#Animal #AnimalProtection #AnimalRights #CutenessOverload
A few days ago, Gogo and her cat had a fight. So her cat, which she conveniently named “Boos” (instead of “puss”), came over to crush on our couch. I think Boos pooped somewhere she was not supposed to and she was threatened… and scolded.
The depressed cat curled up on the sofa. We gave her milk but she would not have any. I hid a piece of meat and sneaked it to her; she just meowed and looked away. While heading to bed, and thinking that nobody was looking, I threw my jumper at the sofa. That is the only kind gesture that Boos accepted from me. She crawled slowly and hid under it.
Kumbe my mum saw it. I had forgotten that she has an amazing peripheral range. What that means is that she can be seeing what you are doing when not directly looking at you. She made a face and mumbled something under her breathe. I knew that I had done something wrong, but I ignored her.
Mum always says that cats have been given fur for the purpose of keeping warm. They do not need to wear our coats and sleep in our beds. She is also worried that there are diseases that can be transmitted from the cats to humans. Her concerns are pretty accurate.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are many diseases that animals can transmit to humans. These diseases are known as Zoonotic diseases. This is why all pet and animal owners should have regular visits to veterinarians.
Despite the fact that mum is right, I think that some of our perspectives may lead us to having less concern about the animals we keep in our homes and refer to them as pets. I believe that since these animals are living with us, all aspects of their lives should be taken care of. We should not compare them to wild animals. What many care takers fail to understand is that by domesticating animals, we suppress their ability to take care of themselves. They rely heavily on us for their sustenance and overall happiness.
Plus they are just too cute… How do you handle seeing them sad?
Here are five things that your pet should never lack:
1.Food and water
Feed your pet daily in clean containers and replenish their water supply. Make sure that you know the things that would kill your pet and keep them away from pet.
Just like you, pets need to be empowered. First and foremost, potty training for your pet is important. Make sure you change their litter at least once or twice a week. You also need to train your pet to answer to your call, teach it new tricks, and teach them new games and also some exercises. Remember to reward the pet when they learn.
You need to make a shelter that is appropriate for your pet, regardless of whether it is an indoor or an outdoor pet. Make sure the shelter is warm, clean and has some fresh air.
It is paramount for your health and your pet’s health that they get these vaccinations. Pets are capable of acquiring and transmitting diseases that may sometimes be fatal, for example rabies. Make sure that your pet is dewormed and gets multi-vitamin shots for good health.
5. Petting and playtime
Pets have feelings. They need to feel loved, comforted, secure and happy when they are around you. Arrange play dates and nature walks with your animals.
We need to change our perspectives concerning pets
A woman recently came to us and asked us to give her one cat. We have two of them; Monkey and Ginger. We told her that these cats are already part of our family but promised to contact her in case Monkey gave birth again. She, however insisted that there was an urgent need in her house. I thought she was really lonely and almost asked my family to have pity on her.
It was until that she mentioned that she just needed them to chase rats from her house, that I planted my foot deeper than before. She went on to rumble about her rat problem but I looked at Ginger. She was resting on the window pane and playing with the curtains. Monkey was observing Ginger before she started to lick her paws. I have never seen such a high level of cuteness.
I began to wonder whether this woman would feed the cat three times a day or whether she would expect the rat diet to sustain it. Whether she would take a flashlight to look for them at night when they went for a little stroll or she would lock little Ginger out in the cold at night. I wondered whether she would take time to play with the animal just as we do or it will be bored the whole day. Would she know that Ginger is scared of the dark?
I politely turned her away but promised to ask around.
Pets for National Stability?
The Constitution of Kenya vividly gives an obligation to the National and county government in the protection of wild animals, pets and livestock. This is in Chapter 5 Part 2 (Environment and Natural Resources) in the fourth schedule. There are also acts that protect animals against cruelty e.g. CAP 360.
A good friend of mine recently introduced me to the Sendai Framework for disaster reduction. This framework recognizes the importance of animal protection in disaster reduction. And since developing nations heavily rely on animals for their livelihoods, food and transportation, including these animals in disaster risk reduction strategies would reduce suffering and help the communities get back on their feet more quickly. I tend to think that there are numerous jobs created and sustained when animals are well taken care of.
It is good that we compare notes with developed countries. I like how well-off people and people in the developed countries treat their pets. Pets are not exclusively cats and dogs. People keep all sorts of creatures for friendship for example parrots, spiders, pigs, roosters, hamsters, horses, certain snakes and even mice for pets. That’s pure love for animals. These people take really good care of these animals from healthcare, to food and sometimes even clothing. People in developed countries put collars on their pets so that when they roam and are found, a good Samaritan will return them to the address on their collars. When a pet goes missing for a whole day, the owner will make posters and place them all over the neighborhood. The owners vet new owners whenever they give away the animals.
Rachel Hartigan Shea of National Geographic in a certain article mentioned that about 90% of owners in America consider pets as part of their families while 80% of them are likely to risk their lives for pets. Even as this should be scientifically backed up, there is a strong chance that the well-being of pets is linked to our happiness and more so, an economically and socially- stable nation. Interesting, huh?
Even as we look towards achieving our national goals and MDGs, animal welfare should be part of our agendas. We need to develop and establish new cultures that depict a people that are moving forward. Unite in taking care of the things around us.