On pets, people and holidays
Blipping a catch-up after coming home too tired to do anything but eat, drink, slump in front of the telly on catch-up and go to bed. The day was nothing if not varied, and strangely traumatic. I thought I'd feel nothing but relief when we took Mousse to the cattery, but it was more complicated than that.
The business of getting her into her carry-bag was, simply, horrid. Who would have thought a little cat could be so strong? And she'd already been fed up because she'd had her breakfast and wasn't being allowed out - she knew something was up all right. She meowed all the way - 35 minutes - to the cattery, and there was nothing I could do to soothe her.
And that was when I decided that I think it's cruel to impose human rules and behaviour on animals simply because we want to. Yes, they can sleep on furry beds and lie in front of your fire, but actually they belong outside, doing other things like eating bees and chasing small creatures, crapping somewhere they don't have to remain, doing what cats - in this case - do, whether it's fighting for survival or dying because they fail.
We put them into our own homes, allow them to roam, briefly, in city streets and back yards, summon them back for the synthetic food we provide for them, and when we need to leave them behind we either shut them indoors in their own space and send a substitute to feed them or we stuff them into carriers and incarcerate them.
That's not to say that I wasn't really impressed by the cattery itself. It was clean, modern, custom-made; the welcome was kind and efficient and reassuring. The photo shows Mousse inspecting the scratch-post in her room with its furry topping - even though the hated bag is sitting on top of it for the interim. She looks as if she's recovering from her trauma rather more rapidly than we were.
But after over 70 pet-free years, I'm appalled at the strength of my feelings. I actually like cats, and have become as attached to Mousse as I was to the dear departed Ginny. If I was repelled by them it might be easier. But I don't think I could bear to do this kind of thing again.
Sorry for the rant. I have a blog where I used to do this kind of thing, but I've neglected it in favour of Blipping. Just look at the photo next time ...