Saturday 4 February 2023

A pathetic reason for giving up a cat to a shelter or they lied

This story on social media irritated me. All I have is the headline. And it is this: "This cat was handed into my shelter for eating the family hamster". I think that is a pathetic reason for giving up on your cat and putting them in jeopardy (unless they lied). 

Putting a cat into a shelter does indeed put them in jeopardy because it depends upon another person coming along to adopt him or her. If they don't, they are in dangerous territory; they can be euthanised.

So why is the reason for relinquishment pathetic? The people who adopted the cat in the first place either had a hamster at that time or they bought a hamster while they had their cat. Either way, they knew that there would be a danger of their cat attacking the hamster. 

A pathetic reason for giving up a cat to a shelter or they lied
A pathetic reason for giving up a cat to a shelter or they lied. Image: skeletonclock on

They created the conditions under which their cat eventually did attack and kill the family hamster.

If fault is to be apportioned it goes a hundred percent to the human care givers. The cat was simply behaving instinctively and naturally. I don't need to go on about this because it's obviously wrong for the owners to give up their cat for this reason. It is also obviously wrong for them to place a cat and hamster together.

I'm not saying it was deliberate. It can't have been but it was due to carelessness in some shape or form. Perhaps the hamster escaped their cage. Perhaps the owner was playing with the hamster and it jumped off onto the ground and their cat was not too far away and attacked it.

No matter how you interpret it the problem always goes back to humans. It is probably fair to say that every time a domestic cat is relinquished to a shelter the underlying problem is human behaviour. The only time that it can't be is if the cat is mentally ill, otherwise it is instinctive feline behaviour reacting to human-made circumstances.

There are very, very few mentally ill domestic cats requiring drug treatment of some sort. Rather sadly, the person who posted on social media completed their title with the word "Reckon she did it?" It's irrelevant except to say that the owners might have made up the story in order to give up their cat.

That wouldn't surprise me one bit. Perhaps it's a very good question. People like to make up stories when they walk into a shelter with their cat to give them up. They want to divert attention away from their mistakes and inability to care for a cat. If they did lie, they fabricated a silly excuse.

Everybody knows that when you adopt a cat you do so for the life of the cat unless some extraordinary and exceptional circumstance intervenes. That's the target. And there will be ups and downs. There will be difficult moments. There will be times when you want to give up your cat (maybe).

But just like a marriage between man and wife or man and man or woman and woman, you make sure that you go through those moments and sort them out. Often when you come out the other side the relationship has improved.

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