To (some) cat lovers
1. The kindest thing you can do to a wandering cat if it is clearly not starved or neglected and it is not your cat is to not feed it. Try to differentiate between a cat that is starved/ malnourished or neglected (Clue: They look ill and your heart will hurt and gut will pull in a way that is not pleasant), and a cat that will just keep on eating just because it can.
2. It’s not difficult to train a cat when food is used. What is difficult is placing your desires and needs in front of what is the right thing to do with a cat that does not belong to you. Eventually, a cat will return home if it is not being offered food and shelter somewhere else.
3. For the love of God, cats are easily swayed by food and comfort. You will come across, of course, as kind and good, feeding these moggies and spending your brownie points like loose change with the karmic debt collector.
4. The reason why you feed it is because you want it to stay, as It keeps you or and X,Y,Z happy.
5. In doing so you make the cat’s lifestyle more complex, and if they are attached to another home, more difficult.
6. Cat or animal lovers will constantly tell you that their pet is one and part of the family. The death of a pet is an agonizing experience and mourning for a lost animal is definitely on a par with losing a relative or dear friend. Some will not recover from pet loss for many years. Some will tell you that they could never grieve as strongly for a member of their family as they could for their pet. They have a connection with their pet that is unspeakable and precious and a gift not every human possesses.
However, spare a thought. For some cat lovers out there who, when they take in a pet, (lets be clear, I’m excluding those cat lovers who rescue cats from intolerable conditions), feed it, (that very act is the commencement of ‘training it’), and then get upset and try to roadblock the return of the cat to its home and rightful owners, these cat lovers can’t join up the final set of dots and become amazingly emotionally short sighted on the strong parallels between losing a pet and losing a member of one’s family because these are feelings that exist outside of their own sphere. If they did, it would make them think twice about their actions.
Substitute the cat for a small child. I can hear breath being drawn here, but remember? A pet is a member of the family. And when you see it like that; full marks for the initial rescue but we now have a family determined to keep hold of a child because they befriended the child, fed the child and gave the child warmth and shelter and because that child has now made itself at home, it’s real family should no longer own it because it’s now comfortable with its new family…and that would really, really upset new family…
7. Cats anyway spend most of their time trying to work out how to kill you, the existing or the rightful owner. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/11968457/Is-your-cat-really-trying-to-work-out-how-to-kill-you.html So they don’t really love you. Sorry.
8. Of course, ultimately, a cat has free will and will exercise it, unless they’re cat-napped.
9. It is possible to keep a stray cat from entering through the catflap. If it were a rat, a badger or a fox trying to enter, they’d be on the case.
10. Batting back the tears that well in her eyes from time to time, my youngest says of her absent moggie, “…as long as he’s happy…”
Aww. Now there’s true love.