Social media has possibly become the most powerful tool in the world. There is a lot of negative activity on social media however I feel like the good outweighs the bad. It can reunite lost friends, keep family in touch when a relative lives in a different town or country, you can spread good news, promote small businesses and, the most important part of social media, you can share photos of your beloved felines (which is what the internet was invented for after all…)
By joining a community Facebook group, you can keep up to date with news in your local area, share any worries or concerns and maybe get some help. There is a lot you can do;
- You were walking to the local co-op and found some house keys on the floor? Post it on Facebook.
- On your way back from the co-op you noticed you had lost your wallet? Post it on Facebook.
- You get home and there is a dog with a collar roaming the street, but you can’t quite catch it? Post it on Facebook, and maybe ring the RSPCA or Dog Warden.
- You realise you have not seen your own cat for two days which is unusual? Post it on Facebook.
- You get to your door and notice that someone has tried to break in? Phone the police!… and then post it on Facebook to warn others.
Without these community groups I do not think anyone would know what was going on in their local area. I remember when I was a child, in my childhood home, everyone on our street knew each other. We all grew up together and knew what was going on and when. When we moved to a new area, that social activity just ended. I am not sure if it was the layout of the houses which made it difficult to chat or we had just moved to an unsociable area, but no one spoke to each other. We exchanged ‘hellos’ with the house opposite as we kind of knew them from some time ago, but that was it. How did we cope before Facebook arrived and the community Facebook groups were created?
As much as I support these groups and think they do so much good for so many people, there is a particular kind of post that I see all too often, and I can’t help get annoyed about it. It consists of a photo of a cat with the line ‘Does this cat belong to anyone? He is so friendly, but I think he is lost. He keeps coming in my garden. I feed him when I see him, but he won’t leave.’ Of course he won’t leave, you twit, you’re feeding him!
Before you suddenly decide to feed every cat that wanders in to your garden to empty his bowels, ask yourself some questions:
- Does he look unhealthily skinny?
- Is his fur matted and tatty?
- Does he look in pain?
- Are there any obvious injuries?
If the answer to any of the above is ‘No’ then leave them alone. Cats have a built in GPS system, they cannot get lost unless they accidentally climb in to a HGV bound for 300 miles away. It wanted a free meal and you gave it to him. Whenever I see these posts on Facebook it drives me up the wall. Don’t you understand? Cats are manipulative arseholes!
My beloved cat is Cleo (aka Ginger, Gee Gee, Pudding, Miss Kitty and Stop Licking Your Arse). She is a house cat and my baby. She is shy with strangers which doesn’t bother me, she is my cat so why would I want her showing love and affection to someone else? Yes, she is spoiled, but only because she knows how to wrap my fiancé around her little kitty toes. She is far from hungry (her belly will show you that) and she is far from thirsty. Even though she does not have the life of an outdoor cat and can’t wander in to other people’s gardens she is still a cat. She still has those skills to manipulate us.
Cleo has an obsession with water. Fresh, cold water. Her water is provided in the kind of bowl you would give to an Alsatian. It is huge and not necessary for a small cat at all, unless your cat is Cleo. She has never gone through a full bowl but as soon as it has gone down a small amount, it’s no longer cold, there is a hair in it or a biscuit from her food, she will let us know. And oh boy, does she let us know about it. We have left the food and water on the first-floor landing, and whenever you head in that direction she will follow you. Her tail is straight up in the air, those beautiful eyes are dilated to look like malteasers, she looks up at you like you are a God and then that ever so delicate squeaky yap hits you right in the heart strings. No one can resist. She knows how to get what she wants because she is a cat and, therefore, an arsehole. Even this morning, I had an argument with Cleo about her water when she yapped for more. I told her ‘No’ because she actually has two bowls of water now. I put my foot down… and then turned on the tap in the bathroom sink for her to drink out of.
ALL cats have this skill. They are very rarely lost and hungry. They will have owners who won’t be best pleased that their pets are being fed by someone else and pretending to be their owner. It also means they are eating too much which will affect their health. Stop feeding them! If you do happen to come across a cat in your garden that looks injured, distressed, starved (skinny) etc then take it to the vets, phone the RSPCA, post that on Facebook. That is fine. But if a healthy looking cat wanders in to your garden and flirts with you for food, leave it alone! If you feed it once then yes, it will return to you. Not because it loves you, but because you have given it a treat. Cleo never comes to me for her Dreamies, because she knows I won’t give them out (because it is me who has to answer to the vet about her weight…) she only goes to my fiancé because he dishes them out daily. Once she has had them she doesn’t want anything to do with him again. Do you see? Arsehole!