1 The Cat in the Shed: pets as moral and spatial features of a community


Brief introductory remarks Owners can grow worried about their cat’s absence. A cat can go missing from a household. It can be a lost living thing in a neighbourhood. We can search for a cat that we cannot find without hunting for it, we can search for it because we want to recover it, not to trap it or kill it. What is that makes a cat a cat like that and not like a mole or a rat or a salmon? Just how do we care for this animal? What resources are devoted to finding lost cats? / Who knows the cat is missing? We will look at a collection of missing cat notices posted around one city neighbourhood (see below). This neighbourhood is in Scotland, not far from the centre of Edinburgh, and is dominated by tenement style buildings. The arrangement of the buildings is important since the tenements, compared to detached suburban houses, or farmland, form substantial barriers in length to the journeying of cats and are impossible for them to climb over. The majority of the tenements have a street side and a shared garden/courtyard side. The street side in some places has the public pavement directly abutting the building while other rows of tenements have small private garden

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