To the Editor,
Re: “SPCA to assume broader social role in future,” Jan.8
If the SPCA develops a social and educational role that teaches kindness and compassion towards vulnerable animals, a really good place to start is with cats, especially stray and feral felines. God knows it’s much needed.
Over the last four decades, I, always a cat enthusiast, have observed callous disregard, and sometimes even contempt, exhibited by individuals and the collective community toward these often suffering sentient beings.
I grew up knowing a few cat-haters willing to procure sick satisfaction from torturing to death those naively-trusting, sweet-natured cats whose owners had recklessly allowed them to wander the neighbourhood at night.
Also worrisome are the unfavourable attitudes toward cats openly expressed by some news-media commentators, whose views, however reckless, can be influential.
When a B.C. community newspaper editor wrote a column about courthouse protestors demanding justice in 2014 for a Sarnia, Ontario cat shot in the head 17 times with a pellet gun, destroying an eye, she declared: “Hey crazy people, it’s [just] a cat.”
Maybe the court also perceived it so, as the charges against the two adult perpetrators were dropped.
The above criticism of cats might reflect on why feral-cat trap/neuter/release programs, regardless of their documented success in reducing needless suffering, are typically underfunded by governments as well as private donors.
I fear a possible presumption of feline disposability, i.e. ‘there are a lot more whence they came’.
Only when overpopulations of unwanted cats are greatly reduced in number by responsible owners consistently spaying/neutering their felines, will this beautiful animal’s presence be truly appreciated, especially for the symbiotic, healthy relationships they offer their loving owners.
Frank Sterle Jr.,