Wednesday, 12 June 2013

e is for ekiscatics

E is for ekiscatics.  Did you know that?  Well, you do now 'cause I just told you.

There once was a word...  a word called ekistics.  It meant - accordin' to the good folks at Oxford - "the study of human settlements and their development," or somethin' like that.  I suppose humans would want to study their own developmental settlements.  That's fair.  We cats, on their other paw, want to study the development of cat settlements and now, thanks to me, we even have a word for it. 

That's right...  I'm back to the inventin' of the words.  Did you miss me?  'Cause I kind of missed the month of May.  No new words last month.  What a shame.  MOUSES!

Ekiscatics is a very in-depth study.  There must be at least one university out there wantin' to add it to their curriculum.  Now that there's an official word to describe the science, I would expect many universities to hop right on the ol' bandwagon and start offering undergraduate degrees in the subject.  It's only logical.

And speakin' of bandwagons...   they are NOT used in the development of cat settlements.  Cats don't hop on bandwagons.  Bandwagons are strictly for peeps.

So just how do cat settlements, develop?  It turns out, there are many ways.  Some good and some bad.  The bad ones almost always involve the nasty side of the species that is peep.

I, myself, belong to a good cat settlement, also referred to as family.  The twelve of us cats settled in quite nicely to this house.  The peeps think they invited us in but the truth is, we all staked a claim on this here property and made it our own.  As luck would have it, the house came with two full-time servants.  Bonus!

There are many cat settlements similar to mine but on a smaller scale.  There are also some that are larger.  Basically, however, this type of cat settlement is quite standard.  It involves a structure in which cats live in association with peeps.  The laws of the land are dictated by the peeps once we cats tell 'em what to dictate.  The peeps are allowed to believe they are in control of the settlement.  They're not, of course, but it's always easier to let them think they are.  Peeps, by nature, are quite gullible so this is an easy task.

Population of the settlement is strictly controlled.  This is done by the neutering and spaying of the populace.  Population expansion is allowed, on occasion, but only through immigration, otherwise known as adoption.  The system works.  It has been a number of years since my settlement has undergone an expansion and that would have been with the adoption of my brother Rushton.  There are no further expansions in the foreseeable future as the size of our settlement is currently at a comfortable level.

Some cat settlements, however, develop quite differently. 

Let me tell you the story of a cat named Catrina.  Catrina is not an actual cat but the story that I will tell you has been played out, over time, more times than I care to admit.  It's a sad story but one which must be told.  It should be told to peeps over and over and over again until they learn.

Catrina was a cute little kitten.  Of course, kittens are always cute.  Catrina, however, was particularly so.  Calico colouring with silky long fur and a purr that could be heard miles away.  When Tommy scooped her up and out of the box at the yard sale he held her tightly to his chest and looked up at his mom.  "Please?  Oh, please mom?  I'll take care of her.  I promise.  Cross my heart and everything."

The mother hesitated but looking into her little boy's pleading eyes, she finally acquiesced and the two headed home with the new member of their family.

Tommy's dad wasn't all that happy with the arrival of Catrina but he huffed and he puffed and grumbled an agreement that his son could keep the cat.

About six months later, Catrina started to make loud noises.  Noises she had never made before.  Tommy was worried that his little baby was sick and pleaded to his father to take her to the doctor.  "Damn cat's in heat, that's all!" was the father's reply.

One day, a few weeks later, Tommy hopped off the school bus and ran down the driveway.  He called and called for Catrina.  Where was she?  She always met him at the door when he came home from school.  Where could she be?  "Damn cat's gone," his father told him.  "She went and got herself pregnant."

Tommy was beside himself but that was nothing compared to poor little Catrina.  Left alone by the side of a country road, Catrina looked around.  Still a kitten herself, she had kittens on the way and no home.  No place for her and no place for her babies.  What would she do?

