On Being Told What to Do (re: cats)

Being told what to do doesn’t sit at all well with me. I foresee that this might be an ongoing theme, hence the specific heading about cats in this one.

Since I became a cat owner I’ve been coming in for more than my usual share of people telling me what to do. One camp tells me not to let the cats out because they can get run over. (More on this another time.) Another camp says not to let the cats out because they’ll catch birds. (If there’s an equally vociferous group asserting that it’s mean to keep cats indoors, they must not have my number.)

Did I ask?

A friend puts up a note about special cat collars to prevent predation (fine–interesting information, I’ll think about it) and within hours the Facebook fur is flying: “Domestic cats are an invasive species and belong indoors” squares off against “If you don’t want small things killed around your home, don’t get a cat.”

I love to share information. I like to blare my opinions, as long as I can do it without starting a brushfire in my family or community. But I try very hard to avoid telling other adults how to live The Righteous Life According to Me–as if their experiences were the same as mine and their priorities ought to be–and I do wish they would return the favor!

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