Many cat owners are sensitive people but every cat owner is not a sensitive person. I have observed that there are so many cat owners in the world who only need a cat because they have no cat at home. And I am typically talking about this issue in my essays regarding Pakistan’s cat owners. I have no idea about the cat owners of the West or other Eastern countries.
Every day I go out (if I am not sick), me and my wife, together. We ride on bikes or just have a long walk. We observe the feral cats. Feral cats are considered the left-over of a chicken roast plate. As we have a dinner of roast chicken, the meat is eaten by us and the bones are left of no use. I feel that the feral cats are treated in the same way as we treat our left-over meals. A part of garbage for the bin.
No one is serious about feeding them, to provide a small area (shelter) to them and to provide, at least, water to them. But when it comes to have a goat, cow or hen, everyone wishes to have more than one. But cats are never thought to be as pets. Especially, to adopt a feral cat is considered to be the dirtiest job in the culture of Pakistan.
We as Pakistanis (I am not talking about Moslems) think in the same way about dogs. We have our own conceptions about cats and dogs which are not related to Islam. These theories are self made or maybe cultural orthodox myths or fairy tales told to us by our ancestors.
Pakistan is a rich country but it is kept poor intentionally by the politicians and other policy makers. The country never announced any welfare aspects about cats and dogs. It is the same as (or indeed worse than) Australia. We don’t want cats in the streets or free roaming outside in our backyards or front lawns. We just harm them, kill them, poison them or just beat them.
The basic reason is, that we don’t want them. The rich get a cat or two and they also have dogs as pets but the middle class; we have never heard of them with a cat or dog. Most people will think that the middle class of Pakistan is poor. No, not at all. This class is also richer than any simple jobless person in Pakistan. You can estimate the richness through this fact that a family of six (father, mother, four children) can survive within a budget of 45,000 rupees a month and a middle class earning person earns more than 70,000 rupees a month (684 USD). I don’t know how they do it? But this is a true figure estimate which I am sharing with this article of mine.
I myself have started to do teaching for 2 months to meet the needs of my feral colony which has shrunk to 16 cats now and the kittens have been murdered by the local population devils. I have a plan but it will take time. On thr one hand I have to meet the feeding requirements of my cats and on the other to look after my own family. Still me and Khadija are doing our best to protect the remaining ones and daily I give an hour to make something better for them.
When I closely approach a cat which is unknown to me and the cat comes closer to me, children watch the act very carefully, but what they do is very wrong. They just catch free roaming kittens from somewhere and when the kitten bites or scratches, it is killed by the child, because the child gets angry from the bite or scratch. To do something good is to be appreciated but to become cruel in response is intolerable.
The parents are not willing to let their children have a cat or kitten, even not outside in the terrace or yard. The main reason is not fear of cats but a hatred of cats is the main reason. They believe that a cat is the dirtiest and selfish animal. It will never be socialized or it can never be tamed. The ignorance level is too high in the country that even scholars of Islam here don’t have any pet cats in their living area and they have never preached to people to be gentle with animals.
If you are living in this kind of a society and are one of the feeders or caretakers of these tiny friends, how can you even imagine to be involved in their welfare?
But the welfare goes on … and I will stand for them. Whether the circumstances are good or bad, I will not leave my cats and I am sure one day not all of them but my colony cats will take a good rest and relax in a place on my terrace and we as caretakers will prove this cruel human population that not only us but every one in the world can take such steps to protect the beauty of the nature, if we are willing to do so.