Letter to Catster Magazine
Catster Magazine sent me an email today saying they were picking up where Cat Fancy left off, and my heart groaned inside my chest. Immediately, I thought of the pages and pages of ads and promotion for the cruel act of hybridizing wild cats and domestic cats to create "designer" breeds.
I flashed forward to years more of people calling me, desperately wanting to get rid of their Bengal Cat or Savannah Cat, because none of the rescue groups will take them and the shelters usually have to put them down, due to their awful habits.
In a moment of inspiration, or total delusion (time will tell) I wrote the publisher the following:
I know this is a long shot, but how much would Big Cat Rescue have to pay you to NOT promote hybrid cats that have wild cat ancestry?
Cat Fancy was full of ads by hybrid breeders promising a tiger on your couch that would wow your friends and eat cat food and use a litter box, but what consumers end up with is a wild animal that pees and poops all over the house and wants to eat your kids and pets.
I'd really like to see Catster take the high ground and tell the truth about the cruelty involved in hybrid breeding and make a commitment to never offer ad space to anyone selling or promoting hybrids as pets.
More about this issue here: http://bigcatrescue.org/hybrid-facts/
We have a strong audience; nearly a million cat lovers on Facebook and over 94 million views on YouTube. We would love to promote a magazine that cares more about cats than ad revenue.
Legislation is starting to pick up momentum to outlaw hybrid ownership, so it would be a great move by Catster to get out ahead of the trend and even be able to take credit for it.
I've been rescuing exotic cats for 30 years and can tell you that hybrid ownership almost never works out, if the cat is F1-F4 and you can't get to F5 without all of the cruelty involved in the first 4 generations.
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
Speed Trap Heart Attack
I don't even remember the last time I got a speeding ticket. Chalk that up to old age; either I am driving like a little old granny these days, or I just can't remember...
I didn't get a ticket today, as I drove past a speed trap, but nearly had a heart attack. The opponents to protecting wild animals are an evil lot, who don't respect life in any form, and over the years I've been physically attacked, threatened, and intimidated by a number of back yard breeders and exploiters. As a result, I am always a little on edge, but didn't realize how much I constantly scan the scene for danger until today.
My parents gave me two costly gifts in the past few months; a pretty little red golf cart to use at the sanctuary and a Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner. My mother and I spent an hour and 15 minutes at the DMV doing the title transfer this morning and on the way to the sanctuary is when I nearly flipped the new truck over to escape being shot!
Or that is what I thought was happening... As I scanned to the right, I saw an unmarked police car, in the driveway to a store that shut down last year. The driveway is often used by the convenience store patrons and the church on the other side, so it was a place you would expect to see someone sitting, as they were just waiting for a break in traffic, and not a place one would expect a sheriff's deputy to have set up a speed trap.
As I glanced at the car, I notice what appears to be a man pointing a gun at my face and adrenaline flushed through my veins like a tidal wave. There was that instance of fight or flight where I was struggling to remember if my gun (I have a concealed weapons permit and am a very good shot) was in this car or not. I was considering evasive action, but was hemmed in by traffic. I considered just broadsiding my assailant but (thankfully) thought better of that.
And then the pieces began to fit as I cruised on past. He didn't shoot. My windshield was intact. Typical shape of an unmarked police car. That gun was too broad at the nose. My thumping heart began to calm, but I just couldn't help but think how badly all of that could have gone if just one of those reactions, to the constant harassment I face, had caused me to take some action other than just passing by.
Constantly challenging the way we treat animals and encouraging people to rethink their involvement, such as paying to pet lion and tiger cubs, or going to the circus, or buying designer hybrid cats is not for the faint of heart. Big Cat Rescue is pressing for laws that will protect wild animals from these abuses, but Joe Biden famously said, "No fundamental social change occurs merely because government acts. It's because civil society, the conscience of a country, begins to rise up and demand - demand - demand change."
The animals, and I, need you to "demand - demand - demand change."
A Friendly Game of Cat and Mouse