As a lonely person who spends much of her time looking at cat pictures, I frequent all the pet society groups on Facebook. Below are the categories of people I seem to come across in every group.
ALWAYS TO THE RESCUE
They are always on the lookout for animals in need of help. A new-born kitten dying without its mother, a dog injured in an accident? This person has either taken action already and is temporarily fostering the animal while posting for others to adopt, or they will mention its location – a call to arms for fellow animal lovers to rescue the poor animal. All my respect and appreciation for these folks; we need more people like them.
MORE ABOUT THEMSELVES, THEIR KIDS, OR THEIR CLOTHES
This person will post something about their adorable cat, possibly named Puchki with a caption highlighting said cat's activities. But this aforementioned Puchki is nowhere to be found in the post; you'd need very skilled eyes to locate a cat-like creature in the background what with the distracting items and faces making up 90% of the photo. Take a second look at the caption and you'll see some sneakily hidden hashtags such as #NewTop #Burberry.
THE OBSESSED OWNER
These people reside at the opposite end of the spectrum from the aforementioned kind. While the former's focus is hardly on the pet itself, the pet is the only thing on this group's mind. Is their rabbit having its favourite snack? Did their cat just successfully relieve itself? Aww! Here's a photo of its litter box. These people can't resist the urge to enlighten the world every half hour or so, nor do they forget to share the same post in as many groups as they can.
This person has 101 reasons for why you're WRONG to keep a pug, starting with “deshi breeds are better”. Informed suggestions are fine, and yes, more local dogs and cats deserve to be adopted, but you can't force people to do something by starting an aggressive confrontation on social media – especially, people you've never met.
You come across a photo of a fluffy puppy that just makes your heart melt. And then you read the caption: “Would you steal this puppy from its family, cook it, and eat it? No? Den y eat other animalz? If u call urself animal lava bcom a vegan 2day!!” Once again, well-meaning message lost in overly aggressive approach.
GRUESOME PICTURES AND FAKE PETITIONS
Wanting to help animals is great and necessary; signing a petition to bring about that help is awesome too. But it doesn't take a genius to figure out if a site asking you to sign a petition is legitimate or fake, and just trying to defame a product or organisation. The least you could do is research before hitting the “share” button.
Salma Mohammad Ali fears she is becoming a crazy cat lady and uses writing as a means to grasp on to sanity. Send her your views/hate/love at fb.com/salma.ali209