The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #105409   Message #2171371
Posted By: Ruth Archer
15-Oct-07 - 04:54 AM
Thread Name: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
there are two sides to the "to cage or not to cage?" debate. On the one hand, I've always felt similarly to the people who say it's not fair to keep a roaming animal inside...and I've never understood the compulsion to keep things like birds, rabbits, guinea pigs etc in cages. The rabbit hutch was invented when rabbits were a major food source, both to protect them from predators but also, like the veal crate, to keep them from getting too much excercise so that the meat would be nicer. This is an appropriate environment for a pet that you "love"?

I lost our gorgeous little tortoiseshell cat, Bumblebee, at only 7 months old(small village, driver going too fast - you know the deal). But she was a farm cat, and roaming was in her genes - it would have been cruel to keep her in.

On the other hand, there is the effect on the local wildlife (next door's cat has decided it likes us, so has begun bringing us sparrows, field mice, etc and laying them thoughtfully on the door mat). I have heard it suggested that cats ought to wear a bell, to warn the prey, but also that a cat's ears are so sensitive that this drives them nuts.

Then there is the oblivion some cat owners seem to feel about their cats being a nuisance in the neighbourhood, though this usually comes from people having more pets than is really sensible. I had a neighbour across the road who had 7 cats, and because she kept a litterbox in the house, and the cats never fouled HER garden, she blithely assumed they weren't bothering anyone else. Well, cats apparently don't foul in their own gardens if they have an alternative, and they did - mine. Again, it's not such a huge issue if you're only talking about one cat, but when it's that many, gardening is no longer pleasant - it's like emptying one big litter tray every Saturday. Disgusting.

So there's no easy answer - but Leadbelly, I can sympathise with your loss. It's worse when they're young, somehow...you feel like they were only babies, and you've let them down.