Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts

Saturday 9 September 2023

Animal shelter is heartbroken at the prospect of splitting up mum and daughter cats but should they be?

The news media reports that staff at an animal charity in Warrington, Warrington Animal Welfare, say that they are going to be heartbroken if a mother and daughter duo, Isobelle and Phoebewho have lived at the shelter for a considerable time, are split up. 

The pair are aged four and two respectively. They say that they are the longest staying shelter cats at their rescue and if they can't be rehomed together there may have to be split up and rehomed separately.

Animal shelter is heartbroken at the prospect of splitting up mum and daughter cats but should they be?
Isobelle and Phoebe at Warrington Animal Welfare. Photos by the rescue.

But if they are rehomed separately the staff at the shelter would be upset. But I question whether they should be upset because in the natural course of events, daughters and sons of parent cats become independent at a certain point in time. 

In the wild, they would leave the natal range and find their own home range and thereby find their own home. They would become independent at a certain age after their mother had shown them how to kill prey and bring it back to the den.

So, my argument is that splitting up mother and daughter is not such a big deal as the shelter staff think it would be. I don't think the daughter would be particularly upset and neither would the mother unless there is a particularly close bond between the two for whatever reason but that, I believe, is unlikely.

You get a similar story with siblings. Some people think that siblings should stay together at the shelter and be rehomed together. But the truth is that if they are adopted by somebody before they become fully independent, when they become independent, they might start fighting each other. You can't automatically presume that siblings will get along well. They might but they might not.

Thursday 13 July 2023

Shocking video footage shows a male teenager hurling a cat off a quarry ledge to water hundreds of feet below

NEWS AND VIEWS: This is another one of those sick videos. Made doubly sick by the fact that the young man who throws the domestic cat off a cliff into water hundreds of feet below allowed himself to be videoed by his friend and then they upload the video to the Internet. These are young people who simply do not have a moral compass. Nobody has taught them the difference between right and wrong. Nobody has taught them about criminal behaviour, about animal sentience, about pain and distress that can be suffered by animals under the circumstances that they have created.

UPDATE 17th July 2023: The police say that the event took place some time ago and the cat was dead when the man threw it off the cliff. No crime was committed.

18-year-old male throws cat off the edge of a cliff to water hundreds of feet below in a quarry
18-year-old male throws cat off the edge of a cliff to water hundreds of feet below in a quarry. Image is a video screenshot.

They are entirely ignorant and it is a shocking reflection, in my view, of broken Britain which includes broken parenting. This is an abject failure in parenting. And so often the victim of this miscreant, criminal behaviour is the domestic cat because they happen to be there. They are available as victims. It's just pure bad luck. The cat is no doubt trusting of this person. They allowed themselves to be picked up (or the man killed the cat beforehand).

Domestic cats should not trust people that they don't know because they can be untrustworthy. The story is all over the Internet and there is a video which I will not put on this webpage. The pictures at the beginning of the article are screenshots from the video. They are adequate to tell the story.

The young man appears to be holding a black-and-white cat in one hand before hurling it over the ledge and watching the cat as it falls into the water far below. He says "I'm sorry" before throwing the animal. Another bizarre aspect of this video and of his behaviour. If he is sorry for what he is about to do why do it? Mixed up kid, right?

A second young person is watching in the background. A third person recorded the video and we can hear him laughing while he records it. That, too, is very typical of this form of highly ignorant behaviour.

As expected, there has been a huge backlash online from decent-minded people who simply scratch their heads and ask how could the person do it. One person remarked that it was "absolutely disgusting [and that it] makes me feel sick".

Lancashire police (the North of England) responded to the video clip and posted: "Thanks for flagging. We are aware and we are looking into the incident and where it happened."

A spokesperson for the police force said: "We are aware of a video which has been posted on social media which appears to show an act of cruelty to a cat in the Carnforth area. This is a matter which we are investigating. We are establishing the exact circumstances and where it happened. Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting log 1803 of July 10, 2023."

No one knows whether the animal survived while others speculated that the animal may have been dead before he threw him/her over the edge of the cliff.

