Is This Cat Abuse?

I think this story, that Dan kindly drew to my attention, is a subtle form of cat abuse despite the charitable aspect. I’ll agree it is a controversial topic but needs to be aired. Please go easy on me!

This is about a cat with a cleft palate or lip, I am not sure exactly what the medical problem is and neither it seems does the cat’s caretaker. I am surprised that there is lack of detail on the medical condition.

Ugly cat with a cleft palate
Quasi
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The condition makes the cat ‘ugly’ in human terms (other cats don’t see it that way). And the cat’s owner has used that ugliness to raise money for charity. I am very skeptical and would ask whether all the money raised – $4,000 –  has gone to charity. Let’s be realistic, a lot of charities are in fact businesses. I am not saying that is happening in this case.

The cat’s name is Quasi. I don’t know if Quasi is male of female. I guess he is male. The owner, Renee, has built a website around Quasi and sells items to raise money.

This is a way, using an animal, of raising money on the internet that is not uncommon nowadays and a lot of people find it very nice.

I don’t know if I am in the minority on this but I believe that Renee is exploiting her cat and  not showing enough respect for her cat. I am being honest but realise Renee will hate what I am saying if she finds out and other people too will probably shoot me down.

I am all for raising money for charity. PoC does that too. But I have this gut feeling that it would be more ethical if some of the money raised was used to improve Quasi’s condition if that is possible. It is not clear from Renee’s website if this has happened.

Quasi’s condition is more than a hair lip, a cosmetic condition. It seems to be a cleft palate. If I am correct this leaves a gap in the roof of the mouth and food can go up into it. It can be corrected with surgery. Martha Kane has a cat whose cleft palate was corrected with surgery.

A cleft palate is a birth defect of the nasal and oral cavaties. The palate bones fail to fuse together. This leaves an opening from the mouth to the nose which might be the cause of Quasi’s sinus problems. Sinus conditions can cause pain. Is Quasi in pain or discomfort?

To summarise a cleft palate is uncomfortable for a cat and it can be corrected. Martha Kane lives in Malta and she paid about $400 (USD) I recall. I may be wrong. It would probably cost more in the USA and there are risks associated with this sort of surgery such as infection.

But would it not be better to spend time and effort improving the life of Quasi first? There is no doubt that no matter how well you dress it up, exploiting ugliness in a cat is a form of cat abuse.

And, yes, before someone screams at me, I know money is raised for charities and Quasi was rescued from a shelter. That is good, very good. Praise is definitely due to Renee for that. I think she should also be gentle criticised for exploiting Quasi’s so called ugliness.

This aspect of this story is totally ignored by Catster.com who feature this cat. I don’t think it can be ignored and I believe that in not addressing this difficult aspect of this story they are doing the cat a disservice.

28 thoughts on “Is This Cat Abuse?”

  1. It sounds to me like you should take up a similar complaint with the SPCA and Sarah McLaughlin… and any other charity that uses any of its children or adults are affected with the disease in commercials or ads addressing why you should donate to the cause.

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  2. While I get what your trying to get at I think you should have thought about reaching out to Renee before making your assumptions. I think this is poor on your part to not getting all the facts before writing this piece. I know Renee her cause and care of her animals. You could not be more wrong and I think you should ask her yourself and write a follow-up piece. You dragged her through the mud with assumptions vs facts no thought to the consequences .

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  3. Please stop. I found this post this morning and pointed some friends to it, which is probably where the sudden interest is coming from; however, while I appreciate people defending me and Quasi, no one needs the back and forth name-calling and finger-pointing. You’re never going to agree. I don’t agree. I don’t care. I know about Quasi’s health and her home life and that she is perfectly fine without putting her through painful, and most importantly, unnecessary surgery. There are a couple things I would like to clear up though, since I was never given the chance to defend myself from the start:

    1) Quasi does not have a cleft pallet. She has a cleft lip. The difference being that there is no hole in the roof of her mouth and food does not travel anywhere other than through the digestive system. Her sneezing is similar to any other cat with a pushed in nose (e.g. Persian). Vets have not recommended any additional corrective actions and she does not have any difficultly eating or breathing.

    2) I’m hurt that people would think that I’m using her to scam people and pocket the money, but I am a skeptical person and have had the same questions regarding other similar charities. However, instead of publicly expressing that concern and possibly damaging donations that would have otherwise been made to the UglyKitty Fund, I would have preferred if you had contacted me first. I’d be happy to provide you with receipts, handwritten thank you cards, contact information for the shelters, or anything else that would help verify my credibility.

    If anyone would like to contact me directly to make a donation, ask a question, request proof of donations, or send me emails about what a horrible person I am, please address it to quasi@myuglykitty.com.

