If you want to get good and depressed, check out the free section on Kijiji.ca. I recently took a browse through there hoping to find a cheap dresser – apparently I have way too many clothes – but immediately became sidetracked by the overwhelming number of cats and kittens listed as “free to a good home.” Such advertisements probably amount to at least 30 percent of the free space. I was so dismayed, I even took this screen shot to show you.
Right after doing so I threw a blanket over my head and cried.
The current cat situation is just… I don’t even know. I mean, after seeing the HBO movie One Nation Under Dog on the weekend I realized the dog situation is even worse than I thought. And I’d thought it was pretty freaking bad. If dogs are still being left to die on the street in North America, if the animals our society actually kinda values are still treated like garbage, how much more awful is it for cats?
I know for a fact my municipality doesn’t give a rat’s ass about felines. Wait, I am wrong, that is exactly what they give. Cats in this community are on the level of vermin. They have no protection in our by-laws whatsoever. The only mention has to do with nuisance issues. Cats only factor in slightly higher than mice, just below pigeons. Maybe one step higher than mosquitoes, but certainly well below raccoons.
Okay, I am being slightly facetious. I hardly believe there should be a hierarchy of animals in the human value system. But when the zero dollar worth we attribute to cats is so blatantly displayed as it was in the Kijiji ads, it makes me a little crazy. I don’t think it needs to be said – but I’ll say it anyway - I saw no free dog ads in my search.
What does “free to a good home” even mean? How does a potential cat owner prove oneself? If no money changes hands, no papers are signed, it’s not like they owe anyone anything. In my opinion a good home for a cat is one which will at least get said cat spayed or neutered, on top of the usual food, water, shelter requirements.
I’ll admit freely, I am guilty of spending more time and money on my dog than on my cat. It’s not fair in the slightest. The manager of the pet store even brought it up when I was talking to him about food. He said he is always stunned when people bring the most expensive raw dog food up to the counter and then place a bag of Friskies beside it.
There are historical reasons for this, obviously. Dogs have been domesticated much longer than cats. Dogs are our friends, our helpers, our protectors. Originally, we only kept cats because they killed the things we didn’t want around. Selective breeding in dogs has been a practice for centuries. Most cat breeds are less than thirty years old and the breeds are based almost solely on appearance.
Yes, I know. I’ve droned on and on about the plight of cats many times before. Maybe it’s partly guilt for ignorantly disliking them for so long, maybe I just hope if I keep talking about them I’ll come up with a world-changing solution. But how does one raise the value of an entire species when we can’t even get people to stop hating on dogs with square heads?
This post was a lot less useful than I wanted it to be. I promise there will be at least ten percent less complaining tomorrow.