Later, the police confirmed that they had made an arrest. They said: "Further to our earlier post about a video of a cat appearing to be thrown from a cliff into water, we can confirm a man has been arrested. An 18-year-old man from Carnforth has been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and is in custody."

Thursday 6 July 2023

Parents should instill in their children confidence and humility to be sensitive to animal welfare

 This is a short note on a subject which might be obvious to many people but despite that I think that it needs to be stated clearly. I've seen many pictures of sport hunters smiling to the camera with their rifle in front of them together with the iconic, large animal that they have shot dead. They seem proud of themselves, oblivious to the pain and distress they've caused for their entertainment.

Parents should instill in their children confidence and humility to be sensitive to animal welfare
Parents should instill in their children confidence and humility to be sensitive to animal welfare. Image: MikeB

They are obscene pictures. This sport hunter is often a man but not always. Whether they are a man or a woman they are invariably confident individuals, certain in what they are doing.

When their confidence leaks into arrogance and you combine arrogance with ignorance you have a very human-centric person who is able to shoot an animal dead and in doing so cause a lot of pain and distress. Arrogance in the human leads to insensitivity towards animal welfare.

Human-centric attitudes are also described as anthropocentric attitudes. The dictionary definition of anthropocentric is: "regarding humankind as the central or most important element of existence, especially as opposed to God or animals."

Armed with that attitude people can look down on animals. When you look down on animals as secondary creatures in terms of value you engage in an extreme form of speciesism which allows you to abuse animals and believe that they are non-sentient.

In believing that they are non-sentient or being careless or reckless as to whether they are or are not, you are able to cause them pain.

But this attitude stems from confidence without humility. Confident people need to understand the meaning of humility and its advantages. They should be modest about themselves. In being modest they can temper that confidence and understand that animals have rights, sometimes equal rights or they should do.

The dictionary definition of 'humility': the quality of having a modest or low view of one's importance.

Confidence with humility is a barrier to an anthropocentric attitude towards the planet. This is so important for animal welfare. Every sport hunters need a heavy dose of humility. If they had suffered early in their lives and been brought down; made vulnerable by a circumstance or an event it would have knocked that arrogance out of them. They would then understand better the position of animals on this planet.

The world can do without anthropocentric, arrogant people who are ignorant about animal welfare without realising it.

P.S. Kids need confidence in order to made headway in the world when adults. Life is much harder for a young person if they lack confidence. 

Saturday 24 June 2023

Kids pretending to be cats are taking over the classroom in wokery nonsense but there are serious undertones

 The argument from the right-wing is that pupils pretending to be cats are taking over the classroom and undermining the teacher who's probably too sensitive to the woke movement. They've allowed kids to become furries and in doing so undermined their authority. It's worse. One teacher admonished another for refusing to accept the concept of gender spectrum (non-binary). This is a merging of two wokery movements. 

Note: there is a wide spectrum of sexuality to which we must be enlightened and sensitive but I believe - without being disrespectful - that there are two sexes. Sex is biological. All the rest is in the head.

This is impossible and it must be stopped with firm leadership and guidance from parents initially and supported by teachers. Image: DALLE-E.

One girl self-identifies as a male cat and insisted on being addressed as 'kit'. The girl had merged the furries movement with the trans gender movement. Highly complicated and confusing. The culture becomes very fraught.

It disrupts the classroom and the education process. The UK education secretary, Gillian Keegan, has said that it is silly for pupils to self-identify as an animal. She takes the common-sense viewpoint. I feel sure that most Brits would agree with her. But is it just silliness? It may be a symptom of much more troubling mental processes in pupils and girls in particular. Too many are suicidal.

In Britain the classroom is becoming an impossible place for teachers which is why huge numbers are thinking of quitting.  It is a disturbingly high percentage. According to the BBC four out of ten teachers are planning to leave the profession! It is a catastrophe. The British education system is in a silent crisis and it is deteriorating. You can add inflation into the mix. Teachers have been striking for a huge pay increase. This is partly due to the difficulties of the job. Who'd be a teacher in Britain?

It will need a much firmer approach from heads and teachers. I'll be sexist and state that there needs to be more men in teaching. There are far less nowadays than in the past. In 2021/22, 75.5% of school teachers were women. Women have moved into teaching believing that it will suit them but no clearly not for a huge percentage.

