Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The summers second version of "The Descision"

It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.  ~ Emiliano Zapata

 Back in 1996, i got a shirt from a local punk vendor in Pennsylvania.  It was a bright red shirt with the above quote on the back.  The punk kids joked that I wore this shirt everyday for 3 years.  That may not be far from the truth.  I still have the shirt but rarely wear it.  The shirt has become a relic, the words of the back of the shirt are with me everyday.

The kitties has experienced the outdoors, they have tasted the freedom and independence that I only find on vacation.  I am jealous and I never want to be responsible for taking that from them.  This situation has made me think a lot about why I am vegan.  Ironically, much of the advice that I can not believe I am hearing, is coming from the vegan community.  The "pet" mentality is rampant everywhere it seems.

After some long research and deliberation, I have come to some temporary conclusions.  Tonight, with the assistance of Ashley, I will attempt to catch all the kitties.  I will bring them inside to spend a few weeks with me.  I feel extremely uncomfortable with forcing this on them but I do not see another reasonable option and all options include me forcing my will on them in some way.  Once they seem comfortable with me and are a few weeks older and wiser, I will let them back outside.

If they opt to stay, they will be welcome and if they leave, that is their option.  They will know that they can be safe with me and there will be no need to fear me and I will not be afraid of them.  If they want to come inside at times, they are welcome.  They will not be indoors cats with me.  I will not force that on them.

"I will not force myself or domestic life on them for longer than I feel is necessary."  This statement is that wreaking of species dominance, which is a major reason why veganism is important to me.  However, as feral cats, they can not live under my house.  It is a danger to everyone.  Even as babies, the runt bit me last night and broke the skin.

I feel that I am choosing what is best for another sentient being and it makes me sick.  I also realize that they can not stay undisturbed forever and this seems like the least intrusive option.  I hope they agree.

Life is life  -- whether in a cat, or dog or man.  There is no difference there between a cat or a man.  The idea of difference is a human conception for man's own advantage.  ~  Sri Aurobindo


Jes said...

Sounds like a great & well thought out decision!

The Spooky Vegan said...

Hey Vic,

I just started following your blog, but I wanted to let you know I'm enjoying it a great deal!

I love it so much I've given you a blogger award:

Keep up the great work and best of luck with the kitties! :)

Carol said...

I am a bit confused by this post. It seems as though you feel that somehow you are taking something away from the kittens if you try to 'domesticate' them.

I confess i got a little annoyed at you saying "The "pet" mentality is rampant everywhere it seems." That's a little unfair, no? These kittens, like all living creatures want several things: freedom, comfort, food. I'm sure I'm missing a few things but I'm kind of rushing here.

My cats are both rescue cats, neither of them are prisoners.It seems we in the UK (just going by what i've read in the blogospher) are more comfortable with letting our cats outdoors.

Don't get me wrong, I call my cats in at night (and they are very happy to comply) but during the day they both are free to go outside as much as they choose.

One does so but doesn't go further than the neighours back gardens usually and the other one frankly would rather not thank you very much.

But the point is they have a choice, i am not 'imposing' anything on them. I can hardly call them pets, frankly sometimes i wonder whether i'm there pet!

On the contrary as well as giving them complete freedom to come and go as they please i give them food, veterinary care, lots of love and attention. In short they have everything they could ever want.

Yes they're domesticated but that's not my fault.

Maybe your problems would be solved if you could just find an owner who was happy to have 'outdoor' cats.

Sorry for rambling, i've had a glass of wine, but it just seems like you were attacking all those well intentioned people out there. it seems maybe you value freedom more than life. Well i look at it this way: as long as you're alive there's always the possibility of freedom and love. But not if you get your little head ripped off by a fox.

Please don't be upset with me and feel free to disagree. I understand you are really trying your hardest to do what you feel is right by the kitties. But i just felt you were looking at it black and white and nothing is ever black and white. Wouldn't life be simple if it was?

Carol said...

Sorry for the typos and the *there* when it shoud be their etc. I was rushing!

Anonymous said...

Just found the blog and sad and disturbed on the decision with the cats. I wouldn't think to much about it except I don't remember reading anything about getting them fixed first. Maybe you should do some research on how many offspring can come from one unaltered cat. Then factor in that they may stay in the vicinity of your home and chances are you will have this problem again. I guess I see it as how will my intervention affect 4 cats vs. the hundreds that will come from unaltered feral cats. I would rather make an uncomfortable decision on 4 than know that hundreds are breeding, hungry, enduring the elements, tortured or in pain.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a good, well thought out decision. Although I do hope you plan on getting them fixed before you release them!

jessy said...

i think your decision is a good one, and i'd like to say that you might want to get them fixed before letting them go free to do as they will. i used to work for the richmond spca. there were days when i was in the euthanasia room for hours because we would have days when we'd have to put down 60+ animals due to a lack of space. it was heartbreaking and horrible. every day at the spca was heartbreaking - and i'd like to ask you to consider getting them fixed if you would please. there may be some low cost spay & neuter clinics where you live, or you might want to contact your local spca or animal shelter to see if they have reduced cost spay and neuter programs as well. it could get rather pricy, but perhaps you could post something here giving people an option to donate funds for their surgeries if you decide to have them fixed. i know that the decision to alter them is another tough one, but i feel that it would be super responsible and save so many other pets from having to be euthanized because there aren't enough homes for them all.