This kitten, along with many others is available to play with at a local pet shop. Shelters also offer the option of visitation with cute cuddly pets that are sure to make a day brighter. Photo Credit: Alex Nedelcu
And so the medical student side of me stepped up, scalpel in hand, formaldehyde-infused feline on the table, about to make an incision to begin what my teacher calls “skinning” this cat. My love for cats aside, my queasy stomach ignored, and a medium pair of latex gloves, I made the first incision on the nape of the cat’s (that my team and I decided to call Bartholomeow) neck.
Needless to mention, I was not able to eat my daily serving of berries during the following passing period, as my mind was only thinking about our poor Bartholomeow’s destiny. If cats had a secret world, what would his eulogy say?
“Bartholomeow lived a simple life. He had a passion for roaming the streets and drinking leftover milk. He had curious green eyes and top-notch instincts that could automatically tell when his owner came home and notified the mere nothing that existed in his household with a soft ‘meow.’ Unfortunately, after the passing of sweet owner, Mrs. Kaspersen, Bartholomeow was placed in a shelter, where his life slipped away via the cold hands of euthanasia.”
Sure, his destiny might have been slightly different, but wrong, nonetheless. As a devoted vegetarian and a lover of animals, my stomach dropped when I found out that our third quarter of Anatomy and Physiology would fully consist of the dissection of cats which were euthanized at a kill shelter.
While some argue that the overpopulation of cats is a justifying factor for the killing of the loving felines, it has not posed any kind of problems in our community so far. True, stray dogs and cats can act as nuisances in our community, although they are not a dangerous threat to humans.
[vision_pullquote style=”1″ align=””] And although I do believe that the snuggles and love any pet can bring are an automatic day-brightener, I do respect the opinions of others who believe cat dissections are beneficial. [/vision_pullquote]
The scientific concept of killing cats for research and understanding of the various body systems is however, justifiable, but the inability of choosing whether or not to dissect a cat is inconvenient. Not that I do not enjoy science, but I do not enjoy cutting open an animal that did not deserve the cruelty it was handed.
Perhaps it is my ridiculous compassion for animals that casts a barrier on my enjoyment in cutting open preserved cats. I do realize that my love for the felines will not stop kill shelters from providing knowledge to classrooms–after all, no matter how inhumane, an individual is receiving a paycheck from this said “cruelty.”