Strays: Homeless animals seeking food and shelter

What Does Stray Mean?

Stray means to wander from a place, limit, or direct course. It is also used as a noun to describe domestic animals found roaming at large without an owner.

The words stray and waif are closely related and both originate from Anglo-Norman French. Waifs referred to any goods or animals left unclaimed on land, while strays referred to domestic animal that had wandered from their owners.

Definition

A stray is an animal that lives outside of its owner’s property and does not have a microchip or other means to identify it. This animal may be a domestic or wild creature. A stray also may be an abandoned pet.

The strays are the homeless animals that live on the streets, seeking food and shelter. They have a high mortality rate, especially the young and very old. They are often emaciated, dehydrated, and parasitized. They may be able to communicate with humans, but over time they become less socialized and can even become feral.

Despite its kid-friendly tagline, The Strays isn’t afraid of getting raunchy, tackling themes like domestic violence and systemic inequality with humor and intelligence. The film stars Madekwe, Bukky Bakray, Jorden Myrie, and Samuel Small. It’s available to watch now on Netflix.

Meaning

The Strays is a subversive comedy with impeccable voice acting and a message about pet ownership. Families can discuss how the movie uses humor to deliver its message, as well as its iffier messages about the role of alcohol and drugs in friendships.

Eighteen years ago, a light-skinned Black woman with a past of struggle among London’s working class abruptly ran away from her problems. Now, Neve lives a picture-perfect life in a posh town with her husband and two children. But the facade is starting to crack. She keeps spotting two people in her community who don’t belong there, and the menacing sightings are driving her to a breaking point. From writer and actor Nat Martello-White comes this British social thriller starring Ashley Madekwe as Neve.

Origin

The noun stray dates back to the Middle English period (1150–1500). It is likely that it is derived from the verb estraien, which meant ‘to wander about, roam or drift’. The verb stray is attested from the late 13th century. It may also have been influenced by the French estragare, from the Latin extravagari, meaning ‘to go too far.’

The Strays features a pair of children, Marvin and Dione, who are the victims of their abusive mother’s abuse. These two characters provide a genuinely unique perspective on the story and a powerful emotional hook for the audience.

Strays is filled with doggone good actors. The R-rated talking dog movie is directed by Will Ferrell (Elf) and produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Lego, the Lego Movie and Spider-Verse). Three of its four main canine actors started fresh for the project, says Mark Forbes, the film’s head dog trainer. He adds that the animals were conditioned to mimic human emotions such as confusion.

Usage

When someone sees a dog or cat running on the street, their first thought is usually to bring it into a shelter. But the way they talk about the animal could have a big impact on their ability to do so. If they use the word stray indiscriminately, it can strip away the possibility that the pet might have a family somewhere nearby.

In the past, strays were seen as dangerous and diseased. They roamed the streets, ate garbage and were known to spread rabies. They were a nuisance, and many cities hired dog catchers to round them up.

In reality, strays are usually former pets who were abandoned by their owners. They may be frightened in unfamiliar surroundings, and some even act aggressively to protect themselves. Over time, they can become less socialized and even feral as their contact with humans dwindles. This can make it difficult to reunify them with their families. It also makes them more likely to be hit by cars or die from other causes of death in the wild.

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