The Story of a Cat In a Clinical Trial is my own interpretation of how my pet cat would feel if I sent him to take part in animal testing studies.
I woke up that morning and the air was full of tension. My food bowl was empty and I saw her crying. She did not hug me like usual but came up to me and encouraged me to drink water. Sensing the strangeness in the air, I refused and that made her cry even more. I jumped up to her lap and looked into her eyes. She said nothing but lifted me up and put me in a soft cotton bag, my head was sticking out and I knew nothing. We left the house and went to the car, where she gently placed me on the seat next to her. Her eyes full of tears, she drove off to an unknown destination.
We arrived at a strangely looking building, all white with many people, all dressed in white with bizarre cables around their necks, I heard her call them stethoscopes. One man came up to her and tried to take me away. Her hands shivered for a moment as she hesitated to give me away. She was crying but this time silently. I had heard her cry many times before but now it was different. I am normally quite peaceful but I had never been given away to anyone before. My heart was racing and I could not help but open my mouth and meow the hall away. The man put his fingers around my mouth to close it and I found myself gasping for air. They threw me in an iron cage, in a room full of cats like me, all looking as if they were going to die any moment now. They were all staring at me in silence and this is when I started realizing what was about to happen.
I still had not received any food. That evening the man came back and pulled me by the back of my neck out of the cage. It hurt me badly, the last time I had this done was by my mother when I was a little kitten and she was moving me away from my litter box not to get dirty. Back then, it did not hurt and I could not feel her teeth in my fur. This time my heart bounced up and down my body as he dragged me into a room full of other humans all in white. I saw blood stains, I saw some scattered fur and broken claws and there was a very heavy reek in the air. It filled my nostrils and got stuck in my brain.
They put me on a flat surface and injected something in my fur, I did not understand where as it happened quickly and all I remember is the stinging pain. Then they placed some odd cables and pumps on my head and started observing me. It took a while, my heart was racing and my mouth was dry, my eyes were getting watery, water was dripping from my nose and I could not really feel my paws. And then something happened. My body blocked and I was about to lose conscience. There was no light, color or smell, I could not sense anything anymore, my hind legs dropped as if without bones. The humans congratulated one another that now the arteries in my head are blocked and I finally had a stroke. That information, they said, would be used for medical research into stroke in humans. Some other cats were going to be used for “sight deprivation” tests to investigate the visual cortex.
I did not know what a stroke or visual cortex is. All I knew was that suddenly I was crippled and could not move at all. There was an excruciating pain all over, yet I could not control any part of my body, it felt numb and dead. They were all content and scribbling numbers on their little pads.
One man hurried another to kill me. I have a couple of minutes left.
Learn more about Animal Testing on BBC Ethics Guide