Eventually, Catrina found an old, abandoned farmhouse.  It was shelter from the elements, if nothing else.  There was no food and no water but she had a roof over her head.  A dirty old blanket, too tattered to have been taken by the house's previous owners would provide a bed.  It wasn't much but it was something.

In the following months, Catrina made the most of her new home.  She now had five precious babies in her care.  They were beautiful.  She taught them to mouse and clean themselves and most importantly, she taught them to fear humans.  Feral cats need to fear humans.  Humans can be cruel.

The years passed and Catrina had become the matriarch of the settlement.  She looked old and was frail even though she had lived through only five or six winters.  The life of an outdoor cat is a hard one and the years pass slowly and cruelly.  So much loss had Catrina suffered.  Babies lost to illness, hunger and coyotes.  She thought about all her babies now gone.  Then she thought about her children and grandchildren still with her.  What would become of them?  Would they lead a life of hardship such as hers?

That night, Catrina slept peacefully.  For the first time in a very long time, she slept straight through the night.  Her body had been so tired and so weak for so long.  She needed her sleep.

Morning came and one of Catrina's grand babies nudged at her, trying to wake her up.  Catrina didn't move.  She didn't wake up.  The kitten meowed, repeatedly, before the meows turned into cries of loss.  Catrina was gone.

If only...  if only Tommy's mom had not allowed him to take Catrina that day at the yard sale.  If only Catrina had been adopted by a responsible peep.  A peep who knew that if you love cats, you get them spayed and neutered and you never, NEVER abandon them out in the country - or anywhere else - forcing them to fend for themselves.  If only...

Every school in every land should teach peeps the science of ekiscatics.  Peeps need to be taught how cat settlements develop and the part they play in that development.  Peeps need to be taught the difference between right and wrong.  The difference between responsible and irresponsible.  The difference between good and evil.

28 comments:

  1. you are breaking my heart today.. it so needs to get out there what kitties go through, as far too few people spend any time thinking about it.. I so hope this post touches even one person and makes them think in a new way..

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    1. That's what I hope, too. If even just one peep stops, thinks, and does the right thing instead of the wrong, this post will have made a difference. purrs

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  2. The story of Catrina is very sad but yet, it happens way too often. :(

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  3. that's a heartbreaker. i hope to get more information about responsibly caring for outdoor/stray/feral cats because we've been feeding a few of them in the backyard. it's hard to trap them, they know us but won't let us near them at all. as of now all we do is feed them and make sure that they are present at dinner time. it breaks our hearts with worry when we call for dinner and they don't show up in the backyard.

    emma and buster's mom.

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  4. dood...yur post...sad lee...iz all two troo....this iza grate awareness post N we hope ekiscatics getz teeched in everee skewl, home, N shelterz cross de land......this post bee why ewe haz that awardz up ther in de korner...

    ~~~~~~~~~

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  5. This subject should be required learning starting in grade school - let the kids go home and teach their parents!

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  6. That, my friend, was one of the best I've ever read! I agree, it should be required reading and then maybe someday we could fix stupid. Bravo Nessy!

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  7. It is a sad story with a good message for silly people who are use to everything being disposable! Lee and Phod

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  8. A very hard post to read and very heartbreaking. Of course, you are preaching to the choir. Those humans who need to hear this never will until some huge pet food or pet litter or other similar company will put out the money to blanket the TV often and for the rest of the life of this earth with information about spay and neuter and what happens to animals who are denied this. And all our shelters everywhere need to offer free or very low cost spay and neuter programs. Wish I had the money to set this all in motion. Purrs and hugs from the kitties at The Cat on My Head, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

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  9. Excellent story. Sure am glad I'm fixed and can't help increase the population of kitties!

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  10. My Human confesses she could not read the last part of your post but in her heart she knows what happens. She does what she can in her tiny little corner of the universe to help prevent the Bad Things.

