How Many of You Have Both Cats and Rats as Pets?

–I ask after getting publicly ass-slapped by a self-professed animal expert.

You know, people here (on Medium) are starting to suck, big time. Take the writer who works as a vet tech and has written story after story detailing her problems with co-workers, clients, and the Universe as a whole. We all have problems, some direr than others, so I empathize. Hell. I’m a frazzled mess these days.

I followed the writer because I adore animals and was interested in how she was able to remain relatively sane in a profession where one must experience so much sadness on a daily basis. I’ll go a step further and say that I had mad respect for her as I’m a total wimp where animals are concerned. To care for people’s beloved pets who are sick or injured or need to be peacefully ushered into the next life must be relentlessly heartbreaking.

A recent piece by this writer centered around people who share their lives and homes with both prey and predator animals, such as rats and cats. Or snakes and rodents of any kind. You get the picture.

She shared an incident in her clinic where an eight-week-old kitten was brought in, badly injured after its owners decided it was time to introduce the wee baby to their pet rats. Now, in fairness, the rats did not bite the kitten, but young as it may be, that kitten is still a predator and being such, thrust its little paw into the cage, got stuck, and when she was finally able to pull it out, the paw was covered in blood and she was “howling in pain.”

Apparently, the clueless owners thought that if they raised the kitten around those rats, she’d be less inclined to hunt them. What the f__k is wrong with people? Note my link to an older story of mine that begs an answer to this question.

As a result of the enforced “bonding,” between predator and prey, one of the kitten’s claws was ripped clean off, requiring surgery, and going forward, she may experience ongoing discomfort due to the f__ktards who were supposed to protect and care for her.

Now, this writer got her panties in a serious twist when I commented that I thought the kitten’s owners should be forced to rehome her, and, that I thought their actions bordered on animal abuse.

People, if you’re going to have cats and rats, rather, predator and prey, in the same household, grow a friggin’ brain cell, yeah?

But, what is really upsetting is that the writer jumped down my throat for commenting the way I did. How dare I bring up animal abuse when that wasn’t the case and she sees it every day and BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. And I’m just a big, f__king idiot who, even though I’ve lived with animals my entire life, knows nada.

To this writer, I say, “screw you.” I stand by my opinion and believe the kitten’s owners are a couple of dumb f__ks who should share their lives with cacti instead of animals.

Also, even though this individual has written countless stories detailing every problem and challenge she’s ever faced, I’ve been nothing but sympathetic. I’ve left supportive comments on her articles and in return, what do I get? A nasty, public put-down.

Adding insult to injury, she never reads or comments on my stories, which she attributes to her being so busy, unlike an unemployed slug of a fossil like me. Ergo, I stopped following her and no doubt will be blocked.

And just to clarify, I referenced “self-professed” in my subtitle as that is how this individual comes off.

I’m sharing this with you so that newer writers, especially, will understand this important tenet: Your readers are not here to agree with you. If you choose to share certain experiences that others may have opinions on, that don’t jibe with yours, get over yourselves and suck them up. Thank them for their comment, reiterate your point if you feel it necessary, and move on.

I’ll add a disclaimer here and say that anyone who disagrees with a writer’s take on a particular issue or subject, needs to be respectful in their point-counterpoint. Your knee-jerk reaction, fueled by emotion, will only make you look like an asshole. Trust me. I know.

And, we don’t need any more self-important putzes on Medium, do we?

So, that’s it. It’s a shame that my opinion went down the way it did, but, C’est la vie. And I still believe the following: If you’re going to force the issue with pets that are both prey and predator, expect that there will be blood.


Sherry McGuinn
Sherry McGuinn
Sherry McGuinn is a long-time, Chicago area, advertising/marketing writer, blogger and, for the last fifteen years, screenwriter. A big-time dreamer and proud of it, Sherry has had two short films produced, one in L.A., the other in New York. Both won several awards and screened at festivals but she is still "fighting the good fight," in order to become a full-time, working screenwriter. A passionate straight-shooter who never rests on her laurels, Sherry writes about damn near everything because how do you encapsulate…life? Unflinching in her determination to “just tell the truth,” Sherry strives to educate, engage and inspire others to follow their dreams. A lifelong animal lover and advocate, Sherry resides in a Chicago suburb with her husband and their three fabulous felines.

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