Cat Rescue: The metaphor of a revolving door

Liza rescue cat

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Despite the best efforts of everyone concerned, little Elizabeth tragically died as a result of her burns. So sad. Her death opened a door for Liza. Liza has had her share of abuse or neglect. She is the survivor of cat hoarding. The Elizabeth story lives on in Liza.

Elizabeth would have gone to the cat sanctuary Caring for Creatures¹ had she lived. Liza has been at the Darlington Humane Society shelter since February. She barely survived her hoarding experiences and despite plenty of TLC for them shelter staff no one wanted her. So sad as well.

Well, as the title to this article indicates the lives of rescue cats are like a revolving door. One dies making room for the next. It is a continuous chain. Liza will now go to the Caring for Creatures sanctuary. I have mixed emotions.

It is almost as if the life of one cat at a rescue center is inextricably bound up with another cat. Both are usually unknown to each other. When shelters are full up, sometimes a cat has to die before there is a space for a newcomer. Sometimes a cat is adopted making room and in some rescue centers there is a strict no kill policy. I am sure some of these special places fill up or they have very vigorous rehoming strategies.

I do feel, though, that the inflow and outflow of unwanted cats through the animal rescue organisations is like a revolving door, forever spinning, throwing cats out and drawing new cats in.

The cat rescue system indirectly supports, or to put it a better way, helps to sustain the flow of unwanted cats.

Ruth Young’s comment was to the point . This is part of it:

That’s why I’m against abortion– one reason. It leads to a throw away mentality toward human life. Supporters claim that it reduces child abuse because every child is wanted, but I think the opposite is true– as with the killing of millions of unwanted pets in shelters. This reality leads to worse, not better, treatment of the those that do manage to survive. Because if something can just be killed with impunity, then how can it have intrinsic value?

Intrinsic value? Across the general human population, cats are not given enough value. We should not be “processing cats” as if they were on a production line.

If you were a cynic, you could argue that a cat rescue system that euthanizes a lot of cats every day inadvertently encourages poor cat caretaking as it lowers the value of the cats. Cat rescue is self-perpetuating on that basis.

Cats Protection, the biggest cat rescue organisation in the UK set the best example, I believe. They only euthanise a cat with a vet’s say so. This puts the brakes on euthanasia. This puts the brake on the revolving door.


  1. Caring for Creatures is located in the state of Virginia. If you Google it, you’ll find it.
  2. The revolving door metaphor is usually applied to jobs for the boys. Employees in government departments are made redundant and then immediately re-employed by another department or government agency having pocketed a handsome redundancy payment.

2 thoughts on “Cat Rescue: The metaphor of a revolving door”

  1. Interesting idea and certainly true. I think people are left to think of cats as expendable.

    Liza is beautiful – my goodness she looks like a wonderful cat – it’s beyond me why nobody adopted her, especially considering how many people choose based on how pretty the cat is. Liza really stands out to me.

    The revolving door has it’s own momentum. Even after you have gone through it the door turn a little more.

    Perhaps that is a good metaphor to suggest that the cats going in and out of shelters are somehow pushed in or out by virtue of some kind of momentum, in part. Perhaps just the efficiency of the system itself.

    • My only argument with the abortion thing is I personally don’t consider a 4 or 6 week old foetus to be anything like a human baby outside the womb. For example. I don’t believe a phoetus (or however you spell it) can suffer. Nor can it cry. However if you could get rid of newborn babies then I’d totally agree on that.

      It’s just some people consider a small group of cells recently joined together to be the same thing as a human being. One leads to the other but I think those cells are part of the mother and certainly those cells are a long way from requiring rights. For as long as the baby is in the mother it is the mother. It’s hard to draw a line anywhere except the actual birth. After the birth everything changes because the baby is no longer infact the mother. It is entirely for the mother to decide the future of something which is inside her body. It is nobody elses business and never will be unless she makes it so. She doesn’t have to tell the father (if she knows who it is) – it is her. IT doesn’t even belong to her, it is her. ‘Pro Life’ is oxymoronic. By creating another life you also create another death. We have enough people.

      In poor countries people have many children and can’t get abortions. They treat their children with much less value. They even sell them. They do all kinds of things- they have much less value. Not sure what the pro-lifer’s want out of preventing abortion. The only thing it shows is that religion and politics are not compatible. To make laws saying you are not allowed to kill yourself or you are not allowed to have an abortion just reflects religious extremism. A country like Iran is a sort of Theocracy. In the end those right wing tossers in places like texas who would love to bomb Iran and stop abortions are exactly what they hate – with a little extrapolation it is one and the same thing to make a woman cover her face or circumcise her or tell her she doesn’t even own the cells inside her own body. It’s those same states in the US which have the death penalty too.

      Tell me what the difference is, in principle, therefore, between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Texas – The thing which makes those places so intolerable are one and the same.

      Again ‘religious extremism’.

      Having said all this – the whole discussion is invalid and pointless to argue because it all comes under the umbrella of ‘there are too many people in the world and we are all going to die, and so are the animals and they didn’t do anything’.

      We humans have lost our ‘rights’. We should quietly end our own lives and let the animals roam this once beautiful place. Any human life prevented is a good thing in my book. Prevented – not killed (necessarily) – people laugh at me. It’s quite ok if you want to call me bonkers then go for it – I try to be good and I am ok with it 🙂


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