Thursday, February 20, 2014

What do cats think about animal studies?

Anthrozoology (the study of human-animal interactions) and animal studies are growing areas in academia. What do animals think about that?

This week I recieved a beautiful copy of Max: The Confessions of a Cat, by celebrated Australian poet Antigone Kefala. 

Written in both English and Greek, this is a beautiful book for anyone who loves a) animals b) cats c) animal studies d) poetry e) Greek language f) English language g) beautiful illustrations. 

"People are often complacent and unwilling to let 'other' voices be heard," reads the blurb. 

The protagonist, Max, observes the emergence of new theoreticians and animal rights theorists.

I must admit that in spite of all this, the equation seems constantly to favour humans, it carries their point of view. We must all take to writing, this is the only way. Tell our our analysis, present the CAT'S point of view. Maybe, as some friends are suggesting, I should take to oral history, interview some CATS, see what they have to say, directly, their lives, experiences, their difficulties and so on, this may prove interesting.
Indeed. Max's confessions are delightful, wry, thought-provoking and lovely to read.

Meanwhile on the internet this week, an unlikely friendship between Roo, a two-legged chihuahua who uses a wheelchair, and Penny the chicken, both rescued by Duluth Animal Hospital, has been featuring prominently. One worries that these "unlikely friendships" are PR stunts, but in this case there seem to be plenty of unposed photos that suggest it is a genuine bond.

On a more serious note, Worms and Germs blogger Scott Weese has pointed out some quarantine issues re the adoption of puppies on Sochi by Olympians and others. You can read his post here. When adopting any animal, but especially from another country, it is essential to consider quarantine, both for any official requirements but also to protect animals in the community.