“Bring in the dog and put out the cat, yackety yak, don’t talk back.” The Coasters, January, 1958.
In 1958 it was relatively safe for cats to be outdoors. There were fewer cars on the roads and cats were not as numerous as they are today.
In 2009, however, outdoor cats face much greater risks.
A Lodi, California, woman, Tina Teixeira, put up a sign in front of her house threatening to hit a kid if someone hit another of her outdoor cats. Like most of us, she sees her pets as her children. When her cat was killed in front of her West Elm Street home, she reacted.
Neighbors reacted, too. One, Joanna Larsen, spoke on camera and didn’t like being threatened. Others didn’t want their comments to go on record, but one called Teixeira “psychotic” according to KCRA reporter Leticia Ordaz’s report.
Teixeira later changed the sign to read, “I watch for your kids so please watch for mine.”
To us here at MyPetsDoctor.com we feel Ms. Teixeira’s pain. Losing one’s beloved pet is always difficult, and anger is a known stage of grief resolution. No one would be surprised that she would lash out.
It is not her first brush with cat controversy, as she admits to previously having spit on someone to protect her cats and yelling at drivers and neighbors.
Sadly, too many people today still believe it is cruel to keep a cat indoors.
What if we define aspects of cruelty as Feline Leukemia Virus, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, dog attacks, cat fights and automobile injuries to cats?
After all, Teixeira lives on a three-lane street and says there is sixty-five mile-per-hour traffic on West Elm Street. What cat could survive that?
Teixeira says that some of her cats are feral, and resist staying indoors. We don’t have an argument with that. But many people use “it’s a stray cat” as an excuse to avoid responsibility for its actions, when, in fact, they and they alone feed and care for the kitty. If a cat is “your” cat, it will have a longer, happier and healthier life if it is kept indoors from birth.
Give us your thoughts.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph