May 072006
Authors: Hilary Davis The Rocky Mountain Collegian

I am not a cat person. I have many quirks, and if we’re going to be meeting like this every week on Page 4, I decided I should be up front with you. I will only paint my toenails a certain color, I don’t eat blue food and I am not a cat person. That’s the important stuff.

That being said, I am a person with a beating and feeling heart – a heart that goes out to those in distress, such as damsels, small children at the bottoms of wells and anyone being mistreated. And sometimes, yes, that category includes cats.

So imagine my indignation when I read in the New York Times about a woman, nay, a practicing witch who studies the principles of both traditional Wicca and Harry Potter (no, I’m not kidding), and keeps more than 30 cats in a tiny apartment in Queens. If you think 30 is bad, you’ll be outraged to know that in 2001, this woman kept more than 100 cats, most spawned from one cat named Whoopee, age 13.

My general understanding of Wiccan principles (i.e. what I Googled five minutes ago) is that its followers do not cast any spell that causes harm. But apparently, Melanie Neer – alias: crazy cat woman – has now cast a spell over her landlord to deflect his “evil intentions.” And his evil intentions are a desire to evict her because of her little feline fetish.

Let’s pause (no pun intended) for a moment and think about what life would be like living with 100 cats. For me, it would mean about 86 sneezes per day, because I am a wheezy, allergic-to-everything kid who is bad at sports. It would also mean endless litter-box changing, constant feeding and the ever-present desire to lint roll everything in sight. OK, maybe that last one would just be me. I am also an anal-retentive, clean-all-the-time kid who secretly wants to be Martha Stewart.

Animal cruelty is not OK. And even if Neer’s intention was to love and enjoy life with her 100 cats, I cannot imagine that 100 cats love and enjoy their life in a small apartment. Apparently, Neer didn’t watch her share of “The Price is Right” growing up, because if she did, she would know to spay and neuter her pets. If only they had done right by Whoopee, none of this would have happened. Of course, when you name a cat Whoopee, what do you expect?

Bob Barker and I are very disappointed.

Hilary Davis is a junior technical journalism and political science major. Her column is set to run weekly during the 2006-07 school year. No cats were harmed in the writing of this column.

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