Thursday, November 24, 2005

Two different views of life and death

I had two very different phone calls today. One was from one of our caregivers who was very worried. There was an injured cat in one of the areas and along with the girl looking after the cat, the cat was taken into the vet. However, the vet said that the cat was a terminal case - it had a growth that had spread and the vet recommended putting the cat down as it was in pain. The girl was very upset and understandably so. She just wrote in to say that she does not know what to do. The caregiver was concerned because she thought that the cat was suffering.

On the other hand, someone called to say he had to give a cat up for adoption. He wanted to know if he can bring the cat to the adoption drive this weekend. He found in the undercarriage of someone's car and was concerned it would get killed, so he took it home planning to adopt it. However, the cat did not get along with his present cat. He said that he wanted to know what the chances of it getting adopted this weekend were and I said that it was very hard to say, but he could always give it a try. He said if it wasn't adopted he was thinking of bringing it to the SPCA.

I told him that he could at the last resort bring it back to where he found it - I told him that this was why we did not encourage people to pick cats up unless it was an emergency. He said however that the cat might have a 'hard life' on the streets, or might get run off by another cat. I told him that while that was true, the cat had a 50% chance. If it went to the SPCA, because of their severe lack of space, the cat would in all likelihood be put down. I emailed him to say that if he had rescued it from the undercarriage then putting it down would defeat the purpose now.

Some people think that death is preferable to life on the streets. Yes they MIGHT die on the streets, but they have a fighting chance. Being killed leaves you with zero chance. On the other hand, they might live - so many cats do have a good life especially when they are looked after in well managed colonies.


Blogger yskat said...

The thinking that "death is preferable to life on the streets" reminds me of how it was not uncommon in Nazi occupied Germany for people to think that it was better for handicapped people to be put to death than for them to lead marginalised lives. People who think this way never seem to question why, in the first place, is the world such as "bad" place for cats and handicapped people, or their own idea of what it means to "live badly".

25/11/05 1:16 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

A good point Yskat.

25/11/05 1:21 PM  
Anonymous vegancatsg said...

Sometimes "put the cat out of its misery" is to take that "anxiety" out of our mind so that we do not need to feel "miserable" thinking all the time about how that cat is doing back on the streets.

25/11/05 1:53 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

That's true. In the end the girl put the cat down last night. Poor girl. I know it's a difficult decision.

25/11/05 5:28 PM  

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