I’ve just come across a really thorough, sensitive blog written by a lady called Pamela. She deals with all kinds of feline issues, and give some guidance on how to deal with them. She clearly understands cats very well, and takes a balanced, respectful approach to their wellbeing. I think it’s a very good resource.
I was reading a rather amusing blog recently. It was done in a tongue in cheek preacher style from the point of view of a domestic cat. It was a really nice concept, nicely illustrated with pics of the cat in question and very well observed. However, I realised after reading a few posts that the cat and his two siblings are not allowed any actual freedom. Now, I realise this is probably going to open up a whole can of worms, but here goes. It is quite clear that the blogger realllllly loves her cats, to the extent that she thinks that it is morally wrong to let the cat go outdoors without some form of protection, and she gave examples such as leashes, carriers or enclosures.
I love my cats. And I’m pretty sure as cat-love goes, they love me too. (Mojo has just jumped on the keyboard, sorry for any typos in this section). But while I want to ensure that they are happy and healthy, and will do as much as I can to make that possible, I just don’t think I could do that to the extent where they were never allowed to leave the house unsupervised.
Am I alone here? Is it right or wrong to keep what is ostensibly a wild animal with a thin veneer of domesticity imprisoned in an attempt to prolong a life confined to house arrest?
I’ve also got children. And while I give them the protection that they need at a young age, I feel that it is my obligation to gradually expose them to the notion of freedom and responsibility for oneself. Same goes for kittens. If I wrapped them in cotton wool for the rest of their lives, who would I be helping?
I wonder if the kind of smother love that the blogger was describing was a (possibly sub-conscious) way of self-preservation rather than cat-preservation. After all, we do suffer terribly when we lose a pet. So maybe, this idea of trying to eliminate all risk from the cat’s life is an attempt to avoid that inevitable loss. We do try to avoid pain. But somehow, this seems to be at the risk of reducing the quality of life of the creature the blogger professes to love? And there’s an evangelical quality about it too – there is clearly a belief that ALL domestic cats should be kept in such ‘safe conditions’. Examples of cats going about their business – gasp, shock! – WITHOUT a harness!!! – are held up as sinful and irresponsible behaviour on the part of the people in question.
Look, I worry about my cats. I worry about my kids. I worry about my husband when he has a long drive to go on and I’m reasonably sure he’ll do it as close to the speed limit as he can. But it’s not going to change anything, is it? I can’t (and definitely wouldn’t want to!) keep them in the house all the time. And I’m sure that the blogger would argue that the cat could be attacked by dogs, run over by cars or catch something nasty from another cat. Ya know what? All of those things and much worse happen to people everyday. But we still let them out!
It takes all sorts, I guess. And I have to confess that we bought a house in a cul de sac because there is less traffic, making it safer. But I like to think that my cats – and in time, my children – will go out, do their thing, and then come back because this is a place that they see as their home, not their prison.
Magic Mojo and friends have been at it again…
Ok, here’s another one. Do cats’ ears go bald with age? I remember once hearing a segment on BBC Radio Ulster and the guy was joking about having discovered a new breed, which he was calling the Balduggan Bald Earred cat. Basically, his cat was getting on, and its ears went bald. Is this a known phenomenon? Mojo’s ears are going bald. We don’t know how old he is. (There are many things we don’t know about him!) He doesn’t have any mites or anything. Just balding ears.
I’m just back from Earl’s Court in London, and I just wanted to say an ENORMOUS thank you (with whiskers on!) to the readers of this blog who came to see us! It’s really nice to meet all those people who understand the value of a good Cat About the House!
Another thing that never ceases to amaze me is the number of men who find our cat cards funny – I’m not sure why I find it surprising. I just always think that women are more likely to like cats and men more likely to like dogs. Please feel free to correct me. This may be a totally mistaken assumption. Or maybe (as it is in our house!) men are more likely to resist the gentle, delicate advances of a cat in favour of the more robust and rambunctious nature of dogs. Logically, of course, I know that there are plenty of women who prefer dogs to cats, so statistically, the reverse may be true for men. Again, I’d be grateful if anyone can either support or dismiss these theories!
So, for now, it’s back to the mac. Parker has positioned herself between the keyboard and the screen as usual. An atypical cat and mouse scenario! If anyone is going to Spring Fair, we’ll be there too. Hall 3, QQ51. Will try to get some more new designs done to keep you amused – I’ll see how my furry bosses feel about it all at the weekend. Gotta work in with nap times, ya know! Sleepy cats do not make good models.
Mojo, as we know is a superstar – evidence available at this link: Magic Mojo
Mr Stripey Pants really wants to be centre stage though. Problem is, much as I love Mr Stripey Pants, he’s just not as good looking on camera as Mojo. Not that Mojo’s particularly good looking. If he were an actor, he might be more of a Benicio Del Toro than a Johnny Depp. Stripey, on the other hand, is more like….The skinny guy from The Office?
So how do you break it to a cat that he’d better not give up the day job (licking, eating, sleeping etc?). He’s 10 years old now – I don’t think he’s going to get any better looking!!