June 20, 2017

Why Five Cats?

Cougar / Puma / Mountain Lion / Panther (Puma ...

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Today’s guest post is from John Davis, a wilderness explorer and writer, former Wild Earth editor, and Fellow of The Rewilding Institute.

Many are the personal reasons to practice nulliparity:  As compared to the majority of couples who (some unthinkingly) decide to have kids, you and your mate(s; ample freedom for diversity, if you desire that!) will have more free time, more disposable income, a cleaner house, less stress, fewer arguments, greater opportunities for travel, and a generally simpler life.  You will be spared having to relive adolescence.

You should NOT suppress your nurturing instincts, however; just apply them where the benefits clearly outweigh the costs.  I allude, of course, to the noble cat.  Dogs can be wonderful family members, too, but in the end they are a lot like kids – needy and sloppy.  (I should say at the outset: most of my friends have kids and/or dogs, and I love them all, but I’m glad they’re not mine!)

Millions of cats (and dogs) need good homes.  Adopt a cat from an animal shelter, and you are saving a life.  While you are at it, adopt two, so they can keep each other company (with your in-laws looking in on them daily) while you are traveling the Orient.  Nay, two will not do; you’ve a big house, with plenty of potential feline territories: Adopt three or four or even a wholesome five cats!  Then can you feel duly righteous, and enjoy ongoing amusement at the antics of four armfuls of playful, comely, cuddly, tidy, mouse-eradicating, self-cleaning, self-assured, unconditionally loving family members.  (Beware, though, that mature unfamiliar females may not take to each other.  Males or siblings are often easier, with Felis familiaris, that is, unlike Homo sapiens.)

My wife Denise entered our marriage with one cat, Maverick, and one son, Justin.  I entered with two cats, Taiga, and Ptarmigan.  Maverick won my confidences immediately, and gradually those of Taiga and Ptarmigan.  Justin bonded with Ptarmigan (fluffy white old male cat), but remained enigmatic to me till cancer took our beloved Ptarmigan from us much too soon.  Then did Justin rise to the occasion and console the grieving family:  He marched us down to the animal shelter where we adopted three more cats!  Though we sorely miss Ptarmigan, life is full and rich again.  By the way, for their own longevity and for the sake of songbirds, we keep all our cats indoors, and they are quite content that way.

Oh, one reason transcending the personal, if I may, to adopt cats or dogs or foster kids rather than bringing more people into the world: wild cats!  Human overpopulation is clearing and paving over much of the wildlife habitat needed by the undomesticated relatives of our beloved house cats.  To name but five of the great cats we could see restored to healthy numbers if we humans learn to control our growth:  In Africa, the kingly Lion and fleet-footed Cheetah are both dangerously reduced in numbers.  In Asia, the Leopard and Tiger have been eliminated from most of their original habitats and some subspecies teeter on the brink of extinction.  In South and North America, the Cougar, or Puma or Panther or Mountain Lion, has been widely displaced, shot, and trapped, to the point it is nearly gone from the eastern United States.  How much richer the world will be if we someday have a good chance of seeing these great cats in their natural habitats, then returning home to tell our house cats of our visits with their wild cousins!

John Davis is a wilderness explorer and writer, former Wild Earth editor, and Fellow of The Rewilding Institute.

About virtualDavis

G.G. Davis, Jr. (aka virtualDavis) is a writer, storyteller, unabashed flâneur and eager-beaver uncle. Despite two whiz-bang nieces, two superstar nephews, and rewarding teaching/coaching stints at the American School of Paris and Santa Fe Preparatory School, he remains willingly, enthusiastically and happily childfree. His WNK posts are part of an ongoing attempt to understand why. Rosslyn Redux, a transmedia chronicle about rehabilitating an historic property in the Adirondacks, offers a more ironic twist on his childfree adventure. He also blogs at virtualDavis.com and EssexonLakeChamplain.com. Connect with G.G. Davis, Jr. via Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Comments

  1. Fantastic post John. I agree that there are plenty of cats and kids that could use a home.
    Adoption is an excellent option!

Trackbacks

  1. […] former Wild Earth editor, and Fellow of The Rewilding Institute. John’s previous post, “Why Five Cats?“, took a lighthearted look at the merits of nulliparity and cat ownership. Today’s post […]

  2. […] Wild Earth editor, and Fellow of The Rewilding Institute. John’s previous posts, “Why Five Cats?” (a lighthearted look at the merits of nulliparity and cat ownership) and Sire of All Crises […]

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  4. […] former Wild Earth editor, and Fellow of The Rewilding Institute. John’s previous post, “Why Five Cats?“, took a lighthearted look at the merits of nulliparity and cat ownership. Today’s post […]

  5. […] Wild Earth editor, and Fellow of The Rewilding Institute. John’s previous posts, “Why Five Cats?” (a lighthearted look at the merits of nulliparity and cat ownership) and Sire of All Crises […]

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