    Thank you.

    Love and paws,
    Renee and Quasi

    Reply
  4. I would argue that your blog or article is more abusive than any of your ‘concerns’ (re:veiled accusations). By creating doubt based simply on your gut feeling and skepticism you have accomplished two things.

    1. You have possibly damaged the ability of a charity to raise funds based on no actual evidence or information, just finger pointing and unfounded judgement.
    2. You have garnered interest and attention for yourself and your blog with disregard for the effect or consequence on others, including and most importantly the animals Renee uses her donations to assist.

    I do not need your vanilla response defending your right to attack others disguised as concern for animals. It seems clear to me that your primary concern is how many hits you receive by attacking someones motives based on no actual information. Pathetic

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    • It is not about hits. It is about the truth. Sure I want hits. But above that I want the truth and honesty and I genuinely don’t think this is an honest way to behave. It does not matter what you say. And I have the right to say what I like on my site and you are very lucky that I published your comment as you have insulted me.

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  5. FYI, when you write something like this: “I am very skeptical and would ask whether all the money raised – $4,000 – has gone to charity” … you ARE insinuating that the money doesn’t go to charity. So don’t pretend you’re not as people call you out on that.

    And I have to think every animal (and animal owner) who has benefitted from that $4,000 raised wouldn’t care whether it was raised by a “beautiful” pet picture or “ugly” pet picture — at the end of the day that money is doing good things for animals in need. That anyone would take the time to raise money on behalf of rescued animals should be applauded (kudos, Renee!). And that anybody would be critical of someone who clearly has nothing but the best intentions is really disappointing, to say the least.

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    • The truth is bigger than anything for me. And if she wanted to raise money for cats she can do it some other way. This is a cheap, abusive way of doing it as far as I am concerned.

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      • Not sure what truth you are looking for, since it all seems to be out there, and you seem to be in the wrong with regard to your accusations. (It’s OK to admit mistakes! You’re not running for president and nobody is going to accuse you of flip-flopping or anything… you can do it!)

        And you are WAY too flippant with the word “abusive.”

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        • I genuinely believe it is a mild abuse of the cat to do what she did. It is certainly disrespectful of the cat. You would not do that with a child or a friend. Because a cat has no voice and can’t object you can do as you please. You cannot present ugliness as some sort of celebrity selling point to raise money. It is disrespectful.

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  6. Are you CRAZY!? Could you not find anything else to write about in your blog!? One, Quasi is a female. I would assume you could guess that since you guess/assume everything else about the cat’s quality of life and medical status. Two, Quasi is a very loved and well taken care of kitty. How do I know…I have been around since day one that Quasi was adopted by Renee. She has done everything to ensure the cat is healthy and loved. And let me assure you every penny raised for charity has gone to charity. Quasi inspires Renee on a daily basis to create art work that is unique and has personality, just like Quasi! Quasi gets more love and attention than you could ever imagine.I am appalled at your verbal attack of my friend and her cat! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF for putting down someone who has gone out of her way to care for animals that need a home! All of Renee’s pets have been adopted from shelters or rescues. She lovingly brings these animals into her home and family regardless of their medical needs, conditions, or special personalities. You should be more careful what you write about and realize that your words are really hurtful especially when all your accusations are completely false!

    Reply
    • I am nor crazy. Are you crazy? I am not accusing anyone of anything. I am asking a question (in case you did not spot it) and discussing an important point. I am not ashamed and I am not wrong. I will stick by what I say. If you don’t understand what I say, I am sorry for you. You could be more polite. If anyone uses for whatever purpose a disability or defect in anatomy, it is wrong morally. I would like you to think about that statement before ranting away at me. It does not matter if all the money is used for charity. If you were a mother and had a child who has a cleft palate would use your child’s condition to raise money? I don’t think you would. Why should a cat that is loved and a member of a family be different?

      You have an attitude that treats the cat as a second class animal. Typical. Do you have a cat? Do you declaw your cat? Do you believe in declawing? I just set higher standards than you.

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      • Michael you’re an ignorant dumbass on this matter and have no knowledge as to the circumstances of Quasi’s life before adoption. Besides your high standards in your opinions don’t get you much positive publicity and in return you must have an unsatisfying vocation just so you can keep your lack of knowledge opinions going on the Internet. Famous writers have more respect than you Sir.

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        • My article asked a question for God’s sake and I went very gently on the subject so why the hell you are coming at me so heavy-handedly is beyond me. Why don’t you try and say what you want to say politely? It helps. It works better.

          I am entitled to my opinion. I will continue to state it.

          Why don’t you write a counter article? You explain the background etc.. Then I’ll publish it. That is fair.

          Reply

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