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Reproductive Justice - For Cats!

I have two cats, Pichu (brown) and Lucy (black). I got them from the Garland Animal Shelter in Garland, Texas. Lucy was a lost cat that already had an owner - so she was spayed already. Pichu on the other hand was one of two twins. Her "system" was intact. While I was making a decision on whether to get Pichu, I faced a dilemma. Am I required to get her spayed? I didn't want to OR plan to. We, as Muslims, are forbidden to make irreversible physical changes to our bodies outside of pathological reasons - be it plucking our eyebrows, getting tattoos, getting a vasectomy, etc., etc. We love our bodies the way Allah gave them to us. In fact, these bodies are an Amanah (trust) of God and if were to do anything wrong TO them OR wrong WITH them, we will be answerable to God on the Day of Resurrection. So back to Pichu - I was going to tell the shelter that I wasn't planning to get Pichu spayed. However, before I could speak, the attendant there informed me that Pichu had to be spayed according to the City of Garland law. I didn't have a choice, nor was the burden of spaying her on me. I wouldn't have committed a sin if I were to face my Lord. If I didn't get Pichu, someone else would and Pichu would be spayed regardless. I brought Pichu home and later on got Lucy for her as a companion. Masha'Allah!

Pichu and Lucy are outdoor cats. My kids are allergic to cats so that's why we have set Pichu and Lucy's homes in our back covered porch. They have a heated home for winter and normal homes for other seasons. Their automated food and water supply is on our porch too. Pichu loves to sleep on our outdoor sofas and loves to hunt salamanders, mice, rats - you name it. She will eat what she wants to and leave the remaining carcass as a gift for me on my doormat. I have an outdoor rose garden where these dead remains get buried - sort of a pet cemetery if you may call it. Masha'Allah!

So recently, I was talking to a friend Chaplain. She lives in another part of Texas and was able to get a non-fixed cat. The cat went to heat. My friend had to get a male cat off Craigslist - non-fixed as well. The cat and her beau got busy and now she is pregnant. Here is the dilemma my friend faces. Even though she has the same concerns as mine, about removing an animal's reproductive parts and considering it a sin, but what to do with the current couple? They will be getting pregnant often and producing many baby cats. Should she get them fixed? - she asked me. My advice to her was a "No"! I advised her to give the cat babies to people who may need them after charging a rehoming fee, of course!

I feel terrible about the TNR program. It stands for TRAP-NEUTER-RETURN. Some countries/cities have them. They capture the stray cats, remove their reproductive organs, and return them back to nature. Imagine, if we lived in a world, where human males and females have to have their reproductive organs removed. It is considered a "mercy" to them sort of how most people think of spaying/neutering cats - they think they have done a favor to these animals. There are studies on how the removal of reproductive organs has a negative effect on a cat's health but nevertheless, people do it. I find the idea of repopulating the earth with non-spayed/neutered/destroyed cats pretty inspiring - sort of the opposite of TNR.

May Allah lead us to the best decisions for our Deen and Duniya. A'meen.


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