Monday, February 4, 2013

What is an Altered Cat?

An Altered Cat  2012

What is an altered cat?  That is a good question and apparently it's one people are asking on the Internet, and through their search ending up at our blog.  So I thought I would answer it.

I looked up the definition of altered online and I found these explanations:

From The Free Dictionary:

altered past participle, past tense of al·ter (Verb)

  1. Change or cause to change in character or composition, typically in a comparatively small but significant way.
  2. Make structural changes to (a building).
and this:
al·ter (ôltr)
v. al·tered, al·ter·ing, al·ters
1. To change or make different; modify: altered my will.
2. To adjust (a garment) for a better fit.
3. To castrate or spay (an animal, such as a cat or a dog).
To change or become different.
But this is my favorite from Merriam-Webster, because it is our philosophy:
al·tered al·ter·ing \ˈl-tər\

Definition of ALTER

transitive verb
: to make different without changing into something else
We are making cats different without changing them into something else.
Listen, if I had my druthers, I would make it so we didn't have to alter cats. I would make it so all cats and their offspring were welcomed and provided for. I have observed their family lives, and they are rich and complex.  They are each individuals and have their own lives outside of us.  The gift of life is as sweet for them as it is for us.  Cats are more like us in essential ways than they are different.  They ask the for same things in life we do: food, water, protection, security, love, health, space, friends, and a soft place to lie and rest:
Given an option a cat will take a well worn path rather than blaze a trail.  Given an option a cat will choose a warm pillow over the cold ground. 
After living with so many cats for some time now, and nearly always having at least one kitten in the house, usually more, I feel like they are a gift like the spring flowers.  They are like the promise of continuing life, of renewal, and of the mercy of God.  They illuminate.  They are redemptive.  They enhance and better our lives:
To better:

Sense 2:
change, alter, modify

Now look at that, cats alter us, too.  And without the surgery.  All it takes is us embracing them, welcoming them into our hearts and homes, and providing for their needs.  Euthansia is not the answer.  Poisoning them is not the answer.  Shooting them is not the answer.  Leaving them to fend for themselves and get killed by cars and illness is not the answer. And altering them is a band-aid and an incomplete and temporary anwer. A love without limits is the answer. 
A Love That is Without Limits 2012
The problem does not lie with them but with us.  God's love, to our benefit, is without limits, and so should ours be.
Technically an altered cat is a castrated or spayed cat.  But to us an altered cat is one who has found a home.  Same same but different.

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