Friday 28 May 2021

Read this if you are old and you might die and have full-time indoor cats

There is a story emerging from Spain which is a bit of troubling because I can see other households suffering the same outcome. In this instance an elderly Colombian lady, Clara Ines Tobon, who had lived in the northern Madrid neighbourhood of Fuencarral since 1996, died. She had some pet cats. We don't know how many. It is believed that she died three months ago. 

Some think that she died of Covid-19. The cause of death is unimportant. The important aspect of the story is that nobody knew about her death and she had some pet cats who appear to have been full-time indoor cats with no way of exiting her property. That is the way I have interpreted the story which I think is reasonable because the cats ate her in order to survive.

For illustration purposes only. Photo: Pixabay (modified)

The upper part of her body was partially eaten by her pet cats. They say that there were two surviving cats that were taken to an animal rescue centre. That statement implies that some of the cats did not survive but detail is missing in the story with respect to her domestic cats which is the part that interests me.

She obviously lived alone and appears to have done so for a very long time. So, under these circumstances it seems to me that a cat owner needs to have at least one friend who should be given instructions to come into the property if they do not receive a response to their phone call on a daily basis. Or perhaps it might be every couple of days. But there needs to be some method to notify a next-of-kin or friend that a cat owner has died in their home. And if not died, is injured and cannot move and therefore cannot feed the cats.

We don't know how commonplace this sort of story is but I would expect it to happen not to infrequently and it is a genuine risk because there are an increasing number of full-time indoor cats who don't necessarily have access to the outside. They are basically prisoners in their owner's home and therefore they rely upon the owner to be in a position to look after them. That is a position of responsibility and therefore they have a responsibility to think through what would happen if they should die. It takes proactive action.

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