The question is when we as a species will get tired of cat stories that are overhyped and fed to us through YouTube and other social media networks. This one in particular takes advantage of the fact that many people just aren’t all that familiar with the location of countries outside their own.
For this kitty litter, the brave cat journeyed, according to its owner, from Qatar to France to Great Britain to Wales, where she now resides. Personally, it’s hard to make the case that the cat has traveled “across the world” to arrive at her final destination. First, the cat didn’t walk all that distance, which would really be an amazing story worthy of social media fawning since it would have had to find its way to the Mediterranean Sea and over several hundred miles of desert.
According to Google Maps, the journey by car is 71 hours and covers 4,332 miles. Unfortunately, Google was not able to calculate the walking time, either for species with four legs or two. It is likely accurately calculating walking time where there are no roads and walking through desert sands is beyond the capability of Google. Come on Google! There is always room for improvement.
As the story goes, the cat was quarantined in Qatar for two months, and once released it was flown to France, then to an animal shelter, finally arriving at its Wales residence. Admittedly the cat was in bad shape when arriving at the shelter, but this is not uncommon for many animals who are taken in by shelters. The story does not say the cat walked from France to the United Kingdom, so it seems safe to presume it got a free ticket and didn’t have to pass through customs or security checkpoints.
It’s hard to understand what people mean by “brave” these days, whether it is in the United States or Great Britain. Animals by nature seek to survive, so for the grey, diseased cat to hang on to the bitter end is not all that amazing or brave. It does chase and eat moths it find flying around in the house, so maybe that counts for something. But it is walked on a leash by its owners, so apparently they’re afraid it will run away and end up using up all of whatever is left of its nine lives.
A fair minded person would ask what is so special about this story or this cat. Maybe the harshness directed to the cat in this article is unfair. It didn’t ask for all of the attention, and like any other animal or person (or insect for that matter) it’s just happy to have made it to the other side safely. But the videos with the owners acting (and that may be understood in more than one way) like this cat has undergone some ordeal no other cat has experienced is a bit over the top to say the least.
Maybe the story behind the story is it came from Qatar, a place that few people have ever heard of or can find on a map. By the way, it’s close to the island of Bahrain. The Middle East (hint!) is perceived as an exotic place to live with is deserts and unfamiliar Eastern customs. Come to think of it, maybe the whole idea behind the story is to get people to locate Qatar, and maybe France, on a map of the world.
Upon further review, it is possible that an accusation of discrimination can be brought because the importance and impact of this story has been questioned. In Britain there are actually laws that prevent animals from being mistreated, and that is likely to include emotional distress brought on by criticism from unsympathetic writers who have a hard time seeing exactly what makes this cat or its journey all that special.
For those who are wondering, the cat was named Bobbie and you can follow it on Instagram. This is only mentioned as a requirement of writing this article and to avoid any criticism of the website for not providing complete disclosure of a stray cat’s journey that was picked up in a shelter and taken home to two owners who happen to love their pet.