I have been pre-occupied the last 2 days with concern over the amount of cats that have arrived at the local shelter either pregnant or with babies. This happens every year at this time and it seems the numbers are getting worse. They want more foster homes, and I hope they can find them, but that surely is not the answer.
Lily & Mr. Ed
Of course, there are many good cat owners and my business is proof of that. I see cats that are treated like spoiled children; pampered and fussed over to no end. I see happy, contented cats who are often adopted from the shelter and are given a good home for the rest of their lives. Most are what you would expect though; good companions and respected members of the family.
Before we moved to this area, we lived closer to the city of Ottawa. There were strays, but there was also a spay/neuter clinic in the city for those who could not afford the expensive vet costs, and that helped to keep the numbers down. We had one cat and she was 14 when we moved to Carleton Place. Within 2 years I had taken in 3 more that showed up on our deck, hungry and scared. More arrived and it soon dawned on me that there was a problem with the number of strays and that I needed to find a good shelter to take them to. It was then that I contacted the Lanark Animal Welfare Society and then visited them for a tour of their shelter. I soon got very involved and became a board member.. I was the Volunteer Co-ordinator for 3 years. A group of us worked hard to raise money for the shelter and we soon were able to add a 'cat wing' that allowed the cats 'freedom' from their cages throughout the day. That alone made our hard work worthwhile. We soldiered on to get the message out to Spay and Neuter by handing out pamphlets, buttons, posters etc. because that was the only thing that was going to improve the situation.
That was many years ago and I would have hoped to see attitudes change with the majority of the population here but sadly, I haven't yet. It seems to be one step forward...three steps back.
But, you can't give up trying. The cats depend on those who care about them to help change their 'plight'. Spaying your own cat and reminding those that you know to do the same is a start. Writing letters to your local municipality to open a spay/neuter clinic is another important step. In our area it never came to life but it doesn't mean it won't in the future. We animal lovers are a stubborn bunch and we are the voice for the lost, homeless cats. Thank God for that.
Audrey will be drawing for the cat dish tonight so please leave a comment if you haven't already. Good luck!