Thursday, January 09, 2014

No Go on the Barn Home


Bobcat (photo from wikipedia)
I finally decided not to send the six cats off to the barn home I had lined up. Although there are predators everywhere, here, bobcats are seen in the day time, not far from the barn.

I would have been sending them off to the slaughter.  Bobcats are the most efficient killers of house cats of the big three predators--cougars, coyotes and bobcats, although coyotes kill higher numbers of cats.  Usually people don't even know they're around, but here, they are seen, in daylight, which means they are brazen and feel very comfortable and safe.

One of the bobcats in the area is well known to area residents.  I've seen him myself.  I guess I hoped he was long dead.  I also knew cats and food would attract them closer to the barn, or even into it, where there are chickens and that could have become a huge problem, since that is why those barns exist, to house large numbers of chickens. I could see that happening.  If a cat can get through a hole, so can a bobcat.  I could see this turning out very badly for the barn people and chickens if a bobcat followed a house cat into a barn full of chickens. 

I want the cats to get into homes, but I also want to be able to sleep with my decisions.  I know of too many cats who have disappeared from this very area, from the apartments above the barns, up on the hill and from people who live along a street, a half mile or so away.   And I know what happened to them.

To think I'd consider putting cats in that area is a testament only to my desire to get them placed.  I couldn't do it, which is the right decision.

The circle of life is something like a perpetual motion machine.  I eat you and something else eats me.  The brutality of death whether it is humans factory farming for slaughter or a bobcat ripping apart a house cat is severe and terrifying for the unfortunate victim.   I understand the circle of life and that predators want to eat house cats to survive just like house cats want to eat a mouse and just like humans call pigs and cows product to store animals somewhere in their minds away from anything that would equate them as living beings so they can be jammed together unbearably on factory farms, and killed to eat.

We hide our bloody fangs, embarrassed almost, that we too are animals.  When I see people dressed up, holding hands in prayer before a Thanksgiving dinner, a turkey corpse on the table, I think of wolves surrounding a bloody carcass in the snow, growling and snarling for their share.  I shake off the image to join them at the feast. (I rarely eat meat, however)

Meat eating humans maintain a sterile distance from the gory awfulness of killing a living animal to eat.  Pet owners open flip top cans or bags of dry pellet food instead of killing a live rabbit or raising mice to feed their cats and dogs.  We all have bloody fangs.

I've been a vegetarian most of my life.  Sometimes I eat meat however.  I don't like meat much and have never liked milk.   I drank milk when I lived in Alaska, but it came straight from the cow I milked twice a day, by hand, so maybe that was different.  I've always thought it is funny that people would drink cow breast milk.  Breast milk, for little calves, and humans drink it.  That's just funny to think about.  I get an image of a human family, all in diapers, cow walking, trying to move away from this annoyance, as the humans try to grab onto her hanging nipples and suckle, between her legs.

 I always thought if milk were marketed in a soft chamois type bag so that it could be sucked from a soft nipple off the container, it might be the ultimate comfort food, for humans who still long for the security of their mother's bosom.  A fake cow udder with nipple filled with cow breast milk might be just the thing.

  I think hunting is a far more humane way to procure meat, if you eat it, than eating factory farmed animals whose lives are misery start to finish.  There's no easy way around the issue of taking other lives to eat.   I buy outdated meat to make into cat food.  I like having cat food available at stores rather than having to raise mice for my cats, which I would do if I had to.

There's really nothing pretty about nature, if you get down to the gritty bloody, or even bloodless, mechanisms.   I remember on a road in Denali park.  The rangers were keeping people from a terrible scene, because it was against park policy to interfere.  A pair of bears had been tormenting a mother moose with her calf for days, until she was about to drop in exhaustion.  She was trying to protect her calf, but the bears were taking shifts to torment her, so she could not sleep, for fear her calf would be torn apart.  In the end, mother and calf were both killed in a horrible flesh tearing end.   No super heroes swoop in to save the day in the jungle.

I remember years and years ago, seeing clips from a camera hidden by animal rights activists in some English lab, where it was either a dog or cat splayed out, alive, for research torture.  Caught on tape were the researchers words, delivered coldly to the doomed animal "There's no one to save you here."

 I remember similar words said, just as coldly to me, when at Oregon State Hospital.  I'd complained loudly about curdled milk routinely served us and was taken down by staff when I wouldn't shut up about it, for forced medication.  They handcuffed me behind my back then hoisted me up to my feet by the chain between the handcuffs, tearing my shoulder as they did so.  I was then tied to a table in isolation.  The aid, watching me, with long hair almost to his waist, pretended to wipe a tear from his eye, in mockery and said, "What are you going to do, report us for patient abuse?  And who is going to believe you?"

We live in a brutal savage world.  I want these cats whose eyes I have seen to know love now, to see the world I want, one where there is not such great struggle and suffering, where there is joy and peace to lay nights warm, among friends, without danger.  Is that wrong?  Not by my book and that's the book I live by.

I'm not going to hold out my rescued cats, however, to the predator.  I am not going to deliberately place cats somewhere where I know eyes are watching, waiting already.  In this regard, I am redneck through and through.  If I lived on property, with my animals, free roaming, do you think I would not become the protector of the lives I love?  The predator of the predators?  I wouldn't enjoy it, but I would create a safe zone for me and mine and that would be that and that is the type of place and people I want for these cats.

There are dumbshits who claim (talking about themselves as if they are cats) to me that they'd rather be free amongst the predators for a few months than safe.  These are people who apparently cannot distinguish habitats and equate them all as equally dangerous or safe.  Or who have never been threatened with severe pain or death from another in their life. Never had the jaws clamp down across their leg or spine.  Going to wander are you, free, free, free down the middle of a freeway?  Going to let your little kid run around an inner city unwatched too?  Going to skip along singing through a war zone?

I will hold out for a safer home for these cats.  Something will come up.

This is my last big rescue.  I don't want to botch it for the cats.   That's like having your very last taste of food be something rotten.

In my way, I have loved the jungle.  Thrilled to its dangers, gloried in my survival of its most treacherous lies and brutal traps.  In my way, soft hearted as I am, I too am a beast, howling on the hunt, shocked by the ambush of more vicious hunters, twisting free, damaged, bloodied, heart pounding high---alive!

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