Before I pass along the first reader-submitted Primal Rant of the new year, a short word on the tiger attack at the S.F. Zoo: And so the smear campaigning begins.
And now, back to our story:
Primal Rant: Don’t keep a cat if you’re going to neglect it!
Dear Gary: my Rant begins with a story:
There’s an unneutered tomcat missing from my neighborhood, a friend of mine I call Freeloader (because he’s been in the habit of coming around looking for a bite to eat, and trained me to feed him). His people live across the street, but he’s an outside kitty, and prefers my dog-free backyard for hanging out in.
Several nights ago, just before we were to leave on a short vacation, I saw Freeloader come up to the food dish 3-legged, not putting any weight on one front paw. He’d probably been fighting. I immediately sent my husband to fetch the owner, who came quickly. Then it got surreal. Freeloader has never been particularly affectionate, but always tolerates a few scratches from me. He wouldn’t come near his own human, though, and disappeared into the darkness. Owner shrugged, said he’s always like that, and he’d keep an eye out for the cat.
In the couple of days since we’ve been home, there’s been no sign of Freeloader. I took that for a good sign, assuming his people had caught him and got him treated at the vet. But no, come to chat them up, they saw him only once, in their own yard, in the last several days. He’s certainly not hanging around my yard. In fact, he’s simply disappeared. Another cat has moved in and taken over Freeloader’s prime sunning spot.
What on earth goes on in the minds of these people?! How can you keep a cat, and then neglect and/or distress it so that you have less of a relationship with it than your neighbors do? How can you KNOW your cat is injured, and just blow it off? My husband rightly reminds me that I can’t care for every cat in the world, but I feel guilty having gone on vacation and left poor Freeloader in the incompetent care of his people.
All you people out there who can see the owner’s point of view: Please Don’t Keep A Cat! It needs a better human owner than you.
Karen Locke, Santa Clara, Calif.
From time to time I’ll print someone’s “Primal Rant” here for your enlightenment. You can respond to these Rants and add your own comments by clicking on “leave a comment” below. If you’re really riled up about something relating to animals or the environment, send me your Primal Rant about it in an e-mail (put Primal Rant in the subject field) or letter.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters can be mailed to: Gary Bogue, Pet & Wildlife Columnist, Contra Costa Times, P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596-8099.
The Primal Rants printed here don’t necessarily reflect my own thoughts about a particular subject … but they might. Rants that are submitted may or may not be used. That’s up to me. At least you’ll feel much better after you write them. /gary