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Why Cat Owners Should All be Penalized
Medscape Internal Medicine News ^ | 6/22/2012 | Arthur L. Caplan, PhD

Posted on 06/26/2012 12:11:10 PM PDT by fteuph

Hi. I'm Art Caplan, speaking to you from the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. Today I want to talk about a very serious healthcare problem: irresponsible behavior on the part of a lot of Americans that isn't getting much attention, and that means you if you own a cat.

Many types of health costs are associated with cat ownership. We have allergies and asthma, people who wind up going to the hospital because they have allergic reactions either to the cat or the medicine they take, and there are all types of skin problems. The list goes on and on.

It is pretty clear that these miserable mousers are a huge healthcare problem. I started thinking about this when I saw a recent poll that was published in Forbes magazine that said that most Americans believe that there ought to be a tax on people who are overweight. They make a lifestyle choice and wind up causing more healthcare costs for everybody else due to the diseases and ailments linked to obesity, so Americans think they should pay more. By the way, their employers are starting to think that as well, that they should start to levy penalties and fines on people who are overweight at the workplace.

All of which takes me back to the issue of cats. If we are going to put a penalty on lifestyle choices, then shouldn't we penalize all lifestyle choices? If cats are really causing healthcare problems in the way that I think they do, then I think we need to be fair and tax cat owners.

If you look at the situation, there are probably 60 million or more Americans who own a cat. A lot of you out there choose to own more than one. Many of you have a cat and you actually keep children in the house near this cat, so these are all horrible, terrible, inappropriate, and immoral decisions.

Why? Well, we don't know exactly how much cat ownership costs, but it probably runs into billions of dollars every year in terms of allergy medicines that people take, hospitalizations that I mentioned earlier, and treating skin diseases. You are also exposing others who don't want to own a cat to cats because you can never get the cat dander and the cat allergen out of the rug, the furniture, and the carpet. Even if you move the cat, so to speak, the presence of the cat is left behind. This is a very burdensome thing, not just for people who live with cats but the rest of us who try to visit you or who want to move into a place where you have been.

Therefore, it is pretty clear -- probably beyond any ethical dispute -- that cat ownership is an irresponsible choice. Let me add that none of this applies to dogs. I own a dog. I think they are wonderful. In fact, there probably should be a tax break for dog owners. But for cats, looking at the kinds of costs that are involved and the irresponsibility that cat owners exercise in choosing to have them, I think we need to start thinking more seriously about ways to extend penalties if we are going to make personal responsibility a part of healthcare.

Cat owners, think hard about what I said. And those of you who are in favor of personal responsibility as a way to cut down healthcare costs, you know who I am talking about.

This is Art Caplan at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. I wish all of you a happy summer.


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; Humor; Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: cats; kittyping; napl; satire
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To: Nervous Tick
Good for you!

A lot of cat folks here are raising H#LL! He picked a subject (cats) that a lot of people feel strongly about, myself included. Teehee!!!!

I hope these folks realize the real subject of this article - nanny state fascism.

51 posted on 06/26/2012 2:05:08 PM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: MeganC

Funny - I just looked myself and realized there are 3 more books I need to read.

I tell folks if that they read the 1st 18 pages of ‘Point of Impact’ where Bob is “earning Tim” - they will know whether or not they’ll like my favorite protagonist: Bob the nailer...

You can read the first chapter here:
http://www.amazon.com/Point-Impact-Stephen-Hunter/dp/0553563513#reader_0553563513


52 posted on 06/26/2012 2:07:21 PM PDT by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: MeganC
You don’t live on a farm/ranch.

Yes, I do. With 20 chickens, 21 ducks, and a pride of cats, it's small, but it's still my farm.

53 posted on 06/26/2012 2:09:25 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Ever notice that when a beggar gets a donation, they immediately put their hand out for more.)
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To: fteuph

Was this piece intended as sarcasm?


54 posted on 06/26/2012 2:16:04 PM PDT by newzjunkey
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To: Las Vegas Ron

Yeah. Hazardous behavior kind of defines the Left. They are gonna hate it when they have to eat like Madonna, but still look like Barney Frank.


55 posted on 06/26/2012 2:18:58 PM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: fteuph

Just look at all the loss of income from all the liberal busy bodies with all the regulations and fees and penaltys for everything under the sun.

Far better to put a penalty on busybodies than cats. Besides busybodies have more cash.


56 posted on 06/26/2012 2:19:35 PM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: newzjunkey
Was this piece intended as sarcasm?

