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Was I too harsh?

Winston
October 15th, 2007, 07:44 PM
Tonight I had a conversation with some new children in the neighbourhood. They are 15 and 10...They have a beautiful kitten that they leave outside all the time. I am pretty sure she is under a yr old..Once before I told them they should keep her inside so she doesn't get hit by a car...hoping to appeal to the kids...

Tonight she was out..so I couldnt resist..I asked them why they dont keep her inside..they tell me she is bad and doesnt cover her poop? so I said does she go on tghe floor and they said yes...I said if you keep her inside she will learn to use the litter box...I said if you keep her inside she wont have babies and fight with other cats...they tell me she is already having babies!! (i was horrified...she looks so young!)..so of course I had to say what are you going to do with the babies..the girl says my cousin wants one and the rest are going to the shelt...and her brother interupted and said they have homes...I was so mad...and I know they are only kids soo I said a few things like...do you know how many kittens are out there? do you know how many are hungry and starving and dont have homes? do you know how many the SPCA and other shelters kill ? the poor girl looked at me absolutely horrified! I felt bad but yet these kids think that it is okay??? Ii told the boy that he should tell his mom to get her fixed after the babies and to keep her in the house..I alsoo tried to explain that she could have something wrong with her if she goes to the bathroom outside her box...

After all was said and done the only thing I think I did was scare the little girl...everything else went in one ear and out the other ?? I think?

Now I am sitting here feeling bad about what I said..they are just kids? but honestly I was just thinking maybe the message will get home to mom & dad....

Cindy

breeze
October 15th, 2007, 07:59 PM
I would have done the same thing as you, so no I don't think you were too harsh, and I don't think that the kids were to young to hear the things you said....

IMO if you can't educate the adults then start educating the young ones !! You might not reach all of them but maybe just maybe you will reach one of them..

:thumbs up

kashtin's kin
October 15th, 2007, 08:30 PM
Unless you were hollering at the top of your lungs and shaking your fist the whole time, I think that those kids will survive their 'trauma'...and sometimes things do stick with young minds, despite your doubts. At least you cared enough to get a sense of this poor cat's living situation, and tried to relate some realities to a child and a teenager.

If you think you may run into a similar situation (or 'the same one', again), maybe you could pick up some pro s/n info from a rescue group or humane society? I've got a couple of pamphlets that detail exactly how many cats can result from one breeding pair in a decade (i.e. thousands, pretty much, even factoring in mortality rates). That's a very sobering thought...

It parents have missed the s/n and responsible pet ownership boat, then their children NEED someone like you to try to convey some more humane alternatives!!!!

p.s. if you're still feeling 'harsh', maybe just kind of tell the kids how you take care of your critters etc. in a really positive way, and make perky! suggestions...if you get the chance!?

Winston
October 15th, 2007, 08:36 PM
No I was not yelling or anything but it was the look on her face when I said that they kill cats at the SPCA!! I think she thought it was a good place to go!! :mad:

I did ask the older boy if they were going to let her have more babies and he said no! his mom did not want her to have more :yell: I think these kids need to see the reality of it...but I guess I was just feeling bad for the response...I am sure life will go on especially at that age! they probavly forgot the moment I walked away.

Thanks guys!

pamha
October 15th, 2007, 11:19 PM
they probavly forgot the moment I walked away.


not necessarily, and hopefully not. If the parents aren`t educating, or somehow don`t know themselves about these facts someone needs to teach the kids. And if you`re just telling them in a matter of fact way, cause they didn`t know, well good for you! I was in college when my roommate got a kitten, fully expecting to take it to a shelter when the term was done. I was mad at her, mostly cause she wasn`t responsible for it, but never even thought about how many cats are put down because of people like her *happy ending though, her parents ended up keeping it! My daughter is 11 and already knows about things like puppymills, the importance of neutering, pet rescues, etc and even when she was small would ask before petting people`s animals- all things I had no clue about as a kid, mainly because we didn`t have any pets most of my growning up years and when we did, never questioned how my parents took care of them.

