A Letter to the Editor of The Sweaty Penguin from Katherine “Kat” Haityr:
So it’s kitten season, and it’s been kitten season for quite a while. Shelters have been overwhelmed with cats for months and months, and while they try to keep them all protected, it can be hard. It’s emotionally draining on the workers to see their cats suffer due to a lack of homes, of resources. And that is why I have a message for you cats: be nicer.
I get it. You’re a mean animal. Your cousins are off in the wild with titles like “Fastest Animal in the World” and “King of the Jungle.” They chase down prey, even springboks and gazelles, to feed themselves and their family. They work hard to keep their titles and aren’t afraid to throw punches in the process.
But you’re not them. You are house cats. Pets that people keep in their homes. You gotta cut it out. You can’t be mean. You can’t claw at your owner, you can’t cringe away from a pat on the back, you can’t leap into the air in fear at the sight of a cucumber. You need to be nice. You need to curl up with your owner in bed, let them pet you and snuggle you and love you, come back once in a while when you leave the house on your own volition. You need to give them reason to keep you around.
That’s why everyone doesn’t buy you. That’s why everyone buys dogs instead. Hell, people even buy fish over you. Fish! Do you realize what fish do? Not a damn thing. They sit in a tank which needs to be cleaned, they demand food which they sometimes forget to eat, you gotta make them a whole elaborate aquarium just so they can float near some nice scenery. And when you get two fish? You’re in for quite the fight.
Look at dogs. Whenever someone comes to my house, my dog leaps into their arms, knocks them onto the floor, paces on top of their body, and licks them until they are glazed with a layer of saliva. Sweetest thing in the world, right? Dogs get you moving, they make you play games to give them their treats, they have you throw balls for them to fetch, they chew up your entire house out of sheer energy. They’re so lovable!
Why can’t you be like them, cats? Imagine if you were. Everyone would adopt you, and overpopulation wouldn’t be an issue. Think about it. Do you want to pretend to be a little nicer and live in a home, or be a grump and cause an environmental disaster? I obviously can’t tell you what to do, but I hope you’ll give it some consideration.