Caturday: Cats in the KSA

by 1389 on November 20, 2010

in animals, Caturday, Saudi Arabia, Shari'a, the human condition

Yes, the infamous counterjihad blogger 1389AD is talking about domestic felines in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. No, I haven’t gone soft on the counterjihad. Quite the contrary; I was browsing the intertoobz in an effort to glean more insights regarding our adversaries’ mode of thinking, as reflected in various blog articles and photos of their daily lives.

While so doing, I happened to see photos of Mr. Hearts, a remarkable kitten for adoption in Riyadh, the capital of the KSA. This kitten has a natural heart marking on his fur.

Photo of white kitten with orange heart marking on side

Kitten with natural orange heart marking on side

Meet mr “Hearts”. He is a little stray kitten that we used to feed outside our house. We had to take him to the vet because his leg had a big abcess on it and he was n longer able to walk. The leg is now healing and he turned out to be an extremely friendly and lovable natured cat. He is currently at the Advanced Pet Clinic in Riyadh, where he will be waiting for someone to adopt him…Riyadh has an abundance of stray cats and if you would like to help you can take a look at the Saudi Paws Charity on facebook

Read the rest, including contact information.

In an earlier post entitled Riyadh’s forgotten cats, the same blogger laments the poor treatment of cats in Riyadh, despite the fact that Muhammad liked cats (one of the few things about him that I find agreeable):

There is an abundance of stray cats roaming the streets and compounds of Riyadh. In general they get treated like pests which I find a disgrace for an Islamic country. Islam teaches Muslims to treat cats well and that the cat is a creature to be cherished and loved.

In the hospital compound area I live in there are plenty of strays around. The compound is for female employees only, with around 700 nurses living inside. According to the policy of the hospital cats are not allowed inside the apartments and feeding them is prohibited and punishable.
Despite this a few female nurses take care and feed the stray cats on the compound and some have let them inside their flats too. These women also carried out a project that took all the strays they were able to catch to the vet to be vaccinated, dewormed and spayed or neutered. Mashallah they did a tremendous amount of work to make these cats lives easier. Regardless of their efforts hospital pest control issued a warning that the cats will be killed.

One nurse then decided to ship over 20 cats to United Kingdom to save them from being killed. She managed and now the compound has much less cats. But surely more will come, there are plenty behind the walls of the compound.

You would think that in a country that everything is (supposedly) based on Shariah and teachings of Islam, that cats would be treated with kindness. Viewing them as pests and issuing warnings not to feed them and threatening violators with punishments is just sickening to me. What is wrong with helping them out?

Mistreating a cat is regarded as a severe sin in Islam. Saudis have the fraudulent habit of tending to “cherry-pick” from Hadith and Sunnah (example of the Prophet Muhammed), especially when it comes to issues concerning women. Looks like it applies to cats too!

More, including cat pictures, here.

I have never been to the KSA; indeed, I enjoy the benefits of living in a part of the world rooted in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Lest I be accused as the “pot calling the kettle black,” I must admit that sometimes we, too, fall short of our ideals in that regard. Christianity teaches that all animals, not just cats, are God’s creatures and are part of God’s bounty to us, and that we are to practise good stewardship in caring for them. We live in a fallen world, all human beings are fallible, and everywhere we find instances where animals are neglected or tormented. There are never any easy answers other than for each of us to keep trying to do better.

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