I put Olie to sleep Saturday morning. She had been ill for some time now. As long as she was still eating and functioning as normally as she could, I let her be, but she stopped eating the end of the week and I couldn’t tolerate her suffering any longer. I am at odds as to whether I am truly entitled to euthanize an animal or not, but Olie was truly suffering.
Olie is a perfect example of what happens when you breed for the show ring. At the time I bred Olie, it was her look: a short, square muzzle with large expressive eyes that the judges were looking for. If you were able to get them out in front of the judges while they were still young, they did really well. This look was driven by some of the bigger name breeders at that time. Luckily, it doesn’t seem to be the case now. Many of the American Shorthairs being shown then, Olie included, looked more like Exotic Shorthairs than American Shorthairs. Unfortunately, as they age, their muzzles get even shorter and their whisker pads start to push into their nostrils. Olie could not breathe or eat normally.
Such is the live of many purebred cats, even today. Look at the Cat Fanciers Association’s top (first place) adult, kitten and premier (neutered/spayed division) cats, all Persians with muzzles so short, these cats are unable to lead normal lives. The Cat Fanciers Association honors extremity in looks, it always has.
Breeding for a particular look, color or shape is a detriment to the animal. I will never do it again. I hope Olie was able to forgive me for my stupidity.
Rest in peace Olie.