There's a series of books where the word for horses in this one culture means "ever-younger-siblings." That's kind of how I see my cats. Not less valuable
than a human (at least if you average in the humans that act like they're less than animals), but being taken care of, therefore under the authority of their caretaker. Guardianship is a better concept to apply to pet-type animals than ownership, I think...they're not exactly like children, because they don't grow up, but it's close enough. The law is catching up to this with anti-cruelty legislation; if they were really just property and nothing else in the eyes of the law, it would be legal to do anything to them.
Originally Posted by bookworm
Animals kept as pets should be fed at least as high a quality of food as their owners and recieve at least basic vet care. Pet owners should be expected to consider the animals need for exercise or whatever the species requires, and at the very least they should never have to fear their owners.
This is what I've been saying for a while too...my cats don't get superpremium food, as much as I'd like to be able to give it to them, but they eat as well as or better than me (as much moderate-quality kibble as they want and canned food every day, routinely; when I cook chicken for me I cut off a nugget-sized chunk for each of them when it's almost ready for humans; at the worse end of things, there've been times right before paydays when the kibble's run out and I've scraped together change to buy cans because that's what change will buy, so that they won't miss any meals, and let me tell you, sliced beef in gravy smells good when I'm having Plain Rice Again). They get vet care to the same standard as I get to see a doctor--not on a regular schedule, but as needed for anything specific, with home preventive care and chicken soup to reduce the need for the professionals.
However, they are sometimes scared of humans because they were allowed to run feral as little kittens, so never fearing their owners might be a stretch. We're working on this: Panther is friendly with people she's comfortable with; Squirrel allows me to provide food for her but leaves if I approach her (I don't do this intentionally but sometimes she's next to something I need). The Feliway is helping Squirrel a bit. I've never given them a reason to be afraid of me, though they might disagree since I've taken them for shots.
Originally Posted by Allmycats
Folks, let's make no mistake: PETA, HSUS and the like (and there are many now) want us ALL gone...all breeders, fanciers, exhibitors..and anyone that enjoys keeping them as pets. They want PETS gone. The AR opinion about our beloved cats as they are is that they are pitiful sorry excuses (I forget the exact nasty words used) for animals that should be "let free" and no longer sitting on our hearths.
I think the closest thing to a housecat in the wild would be something like a small bobcat. A bobcat could do a lot worse than to have all its meals provided and a comfortable home to keep the rain and snow off.
It's completely nutty to say that it's wrong to basically trade with an animal, giving it the essentials of life in exchange for its presence. Heck, I'd
take a deal like that. If I hadn't made that choice for my cats they would have, minimally, had a jillion kittens, grandkittens, etc. by now, and possibly gotten picked off by a coyote, caught one of the diseases that was going around the outdoor cats at the farm I took them from, or gotten so worn down by the ringworm they had that they just couldn't keep going.
Also, if they think my cats are "pitiful sorry excuses" for wild animals, I'll get Squirrel and Panther into a carrier and they can stick a hand in. My cats got themselves banned from a low-cost vaccination clinic associated with a shelter where we used to live, for going psycho on a vet tech that tried that.
My apologies for any typos or random characters I missed; Panther "helped" with this post.