Pets have a special place in American’s hearts. They can be play partners for our children, guardians of our property and friends for the elderly. They open our eyes to the wonderful beauty of the natural world. They can teach our young the responsibilities of ownership and stewardship. And they can become an integral part of a family’s daily life. But is welcoming any beast into the sanctity and privacy of your home always a good idea? What are the health risks and moral implications of having an overly familiar relationship with an untrainable creature?
A “PURRFECT” STORM OF HEALTH WORRIES
Letting a wild animal loose in your home carries risks. For cat owners, there are many serious health issues that are too often overlooked. Unlike dogs, these animals are notoriously averse to being bathed in hot, fresh water. It should be no surprise, then, that they carry bacteria and germs. A short list of the diseases cats transmit to humans includes: Petzetakis’ Syndrome, Cat-Scratch-Oculoglandular Syndrome, Parinaud’s Syndrome, Adenitis, Debre’s Syndrome, Foshay-Mollaret Cat-Scratch Fever, Lymphadenitis and Lymphoreticulosis. Scientific studies have shown that cats cause sleep disorders and that housepets are behind thousands of human injuries every year (evidence here and here). A new danger on the horizon is MRSA, a life-threatening infection that is resistant to antibiotics and can kill you (see the fascinating article, “How I Got MRSA from Our Cat”). There is also widespread concern that these animals pose a threat to pregnant mothers and newborns, due to diseases such as Toxoplasmosis. Sadly, research has also shown that cat ownership causes eczema in children (see the report here).
Allergies are a significant problem in this country and a great deal of them are associated with cats. Despite expanding medical research and a host of new drugs, there is no absolute solution to the epidemic of cat allergies, asthma and breathing difficulties plaguing young people today. Many families are simply finding it easier to avoid these housepets altogether. Like rodents, felines have strong odors and can track in dangerous outdoor elements. Cat urination spots, particularly when they cannot be located no matter how hard you look, are a major concern for pet owners. Dried flakes of feline skin and hair, otherwise toxically known as dander, can contaminate every corner of a living space. Cruelly, dander is very hard to remove from fabrics. The germs can follow you and taunt the allergic amongst us even long after we’ve left a cat space.
The habit of letting cats soil themselves indoors using open-air litterboxes is another hygiene problem. The exposure of cat droppings to household air compounded by the fact that most possessors of felines keep their windows closed to prevent them from escaping only escalates the stale, offensive stench that hangs in a cat owner’s home and on their clothing when they venture out into public.
For women, there are additional psychological dangers in a close feline relationship. Research has shown that, “Single people are more attracted to cat ownership, while dog owners are married with children.” When this is taken to the extreme, we have cat “hoarding” by the type of people colloquially referred to as, “crazy cat ladies.” Psychologists are now labeling this as a mental disease, where the hoarder develops a profane savoir complex, seeing themselves as the Mother Theresa of the feline world. They rescue any feral creature they come across and are unwilling to get them fixed so they end up breeding into the hundreds, eventually dominating these poor women’s homes. Legislation in California is currently being written to limit the number of pets an individual can own. A truly frightening documentary about this phenomenon is about to be released, entitled “Cat Ladies”. Watch the disturbing clip below.
HISTORY GIVES “PAWS” FOR CONCERN
Unlike dogs, cats do not have ancestral roots in any kind of work or service. Dogs were domesticated to help man hunt, ward off farm predators and protect the home from intruders. From there, they grew to be even tamer, developing into great companions for children. Modern felines, on the other hand, are direct descendants of a cult worship that began in Ancient Egypt 3000 years ago. They were not bred for any specific attributes but were kept because people believed them to be incarnations of vengeful pagan gods. In that epoch, the penalty for killing a cat, even accidentally, was death!
