Originally Posted by Ataturk
I understand that you're doing what you do out of sympathy, but in my judgment it's misplaced. How about instead of feeding and nurturing a "colony" of cats, it was a colony of rats? They're both nuisance animals--or are the rats not cute enough?
I think we'd all be lying to ourselves if we didn't say cuteness had something to do with our acceptance of different species, but I don't think that really explains it. It's more the domestication of the species - meaning, it's ability to interact with and serve man in a domestic setting. Feral cats are essentially cast-off of domesticated species. Yes, they can live in "the suburban wild", but that's not really their purpose and they aren't geared well for it. To be sure, they're capable, but there's nothing more pitiful than a feral Persian who's coat is perpetually matted (and all the problems that go with it) because it's breeding accentuated traits for man, not for the wild. It's almost like something man went to all this work to shape and create cast off as garbage - but unfortunately it's a living thing. All feral cats struggle with issues like this - even though they might look content to be foraging, the outside world really isn't their ideal everyday environment. Could rats be domesticated? Sure, but they aren't. Any and all rats ideal environment is currently the wild, not with man (the fact that a few adventurous souls have made great pets of some, notwithstanding). A better contrast might be (if we lived in wilder places, thankfully we don't) a colony of panthers vs. a colony of domestic (feral or non) cats. I'd be leaving the panthers alone but working on the cat colony. The panthers are beautiful (by my eye) and even of the same family (genus?) but only one group really needs us.