That you're not sure is probably more a measure of your reading rather than the author's writing.
57 posted on 06/26/2012 2:27:29 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: fteuph

So cat ownership is a boost to the economy.


58 posted on 06/26/2012 2:33:28 PM PDT by dljordan ("Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered.")
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To: jonno; MeganC
We had a long discussion on here about a year ago over who should play "Bob the Nailer" Swagger in the movies. In at least two books, Hunter describes him as looking like Clint Eastwood (and Clint has those 'slits for eyes' down to a science).

Problem is by the time Hollywood gets through with him, it'll be Tom Cruise, just as they're about to do with Lee Child's 6'5", brawling, Jack Reacher character.

59 posted on 06/26/2012 2:38:33 PM PDT by Scoutmaster (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it)
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To: fteuph

60 posted on 06/26/2012 2:41:58 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: jonno; MeganC
For the record, I'll take Bob's father, Earl Swagger. Hot Springs and Havana feature Earl.

I've forgotten which Bob Swagger novel takes him back to Arkansas to deal with his father's death.

61 posted on 06/26/2012 2:42:16 PM PDT by Scoutmaster (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it)
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To: fteuph
Portrait of the author:

I am reminded of Mikhail Bulgakov's Russian novel, The Heart of a Dog: a dog becomes humanoid and goes to work for the Cat Eradication Commissariat (or something like that -- I didn't actually read it).

62 posted on 06/26/2012 2:48:55 PM PDT by x
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To: Scoutmaster

Black Light


63 posted on 06/26/2012 2:50:14 PM PDT by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: Sarajevo

We live on a ranch with over six hundred head of cattle and I’ve got close to 1,000 chickens. They’re not a hobby and they’re not pets. We depend on them for part of our income.

When some stray dog makes one of our breakers break a leg that costs us in vet bills or it can cost us in the loss of sometimes two or three thousand dollars. A round from the .308 costs us only eighty cents or so.

When a stray cat comes on the ranch and fights with one of our barn cats that costs us a vet bill and if the stray kills a laying hen that’s a loss of $5 per dozen eggs and the $3 to $5 we get from the butcher for the hen. Again, the .308 only costs eighty cents.

Maybe you can afford to be sentimental but we can’t. I know it sounds cold but someone’s stray animal is not worth as much to me as food on our table.

Sorry that sounds harsh but that’s the way it is and we’re just like pretty much everyone else around here.


64 posted on 06/26/2012 2:56:30 PM PDT by MeganC (No way in Hell am I voting for Mitt Romney. Not now, not ever. Deal with it.)
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To: MeganC
OMG!!! I can't believe you said that! I really can't. That's terrible!

.308 is way too much gun for a cat. A .22-250 is more than enough and shoots flatter in the bargain.

Besides, it'll turn the cat inside out which proves that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

65 posted on 06/26/2012 3:05:25 PM PDT by rmh47 (Go Kats! - Got eight? [NRA Life Member])
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To: Fightin Whitey
feral pussy posse.

Sounds like a good name for an all female rock band.

66 posted on 06/26/2012 3:07:46 PM PDT by SIDENET ("If that's your best, your best won't do." -Dee Snider)
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To: fteuph

Am I the only one that reads this as “first they came for the...” sarcasm?


67 posted on 06/26/2012 3:08:59 PM PDT by MortMan (Laughter is the best medicine, especially when ridiculing your enemies.)
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To: fteuph
Hey Art...

Photobucket

68 posted on 06/26/2012 3:35:12 PM PDT by j_tull (Massachusetts once lead the American Revolution. Under Mitt Romney, it lead the demise.)
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To: fteuph

I love cats, but I’m allergic. I wasn’t always allergic to cats. I used to own cats, but as I grew older, I couldn’t be around them any longer. But if I wasn’t allergic, I know I would have at least one cat. My second cat had a couple of litters of kittens, and they were sooo cute!! If you can handle having a cat, then go for it!


69 posted on 06/26/2012 4:20:36 PM PDT by murron (Proud Mom of a Marine Vet)
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To: rmh47

Lose some cattle to stray dogs and lose a cat to feline leukemia from a stray cat and it makes you kind of pragmatic. Also, the .308 is awesome for making shots at 200 to 300 yards. I know it is overkill, but with the .308 you can make one shot and know the critter is dead instead of suffering like they can with a .22.