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    1. I know she does, Spitty. I know she does... purrs

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  11. Nissy, my very bestest bloggin' furriend...THIS POST should be your entry for 2014 Nose to Nose Best Writer at Blog Paws. I can't do so tonight, but I will Tweet this, FB share it and repost it with great honor. So hard to read without leaky eyes...but the best ever evidence of what it means to adopt...with care...as Leader Otis says...as Guardians of our furramily and to be commit to keeping them safe, healthy and loved.. Thank Ceiling Cat Nissy, you and I found our furrever Guardians who are of that very cut of cloth. Catrina's story is one for the ages...I am not done with telling it...warm paw hugs, Savannah and Mom Linda

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  12. I hope my comment got through...your site is acting a bit weird...sigh...it was really a good one I thought

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    1. Yup. Got through, loud and clear. Hope my blog didn't give you too many problems. Hate it when Blogger decides to go all boogery. I think your commet got stuck up in comment moderation. It was about one in the mornin' here so I was fast asleep and couldn't moderate it until I got up.

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I will enter this post, next year, for sure. The more peeps who read it, the more chance we have of savin' lives.

      Purrs,
      Nissy

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  13. Awww Nerissa. This is such a moving story. It made my human cry.
    Sadly, even if Catrina isn't real, there are so many Catrinas... and so many humans refusing to be responsible in so many areas.
    Sigh.

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  14. You got this one sooooo right! We wish there were more responsible, hero type peeps out there. Keep spreading the word! Hugs :-)

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  15. We agree that is so sad and pets are not disposable items. Have a terrific Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  16. Well said Nissy.....I don't think people really think about how tough life can be for us on our own. Catrina's story illustrates a lesson that needs to be learned by all humans everywhere. It's a responsibility not to be taken lightly when people take on the care of a pet of any kind. So many stories of sad endings - you'd think people would THINK about what they're doing when they take home that cute puppy or kitten. It makes me sad.

    Kitty hugs, Sammy

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  17. Nissy, this brought tears to my eyes. My heart hurts for all the Catrina's in the world. This is why my human donates to good peeps who do good things for cats that have no home.

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  18. Our Mum had wet eyes when she had read this - how can humans be so cruel. We were lucky as we are rescue cats but not every cat can be that lucky.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

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    1. really Its very sad story..:( when I read tear come to my eyes.:(

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  19. Oh Nissy, that is so true that story. I know because I was all alone in the big world cos no one cared for me. Then I got hurt and taken to the furries hospital. Eventually this funny lady came and took me to her home. I've been tormenting her ever since hehe, but I put the lovin on her quite a lot, just so's she knows I'm furrever grateful!!

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  20. Crying like a baby here!!! Doing cat rescue I have seen this time & time again.....it never gets easier...this story carries the message loud & clear..thank you for sharing Catrina's story....
    Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue (who was thrown out at almost 5 years old because she was too sick to have more babies in a puppy mill operation..)

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  21. I was alone, kicked out of the house I used to live in. They just disposed of me, not wanted anymore.. So pawleazed I found my new family and I have been here 6 years now :) xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

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  22. Lovely story and sadly true. Both Stella and Maybel of @stellamaybel are rescues. Wouldn't have it any other way. They look alike but are as different as day and night! We love them dearly and would have more but there are pet zoning laws here. We hope to move to the country soon where we can help out a little more.

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  23. OMC Nissy. You brought tears to Mum's eyes. She rescued us after a mean person tried to drown us when we were kittens. Thank catness someone saw the bad man throw the garbage bag in the river and got us out. It was a close call. Mum takes good care of us now and we gets lots of love. This is how us kitties should be treated.

    Your furriend,
    River Whimsie

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    1. Oh River... Really? How awful! What a rotten person that man was. Really, really rotten. A disgrace to humanity!

      But thank God you were rescued in time. I'm ever so grateful to the person who rescued you. Ever so grateful..

      Purrs,
      Nissy

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