I’ve never seen a cat with balls, have you? Well, there’s a reason for that. It’s because in the US essentially all cats are spayed. One of the most unique phenomenon here is that there are cats and dogs everywhere. They live and run free in the streets and parks, although usually the dogs mostly just hang out in the park. It’s so interesting to just see dogs lying around in the park, on their own, doing their own thing and they seem to be reveling in their dog-dom. What could be a more enjoyable life for a dog than to be totally free and yet still be fed and taken care of?
I’ve noticed that even though these dogs and cats don’t “belong” to anyone, they are still well taken care of, fed, and given plenty of affection by people in the community. I don’t approach the dogs or try to pet them, but the cats are literally everywhere and they are extremely friendly, sweet, affectionate and love attention. I would say that they are even more loving than the typical house cat. I walked up to one on a bench last week and the cat was just the sweetest thing and jumped on my lap to get closer to me.
On my way home yesterday there was a gorgeous orange and white cat sleeping serenely on the top of a shiny black SUV on a busy street, unaware of all the activity around it. I took out my camera to take a picture then went up to it and started petting it. It was absolutely loving the attention. Then it stretched out and let me scratch its belly. Then it tried to get on me, but its claws were so sharp I couldn’t take it. It slid off the car and landed by my feet. I didn’t realize it was following me and accidently stepped on it. I felt so bad! It cried for a second and I reached down to pet it and apologize.
That’s when I noticed the balls. It took seeing that to realize that I’ve never seen that before because we always spay our cats in the US. The other day I saw about 4 or 5 kittens rolling around in the grass-adorable! And these cats are amply fed and taken care of by all kinds of people. And apparently it’s against the law to declaw them, so no vet is allowed to do it because the cat will be defenseless. And all the dogs have tags in their ears to certify that they have been vaccinated and are being monitored by the city to make sure they are safe and free of rabies and other disease. They mainly just keep to themselves and I never feel threatened by them.
I must say it’s nice to get my kitty fix these days and I don’t even have to own a cat…