Three-legged? – Poor thing. This is the main response we get from most people when adoption albums of amputated dogs and cats are published and not much else. Don’t get me wrong – there are some amazing people out there who focus on anything but what they see, when choosing which animal to adopt. But they are not a lot.
Most people will share, cry or even urge others to adopt a “special needs” cat like a blind, a three legged or a deaf one, but when it comes to actually choosing a pet, they will go for a healthy, seeing, hearing, all limbs intact and preferably white kitten.
I think I’ve said that before: feeling sorry for the “poor” three legged or blind kitten up for adoption is projecting our human perception of what is considered healthy and socially acceptable. Three legged cats are not special needs cats. Neither are three legged dogs. They are perfectly normal, completely functional, and mentally stable. They simply don’t feel sorry for themselves, because there is nothing to be sorry about.
A blind, deaf, or three-legged cat does not realize that there’s anything wrong with its physiology. Its schoolmates never made fun of it at school and it did not spend its life watching other cats walk around on four legs while it was wondering what’s wrong with it, why it got so unlucky and why did this had to happen to it.
I guess there are two reasons why people hesitate to adopt a three-legged animal. One is definitely fear of the unknown. If you are not used to seeing it, it might feel weird and many might think that an amputated cat is actually a special needs one – which is not. The second reason has its roots in our perception of perfection, of what is socially acceptable and of what is worth being proud of.
Blind, deaf and three – legged dogs and cats don’t get adopted that easily for the same reason black, adult and mix breed dogs and cats don’t. We choose most things – our car, our clothes, our hairstyle – based on the image of us we want to project to society. Just as a sports car projects money, bachelor lifestyle, and nightclubs, different breeds of pets project whatever it is we want them to about ourselves. But nobody wants to project disability.
Now, here’s the thing. A companion animal is exactly what it sounds like: a companion animal. Behind closed doors, when we are left with nobody but ourselves, we all know who we are, whether we like it or not. A blind or three-legged cat will not makes us less of a bachelor, a Lolita, a womanizer, a businessman, an athlete or whatever it is we believe we are. Nor will it make us more of those things. A companion animal will be there for you, by your side, whoever you believe you are. So let us pick our best friends based on what we want from them, once the doors are closed and we are left with them alone. If we want to cuddle, we can do it with a healthy cat just as we can with a blind, a deaf or a three legged one.
You can check SCARS cats and kittens for adoption here. If you are interested in adopting a rescue cat or kitten, please email the charity at: firstname.lastname@example.org or message their Facebook page. Donations are more than welcome.