Freedom Fighters Catch a Break;
The Internet Is Safe Again for Cats
It was a great, collective effort, the kind of which hadn’t yet been seen before. Most people knew that something should be done about it, but when the conditions were finally right, and it was time to act, there was no hesitation.
In the end, it was a great victory for those of us who believe that it should be our duty to fight the good fight. We’re referring, of course, to the decision by the Israeli legislature last November, to outlaw the declawing of cats.
Now it can be said that it’s once again safe and a birthright to every citizen of the world to enjoy hours of cats frolicking online, without coming across the utterly depressing sight of paws disarmed of their natural, razor-sharp, precision needle feline nails.
Oh, and yes, it was also great to see the Web-restrictive, corporate-sponsored SOPA and PIPA bills being withdrawn from voting by the U.S. Congress this week. That may have been just a clever maneuver, though, to divert the global mobilization that the bills ignited. They can still be reintroduced when we may be all busy watching, well, Internet cats.
SCRATCH YOUR BACK
Of all the little, seemingly inconsequential humiliations we submit our pets, just so we can enjoy their company under our exact terms, declawing is the more damaging. Research has shown that the procedure, called an onychectomy, is utterly painful and may cause lifelong medical complications.
In it, the veterinarian typically removes all or most of the cat’s outer toe joint, bone and all. It’s generally accepted that, its human equivalent would be the amputation of your fingertips at or just above your third knuckle.
Considering that cats also use their toenails to walk upon, and that scratching is an important sight of healthy behavior in felines, observed both in the wild and by domestic, indoor cats, the practice has very few defenders.
They usually sit on the side that much rather have a pristine set of antique furniture, than to have a lively, extremely active and unapologetic possessive pet such as a feline. The question for this folks then is, why bother having them?
In much of Europe, Australia, Turkey, Brazil and many other countries, now including Israel, they most likely won’t have them. Unless they can prove that their pets have a medical condition, it’s a crime to declaw a cat there, punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of about $20,000.
DON’T TOUCH MY PAWS
In fact, the waning practice albeit still common in parts of the U.S., is already banned in most of California and other states, which is just as well. Once we get the whole country to adopt the ban over here, we should move to other matters of arguable abuse, such as dressing cats as Santas and having them been portrayed as bullies by Hollywood.
Anything. Just don’t touch our Internet cat videos, please. Or our right to access content on line without having to pay big corporations which, at the end of the day, are not really defending the intellectual property of artists and creators, only fatten their bottom line.
They’re the ones who should be declawed.
* Picture: Usyaka, Courtesy of Alexandra Zacharova