Holiday Wishes Addendum
During the year of the 16 feral cats, I had a lot of vague “what the heck am I doing?” thoughts. They’re available behind the cut.
One of the tools I use when it comes to any major moral intuition that I have involves seeing if the same thought makes any sense at all 100 years ago, 500 years ago, 2000 years ago… etc. One of the ways that this manifests is having an ancestor ask me a question and I try to answer it using concepts that would, it seems to me, make as much sense to him (or her) as they do to me. Sometimes it works (with issues such as some feminist concepts), sometimes it does not which makes me re-evaluate what, exactly, I’m doing. Here’s one of the exchanges I had with one of my Viking ancestors while I was setting the raccoon trap with some Kentucky Fried Chicken.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m setting a trap for one of the many cats in the back yard.”
“Are you going to eat the cat?”
“Are you going to make a coat or hat or gloves with the pelt of the cat?”
“Why are you trying to catch the cat?”
“We’re going to spay or neuter it and then release it back into the wild.”
“You hate cats then?”
“No, I am quite affectionate toward cats.”
“… Is someone paying you to do this?”
“No. It costs us either $35 or $65 to do this every time. $35 if they determine that the cat is ‘feral’, $65 if they determine that the cat is a ‘tame stray’.”
“So you are catching cats, paying someone else to castrate them, and putting them back in your back yard because you feel affectionate to them?”