Lucinda’s Rant: It’s Past Time To Stop Animal Abandonment

Greetings, two-legged readers! In this post I’m hoping to educate you two-leggeds on some things you need to know. It’s well past time for you to stop animal abandonment. Though it is already illegal to abandon a pet in many states, a lot of you don’t seem to care to obey that law.

I have read and heard many stories about people who get ready to move and don’t want to take their cat with them. Therefore, they just take him to some deserted place and leave him there to fend for himself. You have the mistaken notion that we can take care of ourselves, so leaving us will not harm us.

Nothing could be further from the truth. A more horrible truth that you must face — most

Found in a box in the snow

abandoned animals will die. You pet kitty may have lived with you for a long time, perhaps since he entered the world as a kitten. Though his ancestors lived and sometimes thrived in the great wilderness, they grew up in that situation and knew nothing else.

They learned survival techniques from a young age, or they perished. Very often, they had a short life, as they faced so many more dangers in their wild world.

A cat who lives with two-leggeds will in no way have the knowledge and skills that might help him survive. Oh, yes, he catches an occasional mouse. That will not keep him alive for long. Where will he sleep? Where will he find a secure place where he won’t fall victim to a predator?

Instead, you have thoughtlessly put him in a situation which he will not be equipped to handle.

Tabby cat yowling; middle of nowhere
Why are you leaving me here?

Kitty, not understanding why you have done such a thing or what he has done to merit such treatment, will soon become terrified, cold, hungry, and will have no clue how to survive.

Why would you do such a thing? You flatter us by saying we can take care of ourselves with no problem. All this time your kitty has lived with you and trusted you to take care of him. He has no other option but to believe he can trust you. Now you have betrayed that trust. Kitty did not ask for such treatment.

You could at least take the cat to a shelter, where he will be fed and given a warm place to sleep. Ending up in a shelter is bad enough, but it gives the cat a chance for survival.

In a shelter, the cat still feels the pain of abandonment. He does not understand why he ended up there. He may have done something that you cannot tolerate, but when you take him to that place, you still cause pain and stress. A cat does not comprehend many things you consider unacceptable behavior, so you must ask the experts or perhaps search the internet for some answers on how to teach him to change that behavior.

I think many of you do not know that a cat has an emotional center in his brain, just as you two-Cat in cageleggeds do. He can feel emotions such as the hurtfulness of abandonment, sorrow, or fear. When you leave him in that shelter, he does not understand why. Perhaps he has lived with you for many years, and suddenly, his home, his family, and his staked-out territory belong to him no more.

Put yourself in his situation. How would you feel if for no reason you understood, that “family” of yours leaves you in a big institution — a kind of orphanage — or even worse, takes you out in the middle of nowhere, far from civilization, and leaves you there alone — no shelter, no food, no idea how to survive. What would you do?

You might have more options than a small cat. Still, you would feel a lot of emotions that would not be pleasant. You might feel terror or hunger and you would find yourself at the mercy of the weather. Please, please, do not do such a thing to your cat!

Black cat reaching paw out of cage
Sent to a kitty orphanage

You might find it challenging at times to understand things from your cat’s point of view. In that case, educate yourself. You can find many great references dealing with cat behavior, which can help you solve a communication problem between you and your cat.

CCL (Cantankerous Cat Lady) has two references to recommend, for starters. Here’s one that she often uses: Outsmarting Cats, by Wendy Christensen. Also, she recommends looking for books by Carole Wilbourn, a cat therapist.

We have one of her books called Cat Talk. She studies problems a two-legged might have with her cat. She decodes what the cat tries to communicate. She has many interesting examples that explain the meaning of the cat’s behavior.

Another way to find lots of information is to go to your favorite search engine and type in something like “cat behavior explained.” You can find many references that might provide an explanation.

If you would like to help promote better solutions for homeless animals, go to ASPCA and give a donation. You will never know what good your gift might do.

Oh, another thing: Sometimes you two-leggeds, being so smart, think that other creatures don’t matter. Some of you think of them as a kind of amusement supplied for you. You do not consider that they, too, have feelings. Just because they don’t get big like you, or because they don’t speak your language, you assume it does not matter how you treat them.

When it comes to learning compassion, some of you need a few lessons. When a cat does something you consider bad behavior, remember that the cat operates from a different view of the situation. By cat knowledge and understanding, he chooses a behavior that he feels would best fit the situation.

At these times, let me urge you to think really carefully and to try to understand why the cat does what he does. Then find a way to ensure that the behavior is not repeated.

CCL has offered an example. Her cat, Pogo, got to the point where he did not use his litter box, and instead, found a spot he considered ideal to use. He did not understand why this behavior could not be accepted.

Then CCL discovered that, for some reason, Pogo felt threatened by his covered litter box. Perhaps it smelled too bad, or perhaps he felt trapped in there. Once he got an uncovered litter box, the unacceptable behavior stopped.

Stop animal abandonmentIt’s not always that simple, but you must remember that when you add one of us to your family, we become your responsibility. You must supply care and survival necessities. Hopefully, we will establish a bond of mutual love. We cats have no choice but to trust you, and that you will make sure we have the care we need.

Please don’t betray our trust! Please treat us with kindness, remembering that we, too, have feelings. Once you adopt us, consider us family, and treat us accordingly.

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