70 posted on 06/26/2012 4:30:30 PM PDT by MeganC (No way in Hell am I voting for Mitt Romney. Not now, not ever. Deal with it.)
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To: fteuph

Let us not forget the neurological and psychological impact of toxoplasmosis.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/03/how-your-cat-is-making-you-crazy/8873/


71 posted on 06/26/2012 4:37:06 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: LittleBillyInfidel

It’s hard to have a sense of humor under these circumstances. All of this could be avoided if people would just keep their critters at home. I’m not owned by (a) cat(s), but I like cats.
Actually, has anyone ever noticed that Wayne Pacelle (HSUS) advocates the extinction of dogs but promotes the establishment of feral cat colonies & trap-and-release (TNR)? I think that’s odd.
(My favorite feline humor is the one about giving a cat a bath)


72 posted on 06/26/2012 5:03:44 PM PDT by KGeorge
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To: fteuph

What about global warming? Don’t cats cause that, too?


73 posted on 06/26/2012 5:07:43 PM PDT by samtheman (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/21/obamas-socialist-designs/)
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To: SIDENET

You are right.

I’d buy a ticket.


74 posted on 06/26/2012 5:37:25 PM PDT by Fightin Whitey
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To: MeganC
I have to say, I'm envious of the size of your operation. OTOH, I also use my livestock for producing income (IMHO - you're charging too much for your eggs. My wife charges $4/doz for free range chicken and duck eggs). Yes, I'm small fry and fill a niche market, so the cost for a loss in productivity is actually a lot more. I have no issue with stray cats and the birds. All cats stay away from the birds. Dogs are a different subject beyond the thread topic, so I won't go there.

BTW- Where are you getting 7.62 at that price? Do you reload?

75 posted on 06/26/2012 6:42:48 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Ever notice that when a beggar gets a donation, they immediately put their hand out for more.)
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To: MeganC
...with the .308 you can make one shot and know the critter is dead instead of suffering like they can with a .22.

Believe me, there will be no suffering on a cat sized critter with a .22-250. It's a great centerfire varmint round. If you hit it, it's RDRT. Very flat trajectory, too.

76 posted on 06/26/2012 7:25:28 PM PDT by rmh47 (Go Kats! - Got eight? [NRA Life Member])
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To: Salamander; fteuph

77 posted on 06/26/2012 7:42:57 PM PDT by Daffynition (Our forefathers would be shooting by now.)
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To: berdie
Everybody knows people don’t “own” cats.

Roger that. Everyone knows that dogs have owners. Cats have staff.

78 posted on 06/26/2012 8:27:59 PM PDT by umbagi (ABO, y'all)
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To: Lakeshark

I DON’T THINK SO


79 posted on 06/26/2012 9:16:07 PM PDT by Borax Queen
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To: fteuph; Slings and Arrows; Glenn; republicangel; Beaker; BADROTOFINGER; etabeta; asgardshill; ...
Do claw scars count as a penalty?

TO ALL KPL AND NAPL LIST MEMBERS: I am very busy IRL, and will remain so for a few weeks. Both the KPL and NAPL will remain active, but expect slow responses to pings during weekdays.


80 posted on 06/26/2012 9:35:21 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows
"...but expect slow responses to pings..."



"Daisy ....... Daisy .........give ............. me ..your .....answer ................... do. I'm ................. half ...............crazy ........."

81 posted on 06/26/2012 9:53:38 PM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: fteuph
♪Junebug this and Junebug that ♫ Raise a Rukus tonight ♪You killed my dog ♫ So I killed your cat ♫ Raise a Rukus tonight.
82 posted on 06/26/2012 10:30:45 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: fteuph

Dang cats! The neighbors have a stray they took in about 3 or 4 years ago and the POS growls half the night waking us up. I don’t even know why they have it.


83 posted on 06/26/2012 10:37:13 PM PDT by US_MilitaryRules (Unnngh! To many PDS people!)
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To: US_MilitaryRules

You know why cats do all that yowling when they are in heat?

Sandpaper tongues...


84 posted on 06/26/2012 10:42:15 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: fteuph
Hey, Art, my kittehs are INDOOR kittehs and they do NOT ever go outside. Hence, they do not bring in fleas, ticks, or other various and sundry parasites that can REALLY make humans sick. They also smush any spiders that dare try to sneak in past the insecticides we have surrounding the outside of the house. I have NEVER even seen a roach in this house and we have lived here for six years.

