A few years ago, Oprah Winfrey featured a story about a cat who had suffered abuse at the hands of his owner’s boyfriend. The boyfriend used the cat as a pawn in the so-called relationship he had with the female. It is difficult to say what drives a man to abuse anyone, especially a helpless animal that wants only to offer love.
The sad fact is that these men feel power somehow from forcing a woman to stay with them, wielding the threat of animal abuse over their heads. If the woman happens to step slightly out of line, the abuser hurts the animal to snap her back to her fearsome reality.
Many of these women have been forbidden to have friends, family, jobs or any other outside contact. If they do happen to have a pet, the pet is used as collateral – thus forcing the woman to do or not do as bidden. It is unfortunate since both the female and her feline are put into a spot where they are both in danger since the only companion that the woman has is her cat.
Emergency veterinarians, the ASPCA and the American Humane Society have all interjected support for these women and their animals; going as far as seeking them shelter that allows the women to be able to take their cat with them.
If the female insists on staying with her abuser, she may just lose her only companion since it is the responsibility of the practicing professionals to do what they can for her, but to protect her pet with their practice. It is very frightening when other threats occur that force a woman to believe that there is absolutely no help for her out in the world!
Once a vet or whoever is in charge determines that injuries to a pet brought into their office are too severe for a simple accident, they must report these findings. They can certainly attempt to help the individual that owns the cat, but, again, if that person refuses the help, there is little the authority figure can do other than help the helpless pet.
If the woman does accept the help and support from people in her community, the pet may respond in kind and cats have been known to heal faster when they know that their current arrangement is changing – that they will be in less danger from the cruel source. It has been said that you can see this knowledge in their eyes.
Cats are survivors – been known to have nine lives. They are also protective of their humans – especially in the times of crisis. They protect, serve and unconditionally love their owners; many times at the expense of themselves!