Tuesday 24 February 2009

The Maine Coon is Rare in England

A story about a stolen cat in Berkhamsted, England tells us that the Maine Coon is rare in England. When writing about the cat fancy and purebred cats one can get a bit blaisé about the wonderful cat breeds. And, of them all, the Maine Coon, the all American cat, is perhaps the most popular and attractive.

In this instance a large cat wondered into the home of a retired (aged 75) and rather sick gentleman. This cat was either a "time share" cat (sharing homes) or abandoned or he had just gone walkabout. I favor the first. Cats tend to migrate to the better places and this person clearly appreciated this straying cat. He named him Jezz. Jezz took care of the old man through 5 heart attacks and a stroke. Cats can be of great comfort to people. They are known to have beneficial effects on the health of people. Jezz, apparently is a Maine Coon cat. I have no idea if he is purebred or not.

Well, Jezz was stolen allegedly by a woman in a white van. Has Jezz been stolen? Is she just recovering her straying and wandering cat? And can we own cats, anyway? A pile of questions. Legally we own cats as objects (see Cats and the Law). Morally the law is stupid as it doesn't take into account the emotional ties. We don't "own" cats. We keep and care for cats; they are companion animals as humans are companion animals to the cat.

The relationship between Jezz and this ill man was how the relationship between human and domestic cat should be - supportive on both sides. The domestication of the cat can work and it can also fail as there are too many anbandoned, feral and euthanised cats (14 million cats destroyed). Yes, the Maine Coon is rare in England and such a relationship is quite rare too.

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