Light Chau / The Silhouette

It is funny how underwear and bikinis are the exact same thing. They reveal the same amount of skin and, yet one is socially accepted whereas the other isn’t.

The same can be said about stray and feral cats. Every day when I walk home, you would not believe the dozens of cats that I see with their curious eyes watching from the tall grass. There is even a colony of cats and kittens living by a bridge nearby my house. With cuteness being my kryptonite, I made it a habit to feed them every morning. After doing a bit of research, I found that it is okay for a person to feed a stray cat because they were once indoors and are used to human contact.

It is not recommended, however, for a person to feed a feral cat because of their lack of interactions.

Not many people may know the difference between the two; a stray cat is any cat that has been lost and a feral is the offspring of a stray cat.

Of course you can wear that bikini top with a pair of shorts during a hot summer day, just don’t mistake it for your bra. I thought this was ridiculous; a starving cat is a starving cat. That was enough for me.

Feral cats that are brought into shelters are euthanized after a certain holding time to make room for more stray cats that are said to have a better chance at finding a home.

I’m sure that if two cats were presented to me I wouldn’t be able to tell which was stray or feral while browsing through the cages. Feral cats shouldn’t have to be segregated because of their upbringing. It’s just a matter of giving it time and love – anyone would be cautious of their surroundings if they had been fighting for survival throughout their whole life. These cats should not have to suffer for what someone most likely did to them.

They did not just one day end up on the streets. A lot of careless owners let their pets escape or abandoned them simply because they were no longer wanted. The numbers of cats living on the streets are increasing, just as are the amount of bikinis and old lingerie being added to landfills. Of all the cats being brought into shelters, only 10 per cent have been spayed or neutered; that leaves the other 90 per cent able to find mates and reproduce. Unlike bikinis that are only manufactured seasonally, most cats start carrying offspring as early as five months and can reproduce up to three times a year.

The numbers just keep increasing. I hope that the government will start funding for a stray and feral cats program so that there will be more shelters that are willing to take in and care for feral cats instead of putting them down.

This is also for the safety of other animals as well as us. A lot of the cats are territorial and end up in fights that leave them with injuries that go untreated, which results in diseases that can be transmitted.

With more cats off the streets there will be a lesser chance of a flea infestation and less complaints from your neighbours about loud cat fights and mating sessions.

I also hope that pet owners realize the urgency in getting their pets neutered and spayed so that if their pets do wander off into the streets, there won’t be any unplanned litters and less fights due to hormones. Not only does it benefit us, but them too. Spaying and neutering will prevent diseases and cancer and help limit the already overpopulated streets and shelters.

You would not believe how many girls I recently saw wearing a sheer chiffon shirt layered over top of a bra.

That’s not appropriate for the public; they should have just worn a bikini top instead. We really need to get our hearts straightened out and stop categorizing strays from feral cats. They’re all facing a common problem and suffering just as much as the other.

They both need our help and have the right to receive the same kind of attention and care. Shelters should stop euthanizing feral cats to make room for stray cats just because one is claimed to be more adoptable than the other. They are both animals in need of love and care and that’s all that should be accounted for.

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