Monday, July 25, 2011

A Little Monday morning Cat Chat

I love my mighty little mini Morgan!  She may be the smallest member of the family circle, but even the big dogs hop when she puts her paw down.  
Living out here in hillbilly heaven / aka such a popular dumping spot, Morgan is actually the only cat that I have adopted.   Sadly, everyone else has just showed up after someone else thought they weren't worth keeping :(
Why did I go all the way over to SHAID to adopt Morgan?  Were there no homeless cats here in the Valley?  Were there no cats here already? 
Of course not!   In the course of doing the research to build the homeless pet site, I found Morgan's story in the newsletter on the SHAID website. 
She had been a teenaged mommy who had been so badly hurt that she couldn't walk, and everyone at SHAID had been afraid there might have been an Unhappy Tail waiting after her kittens were weaned.  
But, in true mighty Morgan style, she surprised everyone and started to move and finally was able to get up on her own.  Her kittens had been adopted, but nobody wanted to adopt a little momcat with a funny little hitch to her gait :(
I will always have a special affection for SHAID, because at that time not everyone would have waited for Morgan to get back on her feet.   Had she been elsewhere, we would not have had the opportunity to become such good friends!
But that isn't even the best bit!  I was amazed at how darned easy and simple it was to adopt a cat from SHAID.  No five page form!  No waiting for a week for references to be checked!  
In a world where homeless cats are like the proverbial mice .... where there are dozens of potentially Unsung Unhappy Tails waiting for every available rescue slot, it behooves all groups and shelters to make cat adoption as user friendly as possible.
Here in Nova Scotia, many kind hearts still see nothing wrong with letting their pet cats go outside.  I would run out of fingers and toes to count the good pet owners of my acquaintance who let their own personal cats go outside.  Their own spayed and neutered cats.  Their own cats that come in to be fed and loved.
Do I let my personal cats go outside?  Not anymore.  Not here ... where there is a coyote den a stones throw away.  Not here ... where the eagles and hawks hunt overhead.  And especially not here ... where a couple of my neighbours are quick to complain to animal control because cats find their bird feeders irresistible!
Did I ever let my cats out?  You bet!  Kitty Bear is the last one who had that privilege .. and by our best guestimate she is pushing twenty now (or more:).  She only became an indoor cat when she started napping in the oregano, for all the eagles and hawks to see :(
My best friend had a lovely cat who lived to be well over twenty ... and who only came indoors in the winter. 
In a province where cats are valued as much for their mousing skills as their looks, it is poor logic to deny cats the opportunity of a good home.   It is important to remember that indoor only lifestyles carry their own set of health risks related to obesity, eh?
Even more essential is the role that pet adoption plays in population control.  With the exception of a couple of society branches ( and I'm betting not for much longer :), each and every cat that is adopted becomes part of the solution.  Straight, sweet and simple ... spayed and neutered cats do not create kittens!
Currently the status quo sends anyone who 'lets the cat out' straight to the sources that create so many of the problems for rescue.  Pet Stores and the free online ad sites do not tell people how to care for their pets, eh?
How many of those cats wind up creating more kitttens?   Would it not be much better for their owners to have been able to adopt a cat that was already altered?
What time is it?  If there were no waiting lists .... if adoptions were moving along so merrily that every shelter could always take all owner surrenders ... then it might make sense to insist that adopters 'don't let the cat out".  Until that day, it is always time to encourage the kind hearts who are interested in adopting a cat.
Our house is a very, very fine house
With two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard ..
from Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

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