Last Saturday a "bad cat" was put down because a human had decided it must be done. For this essay I will refer to the animal as "BC." That is a bad cat whose only badness was that it was unable to conform to the standards of the human. I mean no disrespect toward the person who deemed the euphemism necessary; however, I am unable with all my heart and mind to use "owner" or "caregiver" or any other title; therefore I will use the term "human."
On the Wednesday before last Saturday I was told of BC's impending doom. Truthfully, I doubt very much that I was to be privy to such information. However, once the fact about the planned death was revealed, the human was more than willing to justify such action.
After listening to the list why BC had to lose his life, (none of which made any sense to me), I was told not to worry, because as the human was speaking BC was being a "happy cat."
On Friday evening while sharing a meal with another cat fancier, I told of BC and what the a.m. was going to bring. My friend then told me of a person who owned an old barn on an isolated piece of property who provided a sanctuary for cats like BC. Cats that are considered unadoptable by humane societies, cats that most humans will not tolerate, or cats that are simply "throwaway animals."
Returning home I phoned BC's human and said I knew of a barn out in the country where BC would be accepted and taken care of. Without allowing me to explain the entire situation I was interrupted, being informed the human had contacted "a barn" and had been told BC was unwelcome. Once I was allowed to continue and explain about the barn I had in mind, the human replied, "That might be a good idea." As I prepared to ask if BC might be picked up and taken to the sanctuary, the human went on, "You know he's brain damaged."
Upon hearing this I knew it would be a complete waste of time to do anything else in an attempt to save the feline's life. Therefore I simply said I'd speak to the human later. The human's closing words dealt with being extraordinarily busy all weekend. (Technical jargon for do not call).
You may be under the impression that I'm angry with the human and the action taken toward the cat. I'm neither upset nor disappointed. Why should I be? Recently I read a truism that puts it in proper perspective. (Paraphrased) "We humans love our animals as long as they conform to the standards we've chosen for them. Should they violate these standards we will remove them from our lives." Simple --- to the point --- and sadly true.
Uncle Bear is a writer and researcher in North Carolina. He can be reached through: