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    #1

    homeless animals

    i came across an interesting expression the other day. but i wonder if this is the right way to say. that is, "Don't feed to homeless cats." i know this means they have no owners. so no house to live in. but is this a common way of saying it?

    Let me break it down in a different manner.
    people give up on their pets very easily. they eventually abandon their pets. in that case, the pets lose their home. they become "homeless".
    but is it more precise to say abandoned dogs or abandoned cats to differentiate from the animals originally born in the wild?

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    #2

    Re: homeless animals


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    #3

    Re: homeless animals

    Or stray

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    #4

    Re: homeless animals

    Please use capital letters when necessary.

    We can say, "Please don't feed to abandoned/homeless cats". 'Abandoned' is probably more precise, although when we see such a cat we don't necessarily know whether it was abandoned or born homeless.

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    #5

    Re: homeless animals

    Quote Originally Posted by tokyo-cowboy View Post
    i came across an interesting expression the other day. but i wonder if this is the right way to say. that is, "Don't feed to homeless cats." i know this means they have no owners. so no house to live in. but is this a common way of saying it?

    Let me break it down in a different manner.
    people give up on their pets very easily. they eventually abandon their pets. in that case, the pets lose their home. they become "homeless".
    but is it more precise to say abandoned dogs or abandoned cats to differentiate from the animals originally born in the wild?
    I am not a teacher.

    "Homeless" is for people. To call a cat "homeless" is anthropomorphism at best, politically correct animal-rights propaganda at worst. I don't think "abandoned" is accurate, either. How do you know how they came to be wandering around killing every smaller animal they encounter and defecating in my flowerbed? What you have there are "stray" cats. Don't feed stray cats (no "to"). "Feral" is probably best reserved for second-generation and later strays---the offspring, born in the wild, of domesticated animals living in the wild.

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    #6

    Re: homeless animals

    To me, "homeless cats" is just warmer than "stray cats". Some people may see propaganda there, as Luke does, but propaganda doesn't have to be the speaker's goal. To consider it an anthopomorphism, we need to accept that only people can have homes.

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    #7

    Re: homeless animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Coolfootluke View Post
    "Homeless" is for people. To call a cat "homeless" is anthropomorphism at best, politically correct animal-rights propaganda at worst.
    I agree that 'stray cats' is probably the best expression, but 'homeless' is commonly used. I don't think many pet-owners would feel that providing a 'home' for their pet is particularly anthropomorphistic.

    XXXX, a group of non-profit, no-kill shelters for homeless cats and dogs.

    from: Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)

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    #8

    Re: homeless animals

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    To me, "homeless cats" is just warmer than "stray cats". Some people may see propaganda there, as Luke does, but propaganda doesn't have to be the speaker's goal. To consider it an anthopomorphism, we need to accept that only people can have homes.
    I am not a teacher.

    I am aware that we're touching a sore spot here, but I have to say that if we are going to attribute human ideation to an animal whose brain is the size of half a walnut meat and who will look at your finger when you point to their food bowl, we should ask them what they think "home" means. I'm sure that they think they have a home even if that home is nothing more than the crawlspace under a condemned house.

    This is drifting into off-topic conversation. Geronimo!

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    #9

    Re: homeless animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Coolfootluke View Post
    I am aware that we're touching a sore spot here,
    It's not a sore spot unless an attempt is made to suggest that the way in which many people use a word naturally is somehow wrong.

    When we are working together in the garden, my partner may bring me a plant from one of her beds and ask me, "Can you find a home for this?" This is a natural, non-anthropomorphic use of the word 'home' We cerainly would not speak of a 'homeless' plant, but we do speak of homeless pets. You may not, but that's a matter of personal choice, not of what is right or wrong.
    Last edited by 5jj; 10-Mar-2011 at 23:18. Reason: typo

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    #10

    Re: homeless animals

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It's not a sore spot unless an attempt is made to suggest that the way in which many people use a word naturally is somehow wrong.

    When we are working together in the garden, my partner may bring me a plant from one of her beds and ask me, "Can you find a home for this?" This is a natural, non-anthropomorpic use of the word 'home' We cerainly would not speak of a 'homeless' plant, but we do speak of homeless pets. You may not, but that's a matter of personal choice, not of what is right or wrong.
    I am not a teacher.

    Have you ever watched "Coupling"? In one episode, Jane says, "Vegetarianism for me is about saying yes to things ... even meat." It is possible to be wrong no matter how blithely we speak. I try to be wrong six times before breakfast.
    Last edited by Coolfootluke; 11-Mar-2011 at 20:47. Reason: wrong name

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