Kathryn Lindsay writing on the refinery29 website and published on msn lifestyle website gives me the impression that she is shocked at the fact that in the new Netflix documentary ‘Miss America’ Taylor Swift is seen shaking out a pile of dry cat food for her cat Olivia at the table where she is eating with her childhood best friend Abigail Anderson Lucier.
Shock horror. A cat eating on the same table as a human. Olivia is not actually on the table but reaches onto it to eat her food.
‘Okay, that’s dinner’, declares Swift to Olivia as she sits across the table and enjoys her pasta.
In italics, for emphasis, Kathryn Lindsay writes, ‘while a cat literally on the table next to them eating food. Without a plate!’.
There is a human predisposition to assume that animals spread disease to humans at a far greater rate than humans spread disease to humans. Yet, nearly all cat diseases are limited to cats. They cannot jump the species barrier and infect humans. But humans obviously can and frequently do infect other humans. Therefore Abigail is potentially much more of a threat to Swift than Olivia. Perhaps Olivia should be at the table and Abigail should be on the floor. Just kidding.
It is time to get real. This misconception about cats spreading disease is a result of human arrogance. Humans believe that they are more perfect than cats. Cats are animals and humans are, well..humans and superior. Humans are more hygienic and cleaner than cats? No. The fact is that humans are human-animals and there are very few zoonotic diseases. I would argue that Swift had more chance of getting an infection from Abigail than Olivia. Now that’s shocking.
A final note. Olivia is a Scottish Fold purebred cat. There is an argument that says that Scottish Folds should not be bred because when bred poorly the cat can suffer inherited health conditions associated with the flat ears which are due to cartilage defects. However, Taylor Swift does a lot to raise the public profile of domestic cats for which I thank her. She loves cats and she has more than 80 million Twitter followers. She should use that power to promote cat welfare. I’d like to see her do that more often.
SOME MORE ON ZOONOTIC DISEASES:
British laissez-faire attitude towards letting their cat go outside is under scrutiny due to Covid-19