S is for Strays, or who’s saving who post-apocalypse #AtoZchallenge

Posted by : | April 22, 2014

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Disclosure addendum – Troy is a client of The Finishing Fairies, a site Kriss and I run.

One of the things I don’t think is addressed particularly well in any of the fiction/movies I’ve encountered is what would happen to our cats/dogs/other pets when the apocalypse hits. There are some, few and far betweens stories, but not many.
This, of all the stuff I think about, is actually the hardest on me because since moving south of my own little wilderness in Scotland, all we’ve had is cats.

Cats won’t come with

I don’t think that my cats would follow me if I left, and there’s no physical way I could manage them both on harnesses, though I’m sure with perseverance it’d be fine.  The problem I really have with all of this is what do you do when you need to run?  My poor kitties, though much faster than me, aren’t exactly the fastest wee beasties on four legs, and I’ll be honest, I think I’d rather they were set free and got away on their own than risk being caught with me because I had them on a harness.

Pragmatically, I think they’d need to be freed.  I just don’t know if that’d work for them both. I mean I know they both hunt and bring us gifts, so food wouldn’t be a problem, but they’re till both domestic animals, and I’m not sure what would happen the first time a zombie encounters a cat flap.  I’d love to hear your thoughts below though!

Dogs – hunters and companions

Of all the strays, I think dogs and humans have the most chance of surviving together.  I’ve seen it addressed quite well in ‘I am Legend’, and a couple of other movies, but in a lot of these shows and programs and films, dogs, cats and birds are all conspicuous in their absence.  I have to wonder if it’s because humans have had to hunt them for food in lean seasons or the domestication of these animals left the humans with no choice but to desert them and leave them behind, and they died off.  I often wonder how many pets will become feral though, versus dying off. It’s a horrible thought though – losing our pets and loved ones to the blight of a post apocalyptic world that has no freedoms left for the comfort of loving something else without worry about how to feed it.

A bit cheerier

The whole question of ‘what about the strays’ actually came up from a client tour that our sister company (The Finishing Fairies) is currently running.  So, if you haven’t grabbed it already, please head on over to Stray Ally, or to The Finishing Fairies, and check out the book.  Well worth it, I promise, and a lot less depressing than ‘oh my god, what do I do about my pets?’

That said.  What would YOU do about your pets?


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  1. Posted April 23, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    The cat would be a problem. She’s afraid of everything and would never keep up – and too dang fat to carry. The dog would absolutely come with. Maybe she’d get better at catching rabbits and share before she completely mangles them. But most important would be my horses. I have too many to manage unless I could train them to pull a wagon and the others followed. It would be difficult, but a horse would be an excellent source of food if worse came to worst. And they’d be great for a high speed escape if needed.
    Interesting post!

  2. Posted April 24, 2014 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    My dogs would come with me and protect me, for sure. I was very excited when a dog turned up on The Walking Dead last season for about a minute. I definitely think there should be dogs in my post-apocalyptic world.

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