This comment was by Stephen on the post “Meow the Cat is now a big star (pun intended). Should we care?“
I think, at some level, empathy is empathy, whether it’s your sibling, a cat, or a spider. When I see stuff like this, I feel like it makes us cynical — there’s nothing we can do to help Meow, so we point and laugh instead. There’s no connection because it’s hard to feel strong emotions towards your television, and in the end you find yourself being disconnected. Stories like this bother me because there is already a cultural attitude that human kindness is a finite resource that needs to be rationed out to the deserving few. Then you see this and it seems to encourage that sort of behavior. “Why should I care?” is a reasonable response because certainly a morbidly obese cat is not worth national news attention, but then what if you knew that cat? Or that guy on The Biggest Loser? What if you knew someone that knows that person?…Stories like this tend to trivialize real personal troubles.