Cats were so worshipped in this myth-obsessed and polytheistic time that great parties of indulgence were held to celebrate them. The Festival of Bastet in the town of Bubastis is one famous example where the occultism of cat worship reached heights of a very carnal nature. It has been described thusly:
When the Egyptians travel to Bubastis they do so in the following manner. Men and women sail together, and in each boat there are many persons of both sexes. Some of the women make a noise with rattles, and some of the men play pipes during the whole journey, while the other men and women sing and clap their hands. When they come to a town on the way, they lay to, and some of the women land and shout and mock the women of the place, while others dance and get up to mischief. They do this at every town lying on the Nile; but when they come to Bubastis they begin the festival with great offerings and sacrifices, during which more wine is consumed than during the whole of the rest of the year. The Egyptians say that some 700,000 men and women make this pilgrimage every year. –Herodotus, 5th Century BC
The Old and New Testaments describe this period in ancient Egypt’s history and the time directly afterward in Israel but nowhere in the Bible is a cat referred to in a positive light. In fact, amazingly not one of the Apostles ever owned a cat! (It goes without saying that Jesus never did.) In the Good Book, they are often referred to as “beasts,” something akin to Satan’s serpent. Notorious King Herod was a cat owner and these pets were likely present at his birthday party where John the Baptist was beheaded. Lions– a direct member of the feline species– were specifically chosen to murder early Christians in the coliseums of the pagan Roman Empire.
Then God said, Let us make man in our image, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground. –Genesis 1:26
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. –Romans 1:23-25
The Bible and modern law are both clear on the responsibility human beings have to protect and nurture the natural world. The concept, known as “stewardship,” means that we have been entrusted with dominion over our animals, that we are to be superior to them. People are to train animals and not let animals train them. This is a very important point as we have seen above with many contemporary women’s relationships with their cats. Worship of cats, a pagan ritual if there ever was one, is truly a sin. History teaches us that it is ethically wrong for us to live our lives in service of our lesser creatures. It puts our morality and humanity at risk.
A FANCY FEAST OF FERAL IMMORALITY
Cats are prowlers, uncanny creatures of the night. Cruelty and play are one for them. They live by and for fear, practicing being scared or spooking humans by sudden rushings and ambushes. Cats dwell in the occult, that is, the “hidden” The cat totally is in league with chthonian nature, Christianity’s mortal enemy. Compared to dogs, kindly eager to please, cats are autocrats of naked self-interest. They are both amoral and immoral, consciously breaking rules. Their “evil” look at such times is no human projection: the cat may be the only animal who savors the perverse or reflects upon it. –Camilla Paglia
The above statement made by lesbian professor Camilla Paglia is meant to be a sort of liberal celebration of the self-serving psyche of felines. Unfortunately, it is all too accurate when it comes to the moral implications of the cat lifestyle for modern society. These are ungrateful and unresponsive animals that spend their days lazing around the house from one spot of sunlight to the next. They contribute very little to family life and tend to shun your attempts at friendship and training. Many an individual has come home to find their last roll of toilet paper mockingly destroyed by these little monsters. They practice a loud and proud promiscuity while discouraging their owners from forming their own real human relationships. Let them in the door and they will run your life.
A new study has confirmed that cats are highly manipulative creatures that have learned to dominate their human masters. Exploiting our kindness is their unique specialty. Scientists have established, “similarities between a domestic cat’s cry and the cry of a human baby– a sound that humans are highly sensitive to.” With special purring tones, cats have learned to train the childless among you. They train you to fetch their food, scratch behind their ears and do whatever else they require, turning you into overworked servants in your own home.
The sad, almost perverse domination cats hold over their owner’s lives is celebrated all over the internet. One of the worst offenders and a website surely worthy of a mental health study is icanhascheezburger.com (“I Can Haz Cheez Burger”). This has become one of the most popular destinations online, a bizarre cult of cat worship that almost seems inspired by Bastet’s debauched festivals. Much like the ancient Egyptians, people today have anthropomorphized their pets to the extreme, giving them human emotions and an offbeat and deep-throated human language that they exchange in endless pictures and comment sections. In this inexplicable fantasy world, cats are obsessed with eating freshly-grilled cheeseburgers and command their human owners to do all sorts of odd tasks around the home. The photos on this website reveal the clumsy and unclean interiors that your average cat owner inhabits: open food containers, dirty laundry, gigantic television screens, old couches everywhere.
70,000 kittens are born every day in the United States. This is clearly an American problem. Most people assume pussies are easy to care for, but once they’ve come into possession of one they realize this is far from the truth. With the evident health and moral problems, can we really continue to believe that there is no harm in cat ownership?