Ban Cat Gobbling!
The community of Catalonia are right. Spearing bulls for the thrill of it is gory, cruel, and out of step with modern life. But though as humans we finally get it, you try convincing your cat.
You’ve seen them in action so you know what cats are like. Those same cute, cuddly creatures conceal a semi-secret life of catching and killing. Toying with birds and other beasties, cats drag their dainties around like trophies. Then, having tormented the little things, they present them at your feet as a gift.
Wagging a finger at your feline won’t work. Nor will blaming or growling, because with a cat-sized brain they just don’t get it. Instead, through charming eyes a cat will smile (note: that cats smile through their eyes because they lack lips to grin), giving you that canny cat look of innocence. After all, they’re only doing their genetically determined job. But that doesn’t prevent me wishing that cat gobbling would stop.
Now for those with florid minds, I’m not talking about people swallowing cats. That kind of “who is eating whom” confusion happened back in the ‘80s when Chernobyl children were taken to Britain for a break. Upon seeing cat and dog food lining the shelves in Tesco’s, they cried with terrified dismay (“You mean the British eat their pets?”).
Besides, who on earth could fancy gobbling down a mouthful of cat fur? Talk about hairballs… No, put that kind of cat gobbling out of your mind. We’re talking about the continuing battle of matador moggies and tiny creatures, and the cruelty we keep turning a blind eye to.
Are there any answers? Like Quasimodo, I’d like to shout “The bells! The bells!” But I know that’s only part of the story. Even with a clattering cowbell strapped to its neck, a well-fed tabby cat is still clever enough to catch and snack on a swallow before you can say “Watch out!” But bells do help give our feathered friends a fighting chance. Perhaps the main thing is to watch your cat when they’re not looking (a time consuming caper I know) and always, always, keep them in at night. That purring puss lying on your lap can turn into a mass murderer by nightfall unless you lock the cat door and call a cat curfew.
Should we stop our cats gobbling little critters? From a cruelty prevention point of view, it’s worth considering. Like the practice of bullfighting, it could take time for us cat owners to heed the call (face it: our predatory pets won’t put their paw to the pledge). But for the sake of nature, let’s reign in the gobbling and give wildlife a chance.
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