Letter I submitted to The Racine Journal Times today.
Here is the link to the letter online (printed Wednesday June 10, 2009)
I am confused about something and perhaps someone out there can clear this up for me. When a person decides to become a pet owner – specifically, cats in this case – I have to sometimes wonder – what is their actual motivation? Did their child beg for a pet that the parent truly did not want? Did they decide that the cleaning of liter boxes was simply too laborious? There must be some reason, be it a good one or not, why cat owners allow their HOUSE cats to roam freely through the neighborhoods.
I adore cats. And that is why I want to vomit whenever I see one on the side of the road after being hit by a car. That is why is saddens me to no end to see cats spread feline HIV and various other diseases so rapidly. That is why it breaks my heart when I see them freezing in the winter snow. Aside from my love of cats, I also enjoy and appreciate the wild creatures nature affords us. And that is why last week I was sickened to find a murdered chipmunk in my backyard (luckily before the kids did). It is also why I have been obsessing over a baby robin with a mutilated wing all weekend. And it is why my mother painstakingly had to put her own indoor cat to sleep last week because the outside domestic cats coming into the yard everyday were making her urinate all over the house. Years of suggestions from vets and others did not conquer the problem and 15 year old Punky had to be euthanized per suggestion from her vet.
So, if you are one of those cat owners who allow your pet to run freely through the streets, I have to ask you – why? If your answer seems to outweigh the negatives your decision is bringing to others, then I hope you sleep well. If not, I urge you to please keep your house cats where they belong, in the house.