[DWJ] Naming a cat AND Where are we from?

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Apr 18 18:10:46 EDT 2007

>> Mark Allums wrote
>>> There are groups who capture wild cats, spay or neuter them, and
>>> release them.  I find this practice odd.

>Dorian E. Gray wrote:

>> Why do you find it odd?  It seems quite sensible to me to prevent
>> wild/feral cats from adding to their population.  Just killing them
>> seems needlessly cruel, and then you have the problem of disposing of
>> the corpses - I should think it's probably cheaper and simpler to just
>> neuter/spay them and let them go again.

There is going to be a corpse eventually whether you do or you don't,
actually, and I never found out where the Venetian cats went to die,
because I never saw a feline cadaver there, even in a canal.  (By the way,
cats can and do carry rabies: don't cosy up to the cats in Venice, you may
really wish you hadn't if you get bitten, is the advice I have been given.)

Mark responded:

>I figure that if you have gone to the trouble to trap a cat, you
>probably should (properly!) humanely euthanise it.

Euthanise is euphemism.  "Kill" is the word we need here.  (Even if the
verb existed, which I'm not sure it does, it's just an attempt to avoid
using nasty words like kill.  In any case, "euthanasia" means "humane
killing".  What, me, a pedant?  Never!)

I think that it would depend on a number of factors, and would be a
decision to be made on a cat-by-cat basis.

I am not convinced that not being "owned" by a human being is misery for a
cat, for instance.  A cat that has been raised by a feral cat, or is the
product of a line of feral cats, simply would not stay with a human
household except under compulsion, and is likely to be acutely unhappy in
what it would see as captivity.  It will also be a pain to try to make a
"pet" of, both figuratively and literally, chances are.  (I have watched
the misery this can cause to both cat and would-be rescuer, more than
once.)  The best that human intervention in its life could provide would be
what my farming friends call "barn cat" status: shelter available, a
certain amount of food provided once a day, but humans minding their own
business and keeping their interference in its life to a minimum.  So a
young and healthy feral cat might prefer death to captivity, but why should
it be killed if it's having a good time without being someone's pet?

I am not convinced that a diseased feral cat should be put back out into
the streets to fend for itself.  If the trapped cat is found to be
seriously diseased than killing it is probably the less-cruel option.

If the area has a stable population of feral cats, a cull won't reduce the
numbers in the long term, but it may prevent a slow and miserable decline
and death for the diseased individuals killed after being trapped.

I would be in favour of preventing feral cats from breeding, on the whole,
not for the sake of the cats but for the sake of the people in the area.
One can have too many cats.  No, really, one can!  But do let's admit that
this is not because we are so sorry for the poor little puddy-tats, it's
because they are a blasted nuisance to us.  (I never met a sentimental cat,
and I absolutely refuse to be sentimental about cats.  They wouldn't thank
me, they'd just think I was a sucker.)

>I think it is less cruel than turning it loose.

That I would agree with if it were not that healthy feral cats are actually
very good at looking after themselves, so long as they have been born that
way; the life of a de-clawed stray is likely to be short and very unhappy
indeed, but that is because of its having been cruelly mutilated before it
was abandoned.  I'm with Pterry about the hell that is deserved by some

>I am expecting to be told off for saying
>so.  But there are issues with any course of action, if you choose not
>to decide, you still have made a choice.

Ask me about one cat at a time, in one place at a time; I'm not prepared to
generalise any further than I already have!  Given a particular cat I'll
make my choice about its fate.

>I love cats.

Some cats I love, to some cats I am indifferent, some I regard as suitable
candidates for the nearest skip.  (I think that's dumpster in USian.)  Much
the way I feel about any other sort of person, really.  :-)

>Mark Allums, wishing I hadn't brought it up

I shouldn't worry: chances are the brickbats will be coming my way too
after that lot!

Hard-Hearted Hannah^W Minnow

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