They can be too gentle. Perhaps they sometimes lack sufficient confidence to stamp their authority over the classroom. That said the teachers are asking for guidance from the Dept. of Education on how to deal with this problem. Keegan will provide it, she says.

To be fair, it is very difficult for a teacher to deal with a child who wants to identify as a cat because of the modern snowflake culture. If teachers are too firm with pupils they can get into trouble when the child complains to their parents who then complain to the head teacher. It is toxic.

Teachers are having to be surrogate parents as parents abdicate their duties. Too many are capitulating to their children's fads to be trans or cats!! There is a merging of these movements as mentioned. Is this all about confused kids bossing around parents and teachers because they are too frightened to be firm and provide old-fashioned guidance?

Kids are also in crisis with an astonishingly high percentage of girls self-harming or having suicidal thoughts (30%!!). This can't go on. To me it is clear that there is a link between the high level of suicidal thoughts and wanting to opt-out by self-identifying as a cat.

Sunday 18 June 2023

Is cat litter hazardous to toddlers?

Some people ask whether it is safe to put a cat litter tray in a child's bedroom? Other people might ask whether it is safe for a child to play around with cat litter. They might do that if they are curious. And sometimes toddlers might put cat litter in their mouth. Would that harm the child?

Is cat litter safe with toddlers around?
Image: MikeB

Chemically-speaking, cat litter is pretty inert and therefore I think you will find the general consensus is that cat litter is not toxic for children in general terms.

Tidy Cats

But there may well be problems. Although litter is not poisonous as such, some litter such as Tidy Cats Lightweight is extremely dusty. I have written about it and it is a popular page because a lot of people report catastrophic cat health problems after using this litter.

As it is so dusty it could harm a child if they are rummaging around in it, kicking up the dust. The dust particles would get in the eyes, mouth and ears. My advice then is to keep children away from this particular brand of litter.

All clumping litter is dusty to a certain extent which should be noted. It is big weakness in the efficacy and safety of this product.


And clumping cat litter may be dangerous for a child because it is highly absorbent. That is the reason why the material has been selected to be cat litter. It is sodium bentonite. It is mined from clay mines.

Is bentonite cat litter safe?

If a child wanted to eat a bit of cat litter it might do some damage because it would potentially expand in the throat or stomach having absorbed the liquid in those areas of the child's anatomy, possibly causing a blockage.


We can't ignore the fact that there is likely to be domestic cat faeces and urine in a cat litter tray. It would be highly unwise for a child to dive into a recently used cat litter tray. Although faeces per se are not particularly toxic, if the domestic cat concerned carried Toxoplasma gondii oocysts they may be in their faeces. If they were ingested by a child, he or she would contract toxoplasmosis.

A lot of people in many parts of the world have contracted toxoplasmosis and it is usually asymptomatic. But the domestic cat is often vilified for being the primary vector of this normally benign disease which can rarely be quite serious and cause blindness.

The important thing to note by the way about toxoplasmosis and its transmission from cats with an active toxoplasmosis infection is that they are only capable of passing it on for 7 to 10 days of their entire life when they are suffering from an acute infection. So please don't become overly nervous about it.

There's lots of talk about pregnant mothers getting rid of the domestic cat for this reason. My advice is don't get rid of the cat but take sensible precautions such as using gloves when cleaning the litter or ask somebody else to do it for you.

Cat owners can help themselves with respect to this disease by keeping their cat from roaming and hunting. That's because they get the disease from the prey animals that they kill. Faeces from the litter box should be disposed of carefully to avoid other people coming into contact with it. Litter boxes should be cleaned and disinfected often using boiling water and diluted bleach solution. 

Although it is unwise to overdo this because the litter box then loses its natural feline fragrance which is an attractant to a domestic cat. It makes them want to use that litter box again and again.

Please note that the biggest risk by a wide margin for contracting toxoplasmosis is not domestic cat faeces but eating raw and/or undercooked meat particularly lamb or pork.


The bottom line about kids being around cat litter trays is that it is unwise not because cat litter is chemically toxic because there may be some physical negative consequences as described and a single disease, toxoplasmosis, which is well-discussed on the internet.

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