If you can get important messages across to kids without bringing the parents out to cuss at you, you`ve done a very good thing :thumbs up

krdahmer
October 16th, 2007, 12:35 AM
At those ages, I think what you said to them was fine. They need to know the dangers and the more educated they are the more they may press their parents to take care of the cat. I would also maybe have a conversation with the mother to let her know that there are real dangers and risks for a cat that young having kittens, the one feral I had had a litter at just about a year and all the kittens died, they need to be prepared. Don't feel bad, in fact if you feel up to it, I'd go at this family even more aggressively with the information and realities of letting their cat roam and have kittens so young, and what really happens at shelters... too many think that all those dropped of kittens find great homes... and its just sadly not so. A lot of people just don't get the proper and factual info before taking home a pet... I know I certainly didn't and was thankful for the advice of others. :thumbs up

kashtin's kin
October 16th, 2007, 01:12 AM
...Winston/Cindy, I just wanted you to know that I didn't think that you were out there hollering away and brow-beating minors!! I type faster than I think, so sometimes I'm a tad incoherent :o. I'm sure you caught my intended-to-be not serious tone at the beginning of my response, but thought I'd just make sure I didn't offend :eek: in any way??!!

Personally, I've planned for years on just how crabby and outspoken I will be when I'm a 'raging granny-a-like'; on the one hand, why on earth wait till then?? On the other hand, DH would likely say, "You mean you're still waiting?! It gets more um, intense than THIS??" [sound of running size 10 feet and slamming door followed by quickly shifting gears of car...]:D

p.s. the recounting of your experiance has made me resolve to be more assertive if I am faced with such a scenario (or something similar), so that's a good spin-off, too!

Ford Girl
October 16th, 2007, 12:13 PM
Winston, I think education is better then ignorance in every case. These kids might have felt sad or upset, but that is the truth about shelters and unfixed free to be outside animals. You didn't make it up, you didn't yell or get angry, but you did tell them the truth. Even if one bit of that info made it home to their mom, you've done a good thing! :thumbs up

ancientgirl
October 16th, 2007, 02:09 PM
Kids learn from their parents and unfortunately it seems like their parents have taught them its just an animal and its okay for it to live outside in the harsh world.

I think what you said was fine and even though the girl may have been horrified, it was the truth. She's old enough to be told what happens to unwanted animals. Maybe it was just the right push to get them to thinking.

If kids aren't taught how to treat animals with respect and care then those are the future abusers and neglecter's.

That poor kitty, so little to be having babies. :sad:

want4rain
October 16th, 2007, 05:14 PM
from a parents perspective- no, not too harsh at all. you didnt scar any of them at all. if anything you opened her eyes and the worse their parents will ahve to deal with is a cuppla kids who refuse to eat beef anymore and insist on keeping that pregnant kitten inside the house.

be aware a lawsuit CAN come of that thought.

-ash

chico2
October 16th, 2007, 05:26 PM
There are many people out there,who will get a cute little kitten for the kids,not ever planning on spending any money on a mere cat:yell:
With the attitude"So she gets killed by a car?? So what,there are more where she came from:yell:
It's the unfortunate truth in many cases..
I do not think you were harsh,kids have to learn,or they'll grow up,beeing as irresponsible as the parents:cat:

chico2
October 16th, 2007, 05:28 PM
Ps.I am sort of a busy-body:laughing:,I would definetly talk to the mother and give her some words of wisdom.

Winston
October 16th, 2007, 08:57 PM
:yell:Thanks everyone! I plan on keeping my mission up of teaching them as best I can...I dont think mom speaks English but I will try when I have a chance! I strongly believe it starts with education and clearly these poor kids have a different form of education when it comes to animals! but baby steps is how I see it! someone has to try...I just felt bad because this poor little girl really thinks the SPCA is a good place to go?? :yell:

Last night Winston almost ate the poor kitten...it was quite late and I took him outside in the yard and she was in my rose garden I guess..There was a lot of fuss and noise and the next thing I know she is flying out of the yard and down the driveway...I walked over to her until she ran home....not that she was going inside! she is so cute...and so young..my guess is 6 months old! :yell:

Thanks again!

Cindy

Love4himies
October 17th, 2007, 09:45 AM
I think you did the right thing, they may not have appeared to be listening but I bet they are rethinking what you said to them and imagining the horrors of an overcrowed shelter. They should be educated on the reality of the overpopulation of pets, if not by their parents, but somebody else. Your conversation may have affected them enough that they will get their future pets spayed/neutered.