I’d like to suggest some New Year’s resolutions that could be made by humankind by which I mean resolutions not made by individual people but by people in general. Although there are very many excellent cat caretakers in the world and particularly in the West such as in America, Canada, and in the countries of northern Europe, there are still far too many cat caretakers who do not, quite frankly, meet the standard required in order to care for a cat in a way which satisfies all reasonable standards in respect of cat welfare.
Over the years I’ve read many articles about the domestic cat. I read lots of news articles. The same sort of topics always arise indicating a common thread and a common problem amongst cat caretakers. Most often these topics are regarding a failure in respect of cat owners discharging their responsibilities towards their cat.
The first New Year’s resolution that I would propose is that people who wish to adopt a domestic cat should promise to themselves that they will (A) research what it is like to look after a cat by which I mean every aspect of looking after cat. The most important aspect is the cost and the time required to adequately care for a cat and (B) commit to caring for a cat for the entire lifetime of that cat no matter what. Only in extreme circumstances should the person break that commitment, one of which could be, for example, being seriously ill so that a person is unable to look after the cat properly. Another is being old and infirm. There are very few other reasons why a person should surrender a cat to a rescue centre or simply abandon the cat. Nearly all the reasons for abandoning their cat are in truth excuses; weak and fabricated justifications to try and wriggle out of responsibility.
The second New Year’s resolution that I would suggest is that the state of New York decide to ban declawing. The state’s legislature is currently debating a bill which bans declawing in the state. If the bill becomes law it would be an awesome step in the right direction towards altering the opinion and attitudes of American cat owners with respect to declawing. It may start the ball rolling towards other states following suit. Regrettably, I have little optimism about this law being enacted but if it is, it will make my year. Declawing needs to be banned in the USA because there is almost no possibility of attitudes changing unless the law forces a change. Declawing is deeply entrenched and it will not be removed from the culture of the USA unless it is by force.
The third New Year’s resolution would be a commitment by authorities both local – meaning at city and county – and at state level to adjust their attitude towards the feral cat. Many counties and cities are doing this. They have a more sympathetic approach to the feral cat and are in some cases adopting trap-neuter-return programs, funded by the authorities on occasions. There needs to be progressive change in both the law and attitude towards the feral cat. There are many wonderful people who do their best for feral cats but often they do it against the odds and against the general consensus of the community in which they work. This is unfortunate. It is wrong. These people should be supported. People should remind themselves and commit to the simple mantra that: we created the feral cat therefore we have a moral obligation to deal with their welfare in a humane and decent manner.
The fourth New Year’s resolution would be for police forces to better educate their police officers in how to deal with stray cats and kittens. There are still reports in the online press media which indicates that on occasions police officers have disregard for the life of the outside domestic cat and tend on occasions to simply kill the cat rather than take the more difficult option and try and discover who owns the cat, whether the cat is healthy etc., and then return the cat to the owner or place the cat with a shelter for adoption; in short to do the right thing by the cat rather than take the brutal but simplistic option of simply killing it.
A fifth resolution would be for enforcement agencies to try and commit a little more effectively to squashing out of existence brutal cat abuse by a small minority of people who are possibly mentally ill and if not then they are highly dangerous, evil people. I realise that it is very hard for these forces to find any time to enforce the law in respect of violence against cats under animal welfare laws. This is because the human takes priority so when the human is a victim those cases take priority over instances when the cat is the victim. Police forces are often under financial stress and therefore they have to prioritise. That said, it is important for the police to clamp down on animal abuse because as we all know, and as is frequently said, animal abuse often leads to human abuse and more serious crimes in the eyes people. Clamping down on one stops the other and therefore there is a real advantage in spending more time on prosecuting animal cat abuse cases.
A sixth resolution would be for the cat associations such as the Cat Fanciers’ Association to focus more on creating rules and regulations which insist upon breeders ensuring that their cats are of excellent health and de-prioritise to certain extent the appearance of the cat. There are still some cat breeds which are inherently unhealthy and this is unjustifiable in the 21st-century. Purebred cats should have a lifespan as long as random bred cats and they don’t; the simple reason being that they are selectively bred and therefore slightly less inherently healthy than random bred cats because of a narrow gene pool and an inclination to bring to the fore deleterious recessive genes which carry health implications.
A seventh resolution would be for the online press to act more responsibly in relation to reporting on domestic cat and feral cat stories. Online newspaper reporters often do not know that much about the domestic and feral cat and therefore when they recite information they recite it slightly inaccurately and sometimes in a unfortunately unhelpful manner which when combined with the hyping up of the story can lead to the dissemination of misinformation which can encourage people who do not like cats to behave badly towards cats. The online press should act responsibly towards the domestic cats just as owners should.
An eighth resolution would be for all scientific research papers to be properly vetted with respect to studies on cats by which I mean that it is essential that the scientists are not biased against cats and that they have some prior an in-depth knowledge about domestic cat behaviour. There are too many scientific reports which carry some weight and which are misleading, they distort the true facts and often they are about domestic cat predation. The domestic cat is inaccurately reported as being a vicious and nasty predator of birds by scientist then it only encourages others to behave badly towards the domestic cat to the detriment of the cat’s welfare. It does not help to present to the world scientific studies which are either deliberately biased or inadvertently a distortion of the truth.
Finally, a ninth resolution would be for somebody, somewhere; either the police or the major social media websites to squash out of existence nasty cat hating trolls who consistently and deliberately present distorted opinions about the domestic cat and in doing so insult people left, right and centre. They do this to deliberately provoke people and upset them. They can spoil the experience of some people in surfing the Internet. They do not bother me but I despise them and I would like to see them removed from the Internet once and for all.
Please add your suggestions. Feel free to do so. This article was dictated using Dragon Dictate and no reference was made to any book or webpage.
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