Post #5: In which I ponder ‘cat hate’

Have you ever noticed how cats are often vilified in movies, t.v. shows and books? Dogs are always the hapless, lovable heroes while cats are always symbols of evil and darkness. And if the cats themselves aren’t the villains, then they simply appear in the arms of the bad guy!

Try not to hate me for this next sentence, but I was watching Adam Sandler’s Don’t Mess With the Zohan, (in my defense, I was hungover and barely functioning and hey! I don’t have to explain myself to you!) and it was painfully evident how hilarious Mr. Sandler thinks causing physical harm to cats is. The cat’s only purpose in the film is to provide comic relief in the form of a punching bag; first they use it as a hacky sack, with everyone laughing uproariously as the cat is kicked around, screaming, and later Zohan doubles over in pleasure after squirting the cat in the face with some kind of liquid.  The sound effects team must have worn out the standard cat “scream” button while making Zohan.

Disney cartoons (with the exception of a few, Lion King, The Aristocats) always portrays felines as evil characters:

Lucifer from Cinderella was often times more hated than the wicked Stepmother herself. After all, he was trying to eat adorable fat little Gus!

 

On the t.v. show “King of the Hill,” the Hill family, in an attempt to show their patriotic pride, offer to “pet-sit” for a soldier serving duty overseas. Their neighbor Bill is caring for a handsome dog, so they are more than a little surprised when their charge arrives and it’s not Man’s Best Friend. Instead, they get Duke the cat, who proceeds to spend the episode acting like no cat I’ve ever known. Bobby, their son, claims that the cat attacks him when he stops petting him, and Hank himself takes the cat to the vet after he supposedly pees everywhere. In one scene, the family is complaining about Duke when without warning, he jumps up on the dinner table and vomits over their food. If there are any cat owners out there who has had this happen to them, please email me.

 

 

Other infamous cat villains in literature, entertainment and history:

Tom from Tom and Jerry

 

Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp

 

Garfield (who constantly tormented poor Odie)

 

Catbert from the Dilbert comic strip

 

 

Azrael from The Smurfs

The evil cat from Secret of Nimh

 

Fat Cat from Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers

 

The evil leopard Sabor from Disney’s Tarzan

 

And … Crookshanks and Mrs. Norris from Harry Potter, Stuart Little’s Snowball, the cat from George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the cats of Cats and Dogs. I’m sure there are plenty of examples I am leaving out.

Here’s my line of thinking: dogs are Man’s Best Friend, right? Man’s. They are masculine animals, strong, protective, loyal. (With the strong exception of the lap-dog craze.) Dogs serve as muscle in our world, they guard our homes and serve alongside our policemen. Dogs go hunting with men, and they’re even used for cruel, macho purposes like dog fighting.

But what about cats? Well, cats … live with crazy cat ladies. And if you die alone in your apartment, it’s been said that your cat will eat your face. (Sex in the City, Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle, countless other examples) If a black cat crosses your path, bad luck is surely to follow. I had a friend once who actually told me that she thought cats were “mean and scary, always hissing and clawing.”

 

 

Dogs are to be respected, to be looked upon as equals, almost, and cats are symbols of evil and things to ridiculed and tormented. More or less.

So what’s the big deal? Well, every day you hear stories like this one:

 

Or how about this stupid waste of human life?

 

 

Just this week it was reported that someone is killing cats in a Las Vegas neighborhood. One woman has already lost two of her cats.

In my neighborhood there are two families who have young boys that constantly torment any cats that dare to wander into our cul-de-sac. One of those families is our next door neighbors, and they have two boys who for years have been shown to be abusive to animals, cats and dogs and birds alike. They shoot at them with air soft guns and throw rocks at them. Once they even found where a momma kitty was keeping her babies and proceeded to steal them and run around the street holding the terrified kittens high above their hands. Several kittens have been killed.

Before you ask, yes, I have called animal control and the police. They came out once, gave them a warning, and that was it. I myself have captured and rescued several neighborhood cats (that’s another post, though.)

So what’s the problem? The parents. They see their children doing this and they laugh. Seriously. They sit and encourage it. Especially the fathers, who think it’s funny to see their sons torment helpless animals. They even bought him a large pitbull so he could send the dog, leashless, running around the neighborhood chasing cats and people. Fairly quickly animal control was called and the dog was taken away. The family made no attempt to retrieve him.

We need to teach our children that animals are to be respected and treated with love and care. It’s no coincidence that most rapists and serial killers start their lives by abusing animals.

 

 


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