Saturday, 27 August 2016

We should learn from the past not condemn it





In my book reviews blog you may have noticed at times I have been critical of other reviewers when their comments condemn a historical genre book based on the stories it relates and its descriptions of attitudes and lifestyles. The reviews can contain anything from criticism to the total abhorrence of events in the story that actually took place.
Whether they are fiction or non-fiction books, providing the author has stuck to the truth, this reaction, I believe, is unjustifiable and unfair. Sorry, but if you can’t handle the truth don’t read books set in eras where attitudes are very different to today.

If you feel comment of cruelty, hardship and extreme sadness must be included to convey the storyline to readers then why not consider statement like “the author clearly depict the hardships of the time” or “this book serves as a reminder that xyz people where harsh in their treatment of ……”

I believe that we must read history in its context. We must take into account the views, attitudes and knowledge of that time. This does not mean we should condone the actions of our forebears. It means we need to understand history so we can learn and be better people today.

I have noticed that this also happens in social media where a post depicts a negative event from history and condemns that event. That is fine, but don’t expect to change what happened – just do all you can to contribute to the world to ensure it doesn’t and won’t happen again.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Please keep your cat inside



I don’t hate cats, I have been owned by several in my life, but I do hate what they do when allowed to roam free, especially at night.

First some small scale peeves against cats of mine. I hate to have to sweep my garden mulch back onto the garden every morning because someone’s cat is allowed to roam at night. I hate it especially because the cat has piddled in my garden, killing the third lot of plants and it stinks each morning I walk out the door.

Further up the scale, and I got so angry if I had caught the cat I may have throttled it; this time the cat killed the three baby blackbirds in my camellia bush. Now I know in Australia blackbirds are not native but we had been enjoying the parents’ songs and became very attached to them. We were overjoyed that they nested in our bush at eye level where we could check on their progress every day. That is until the blasted cat came along.

Now for the off the scale doings of cats, and this is what I really want cat owners to think long and hard about. Domestic cats not controlled can go feral. I found this graphic on Facebook that clearly shows the harm they do to our wildlife – and that is just lizards and insects. Feral cats catch and kill birds, fish, and even small native mammals.

Please, train your cat to use a litter box so it doesn’t have to go outside into your garden, or the neighbour’s, to do its business.

If you feel your cat needs some fresh air and exercise, buy it a lead and collar and go for a walk with it. I did it with my Burmese cat, Sultan. We had wonderful walks together and made many new friends who didn’t know a cat would walk on a lead.

The other alternative is to build a cattery. There are some excellent ones that link to an opening in a window and your cat can come and go as it pleases.

Why did you buy the cat in the first place? Because it was a cute and cuddly kitten and the kids nagged you?

Now the kids are bored and no one wants to look after the cat so you let it roam and find food elsewhere. If you are not committed to a fully mature cat that will live for 15 years you should not have one.

Is your cat desexed? Did you know that one cat and her mate together and through their offspring can produce over 11 million offspring? This is based on each female giving birth to 2.8 kittens twice a year. Scary isn’t it?
When you are next tempted to buy that cute kitten because the kids are crying for it, please consider the responsibilities not just to the cat but to local wildlife and neighbours’ gardens.

Please share if you agree with me.