Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Wisconsin One Step Closer to Legal "Cat Hunting"

In today's news, I see that the state of Wisconsin is getting closer to enacting a law which enables hunters to shoot any cat seen outside without a collar. Reading this news, really makes me angry, but it also makes me think about how much I have changed in the past few months.

Last year at this time, I would have read an article about feral cats and said "Maybe those hunters are right. Feral cats are a nuisance. They kill rare birds. Somebody has to do something about them." I also would not have understood the thousands of animal activists who are fighting against this law. I would have said: "Don't they understand that cats are just animals and wild animals are a nuisance? Why don't they try to help people instead?"

But living with my boys has really changed my perspective on a lot of things, including and especially animal rights issues. I'm not ready to become a vegan yet or join PETA, but I understand where animal activists are coming from, particularly when it comes to defending the rights of cats.

I understand that not everyone who lives with cats feels the same way, but I have to say that watching my boys day in and day out has given me a profound respect for cats and I've started to think maybe this respect ought to extend to other animals as well.

I used to think that cats and dogs don't deserve our respect, because they don't do a lot of the things we humans do. They can't talk to you about politics or sports. They don't create great art. They don't advance the sum of all knowledge with their scientific achievements.

Even though their paintings don't hang in museums, cats have an equally important purpose to serve. Their purpose is to be the artwork, to embody beauty and grace and purity of spirit and to inspire the creative urge in us humans. They deserve better than to be treated like a disposable nuisance.


socidoc said...

Oh yes, Avram, how I do agree with you! "Having" (actually, "being possessed by") a cat or cats has been probably the single most valuable ongoing experience of my life, perhaps alongside "falling in love" and "teaching" (my profession). As you so eloquently say... cats *are* the artwork of our lives... cats have pure and delicate spirits... cats are the soul of grace and dignity (and some have that precious feline silliness gene too, even as adults!)... I totally understand the Egyptians who apparently worshipped cats and who believed that cats really rule the world... they just decided to turn it over to us so we could be their servants! That awful situation in Wisconsin ... I hope... will soon be erased as millions of animal lovers will unite and run those ignorant humans with their kitty-guns out of the woods. I profoundly hope so, anyway. Just another example of how we Americans so often display that sense of 'entitlement', when dealing with animals as well as people from other cultures. *sigh*

Thumper said...

What ticks me off about this is that the law, if passed, will allow cats to be shot simply for not having a collar on. Anyone who has a cat knows that they can sneak out of the house, their collars don't always stay on...and you can't SEE a collar on long haired cats. So they want to get rid of feral many domesticated kitties will be killed by mistake?

There are better ways to deal with animal problems. Gee, I dunno, how about humane traps and humane treatment???

Sorry for the sarcasm...but the idea of this law really pisses me off.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add to what thumper said above... In addition to cats accidently getting out and their collars coming off, what if your neighbor doesn't like your cat, pulls the collar off, and shoots it? While growing up, I had neighbors who hated cats. I could see someone doing this.

However, even though I'm not really an optimist, I'm going to go through the motions of being one... I'm hoping the Wisconsin legislature will figure out that drafting legislation to protect owned cats (which are property legally, even though we really know they are our furry children) while also allowing people to hunt suspected feral cats is going to end up costing the state more in the longrun than the current situation. Their citizens have voiced that it is a problem and proposed a solution, but the legislature does not have to solve it in exactly that way. I hope they don't.

Max said...

Looks like the WI governor has pretty much shot down this law. He doesn't want the state to be known as the place that kills kitties...and I did not know this, but it's already legal in 2 other states to shoot cats :/

The Cat Pack said...

You expressed this much better than I ever could. When I first heard about this I was so angry all I could do was curse and sputter. All I could think of was the one night one of our boys escaped, and how he could be mistaken for a feral. And I also think of two of our boys who are formal ferals, now living it up as indoor cats. To think of either Sammy or Dean getting shot breaks my heart.

Somehow I think the proponents of this law care less about the nuisance factor, and more about their hatred of cats.

Anonymous said...

What are you? Canadian?