Why Some Pet Owners Suck

October 2, 2009 at 7:00 pm (Life) (, , , , )

Today, on our way to school and work, C. and I got stuck in traffic. The traffic patterns at one of the pikes has been reset because they have been futzing around with construction a lot. So for a while, we were only inching along. At one point, we come to a halt. I make the mistake of looking out the window. What do I see?

That’s right, someone’s run-over pet.

The poor cat had probably been hit by a car and managed to drag itself off the road before it croaked. It was clearly someone’s pet – well-fed, otherwise in good shape, still fairly young. I couldn’t see its face, thank God, but it lay on its side, legs splayed as though it were running and twitching in its sleep, blood caking its mouth.

Until recently, my family basically always had a pet. We never had cats, but Lena was a regular old escape artist of a dog and whenever she disappeared, it felt like a little part of me died. She was a Golden Retriever – that means a BIG dog, the kind you can see in case it streaks across the street in front of your car. However, that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t do it totally unexpectedly or that you would be able to break in time not to hit her. Much like Winnie the Pooh, she had more fluff for brains than anything and she certainly wasn’t gifted with common sense. We always understood that having a pet escape and run about was a dangerous thing – most dog owners comprehend this matter. Cars are not safe to be around as a pedestrian, why would that be any different for a four-footed family member?

What I DON’T get is how this seems to be too hard for a lot of cat owners to understand. A cat, dear friends, is a PET. A cat is an animal. No matter what you may think, cats are not smart; most dogs have more common sense than a cat ever will have. Cats are, above all, arrogant and will not understand that a ton of metal will crush them. Some cat owners place way more faith into their cats than is ever warranted. Let me repeat: it is a RARE instant for a cat to be smart. Frankly, cats are also nowhere near as FAST as you think they are. A car is faster, bigger, meaner.

What I’m trying to get at is this: If you love your cat, don’t let it out. Just don’t. Unless your cat’s a Main Coone (thus a huge bugger), it is small and almost invisible, especially in the US where everyone drives SUVs which are generally higher than most European cars. People’s reaction times are slow. A cat doesn’t stand a chance.

Today, I saw someone’s beloved family pet dead at the roadside. I’m very sorry for their loss. But I can’t help but wonder if they really loved that cat since they let it out of their house in a high traffic area. Since I no longer have a pet of my own, it makes me resentful that someone would gamble with their pet’s life that way.

This cat lost the gamble and its carcass probably traumatized a bunch of small children who were on their way to school this morning. Please don’t be that cat owner.

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5 Comments

  1. Meg said,

    This is one (of many) reasons my cats are strictly indoor cats. Other reasons include disease (I keep them vaccinated but I’m not taking any chances), sickos who like to sacrifice cats, and the fact that they are complete cream puffs who probably couldn’t defend themselves against other, meaner cats. Plus, I like them unscarred, healthy, and sweet.

    Cat owners who insist that cats need to be out in nature piss me off because it is so easy to give your cat everything he/she needs indoors–something to scratch, safe hidey-holes, something to climb, plenty of toys, and plenty of affection, food and fresh water. I get really pissed off when I see dead cats that are obviously someone’s pet–and then I feel sick to my stomach because I inevitably project one of my own beloved furbabies into the deceased cat’s place.

    That said, cats are slightly smarter than you give them credit for. At least, mine are! : P

  2. Meg said,

    Oh dear…sorry for the novel!

  3. DeinPapa said,

    Na,wie geht es dir? Ich bin nun in Berkeley und bin überzeugt, dies ist derOrt wo Ihr euch alle zu recht finden könntet. Wir sind in einer Verhandlung hinsichtlich eines Hauses, das eine fantastische Lage hat. Google mal die Addresse, es wird dich schon reizen. 50 Panoramic Way Nomen ist Omen. Auf jeden Fall ist die Umgebung unglaublich sympatisch, von jüdischer Bäckerei bis zum Malatelier, mit Blick auf die Bucht.

    Kümmere dich um die Transfergeschichte und komme nach Berkeley. Ich bin morgen bei Cindy Lander und den Zwillingen. Alles Gute, Papa

  4. Holly said,

    and if you think US pet owners are blasé, you ought to meet everyone here in the UK who seem to think it normal to let cats run loose.

    • Daniela said,

      Germans do it a lot, too. They seem to have this notion that “cats are wild and should run wild.” Um, not so, my friends!

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