LETTER: SPCA should demand more respect for cats

Letter writer says cats don’t get enough credit for being good pets

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.,

White Rock

BCSPCA

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