Even the most occasional and cursory readers of my blog will probably have noted my extremely positive attitude to cats. My liking for them isn’t completely boundless, but it’s getting there. They’re cantankerous, bloody-minded, aloof, bad tempered, and brilliantly good fun for those very reasons.
They’re also pretty dense. They’re very cunning, but you could never claim they are towering intellects. They just know which side their bread is buttered, and it had better be thick enough or they’ll bugger off to their other owners’ gaff. Or gaffs.
In the UK, the ‘domestic’ cat (a laughable concept), unlike a dog, is defined in law as a wild animal. This gives it a legally enshrined ‘right to roam,’ and that’s why they never shit on their own turf but go and annoy your neighbours into chucking rocks at them.
Being a bit dim, cats are, regrettably, often hit by cars as they wander haughtily and negligently into the road. It’s of their nature. It’s horrible when it happens. My feline pal Errol was a lovely little grey fluffball, but dim as a Toc H lamp and got hit by a car*. I was distraught.
Currently, if you’re a driver and hit a cat, that’s it. You can, if you wish, head off into the sunset, and that’s the end of things. This is not the case if you hit a dog, horse, cow, ass, mule, sheep, pig, or goat**. You have to report to the authorities if you hit one of them.
Now some mad catwomen have formed a group called Cats Matter, and want to make hitting a cat with your car reportable.
The reasoning? Partly, that ’cats have rights.’ Yes they do. They have a right to roam and to dig up your neighbours’ flowerbeds. But that’s it. It’s their right to roam as wild animals that dropped them in the klart in the first place.
I’ve drivelled on before about the loonier posturings of PETA. I’m not sure about the idea of rights without responsibilities, even though I despair at the messier aspects of intensive animal husbandry, which is one reason I hardly eat meat.
However, I also despair at Mandy Ivy and Tiya Lowe, the founders of Cats Matter, for appropriating the whole Black Lives Matter campaign to their own rather mawkish ends.
*In this case the driver picked him up and took him to the vet, and even paid the bill. Errol, sadly, didn’t make it.
**Hitting some of the heftier members of that select group might preclude you from going off into the sunset at all, except on the back of a tow truck or in a bodybag.