Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ten Years of Keeping my Thoughts Public

About ten years ago I started keeping my on-line journal, Natural Rearing Notes. Back in 1997/1998 natural rearing was not terribly common; feeding a raw diet was considered dangerous and impractical, and it still is to some extent; not vaccinating, the same, dangerous and stupid. I brought a lot of abuse upon myself through my writings, both in Natural Rearing Notes and on various e-mail groups.

I have maintained my stance on both raw feeding and vaccination. I don’t talk about it as much any more. I guess I don’t have the energy anymore. I wrote and published what can be considered a manual for anyone interested in feeding a raw diet to their cat: Raising Cats Naturally. I can gauge the general public’s interest in raw feeding by book sales: they are interested. That is a good thing. While I think about re-writing Raising Cats Naturally, the methods described in the book are still sound. I should update the vaccination chapter, one day.

I am no longer breeding purebred cats. Raising four generations of cats on the diet detailed in Raising Cats Naturally is proof enough that the diet is sound; raising four generations of cats without any of the normal vaccinations is proof enough that vaccinations are really not necessary for good health. My cattery didn’t suffer any plagues that could be vaccinated against and my cats, in general, were healthy and thrived. That doesn’t mean they never got sick. Of course they did, but given what I knew conventional catteries suffered, my cats’ illnesses were minor.

Today I live with five purebred and six random bred cats. It is the random bred cats that really sparkle, both in health and temperament. They are a delight (albeit sometimes a pain) to live with. Whenever one breeds for a particular trait, be it confirmation, color or working ability, you loose something along the way. I did it, I bred for a particular look, I was showing my cats much of the time I bred them. I couldn’t very well show something that didn’t meet the standard, so I bred to meet the standard. In the cat world, people who breed cats but don’t show them are considered backyard breeders. Anyone that does anything at all different from the norm is often ostracized. People are so much like sheep.

I don’t like myself too much; perhaps if I did I wouldn’t bring so much grief upon myself by my actions. I suppose at 47 I’m not going to change. It is what it is.