Friday, March 06, 2009

Cat in the World

My new cat is in to get fixed today, more specifically, getting some parts lopped off, as opposed to a repair.

As I stated in a previous post, this little bundle of black fur was rescued from the SPCA shelter where it had been abandoned. So in keeping with my philosophy of being responsible for my own pets, I brought him in for neutering and thereby doing my bit in reducing overpopulation. And also to ascertain my self-righteous stance regarding irresponsible and moronic idiots who let their pets proliferate unabated.

I understand their dilemma, mind you it's really a sorry-assed excuse for doing nothing, whereas who are we as humans to decide right to live upon wildlife? Yeah, right! The irresponsible pet owners don't want to fork over the cash to get their animals sorted out, that's what I think.

However, a thought about this whole wildlife thing pops into my head as I'm playing with my cat yesterday, but first, a little hindsight.

I'm using a bungee string to tease the cat into attacking, and trust me, it doesn't take much. More often than not, the cat is pawing and mewing at me to play with him.

Oddly enough, as with any child I suppose, the cat's coordination is getting better and better as I play with it. When I first got him, he'd chase a string and readily slam into adjacent walls. He'd leap and fall sideways and once fell plum on his back, to my greatest dismay! I figured there was something seriously wrong with this cat's sense of orientation. But In fact, all it took was a little playing.

His spatial perception is up to snuff now, as well as his motor control. He actually lands on his feet after jumping. He hasn't careened into any walls or furniture in a while either. It's really amazing how fast they learn. And I think he may be a south-paw.

I read in a cat-care book that cats need to play in order to develop these skills, whether with humans or with other cats for example. It is said that this chasing of strings, balls, mousy look-alikes and feathers on strings, among other things, is way for them to hone their hunting skills. Not that domesticated animals really need to hunt.

Then it comes to me.

I'm developing his hunting skills. Pause for thought.

Now I'm totally torn as to what to do! Certainly I want to keep playing with my cat. And he is very much a riot to watch. But how much intelligence should I put into all this playing?

It's one thing to play, "just 'cuz", but I realized that I would set up these scenarios for him, like hide the string just behind a blind corner, or have him jump from a running start to gain height, or not moving the ball on-a-string until I see him move, then make the ball escape, etc. You get the picture.

All of a sudden, I'm horrified to think that I'm contributing to developing a better hunter!

This is a problem.

I believe he'll be more successful at killing than if I leave well enough alone. I am sure of it. So some poor wildlife, or many wildlives, will die because of me and my cat! I am chagrined. On the other hand, better a clean kill than a maiming I suppose.

And then the real horror strikes me! I'm betting he'll want to show me his kills. Ick! I've created a monster, a very cute, soft, cuddly monster, but a monster nevertheless.

I wonder how cuddly he'll be with a mouth full of blood and claws clumped up with feather or fur.



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