Kittehs have the added benefit of discretely using a specific box filled with disposable litter to do their business and it is easily scooped out into the waste baskets daily. No browned or yellowed lawn, no nasty, smelly excrement to pick up by carefully wrapped hand and no unsightly holes dug in the yard. Kittehs also have the added bonus of being self-cleaning! The only time I have had to bathe my cats was when one fell into the salt water off our boat when we lived aboard. Other than those four times, she remains fresh and white, clean and bright.

Kittehs eat far less than dogs, take up less space, need no daily walking outside in the elements and usually outlive them. Indoor-only kittehs have less vet bills to worry about and can usually entertain themselves with frequent naps and spurts of human interaction. I used to have mild cat allergies, but my body acclimated to them and their fur and dander no longer effect me. Even if they did, their love, affection and presence more than make up for any discomfort I might have and which there are adequate medicines to combat. Those who have severe reactions, should avoid ALL animals as well as the outside world.

So, Art, live and let live! Cats probably keep people sane.

85 posted on 06/26/2012 10:52:58 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: Marie; Nervous Tick

86 posted on 06/26/2012 11:04:19 PM PDT by Daffynition (Our forefathers would be shooting by now.)
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To: fteuph

FU Art Caplan...


87 posted on 06/26/2012 11:09:45 PM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a Tea Party descendant...steeped in the Constitutional Republic given to us by the Founders.)
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To: Fightin Whitey
Cat owners are by definition martyrs and should be venerated.

THANK YOU! I'm surprised at how few people understand that. ;o)

88 posted on 06/26/2012 11:10:07 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

89 posted on 06/26/2012 11:14:16 PM PDT by Daffynition (Our forefathers would be shooting by now.)
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To: fteuph

Cats and their owners are gay.

(apparently some etards didn’t get the satire in the article. Gay and stupid)


90 posted on 06/26/2012 11:14:53 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: fteuph

Sad thing is, there are people out there who really do think this way about a lot of things. Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” lives on.


91 posted on 06/26/2012 11:23:45 PM PDT by paltz
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To: KGeorge
My favorite feline humor is the one about giving a cat a bath

Like this:


92 posted on 06/26/2012 11:27:50 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums; shibumi

Not only all that, they’ll also attack and run off assailants or intruders who break into your house, thereby saving you and your family’s lives.

Oh.

Wait.

Never mind.


93 posted on 06/26/2012 11:43:48 PM PDT by Salamander (I wanna hurt you just to hear you screaming my name.)
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To: Salamander
LOL! Mine would just run under the bed! Hubby has held our male kitteh, Beaux, while he rings the doorbell and Beaux STILL freaks out and runs under the bed. Most of the time he forgets why he is even there and falls asleep. He'll finally poke his head out hours later. They're a riot!
94 posted on 06/26/2012 11:54:40 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
At least your cat actually does something.

The kitten I recently acquired [I'm pleading temporary insanity and emotional duress] is tantamount to watching the village idiot auditioning to be a trapeze artist.

Hubby's grown fond of it so I reckon it's staying.

[I'm blaming toxoplasmosis for his extremely uncharacteristic affection]

95 posted on 06/27/2012 12:14:41 AM PDT by Salamander (I wanna hurt you just to hear you screaming my name.)
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To: Daffynition

The kittehs have found their god.


96 posted on 06/27/2012 12:20:23 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: shibumi

“I’m afraid I can’t do that, Dave.”


97 posted on 06/27/2012 12:22:29 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

I was wondering how long that would take you.


98 posted on 06/27/2012 12:26:23 AM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: Salamander

You had better get the situation under control, quick; next the cat will work to get *you* under its thumb.

Quick! Wrap tin foil around your head and put a doberman puppy on top (buy one, or build a shrink-ray and use it on Odhinn); it’s the only way to ensure protection of your pro-canid sensibilities.


99 posted on 06/27/2012 12:50:25 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel
“You had better get the situation under control, quick; next the cat will work to get *you* under its thumb.”

Uh, yeah.

No.

I'm immune to cat connivings.

After it tried to play ‘bad @ss’ with Gypsy, the PPM, I'm thinking it would be a seriously bad idea to introduce it to The Boy.

[he doesn't possess gentle Gyp’s obsessive desire to “mother” things]

Hubby thinks it's cute that the cat has learned to climb the Boa's tree.

I'm thinking not so much.

Sooner or later, Brom will be on his tree and the cat would be wise to *not* climb it, then.

100 posted on 06/27/2012 2:24:07 AM PDT by Salamander (I wanna hurt you just to hear you screaming my name.)
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