criticize others about animal abuse but there are many people who see animal rights advocates in that light.
I myself have been criticized for supporting the cat in comments made under you Tube videos. In fact, I have been vociferously criticized and unjustly criticized in my view. However, I would prefer that there was less of a polarized group of people on the one side, who are highly concerned with cat welfare, and on other side people who prefer to regard the cat as an entertainer.
It could be argued that if cat lovers are too serious they undermine the arguments that they wish to make in support of cat welfare. Cat lovers need to engage with the other side, the “enemy”, who are people who simply don’t understand cat behavior and are less in touch with animal welfare. To engage with the “enemy” is to have a dialogue with them rather than a slanging match.
One way to assist in that processes is to have some fun or see the funny side of cat videos like the one on this page.
Do you see the video as a bit of harmless fun or as a form of cat abuse or mild cat abuse? I must admit that I smiled and laughed a little bit at the conscious objection of Simon, which I found impressive. The abuse bit is that he was dragged along the grass but as Morgan James states no harm was done to Simon. A question: perhaps Simon even liked it a bit. That seems possible.
Personally, I would have stopped pulling him after a much shorter distance because to pull him over the distance shown in the video indicates what Morgan James admits namely that he wants to make a video which earns some money through advertising.
This was, therefore, a mild case of cat exploitation and cat abuse as well as fun and all cat lovers should allow themselves the pleasure of a laugh at cat antics sometimes or am I being too flippant?