This Cat Tales Thursday I’m reminded of my “kitten summer”, so please indulge me in a little story and a little PSA.
At this moment, Santiago sprawls on the corner of the bed, the end of his tabby tail twitching. Pixie, my perfect little rescue who I nursed back to health, is curled up beneath the bed table that my laptop is currently sitting on. I reach beneath the table and pet her. Clara, her sister, is relaxing in a near-flat cardboard box in the corner. Pixie and Clara came to me four years ago this past May. Santiago celebrates his birthday on September 5 and he’ll be four too. He’s their “little” brother who was born with Mama J’s second litter that summer. (She wouldn’t let me catch her after the first, alas.)
In the living room “the boyz” (Buck, Scooter, Sammy) and their sister (Awesome Blossom) are doing cat things, while I just saw their mother in a cardboard box and Mama Jewel, the mother to the other three, is probably curled up in her kitty bed thankful to be left alone. She’s not a fan of “the boyz”. The evil “boyz” and Blossom turned four on tax day this past April.
They’re why when people ask me how many cats we have, I say 15. I never truly set out to be a “crazy cat lady”, though I’ll also admit that my husband and I have often had more cats than most people considered normal. But when two pregnant mothers showed up on our property that summer, I did what I had to do. I made soap. I raised money. And I got both the mothers and their kittens spayed and neutered. I adopted out Clara and Pixie’s brothers to someone I know (and they’re living the pampered life). And I adopted the rest of Santiago’s siblings out too, because let’s be honest, after that many litters I was a bit overwhelmed.
Here in the Ozarks its tough to find spay/neuter programs. There were none in my county and the ones in Springfield (100 miles away) didn’t serve my area, hence why I hustled, asked for donations, and raised money to spay/neuter everyone that kitten summer. We have one now, but it’s under funded and little known.
If you do have a cat who needs to be spayed and neutered, check with your local county or your local humane society. If you don’t have one, check with local vets. They’ll know. But on this cat tales Thursday, I want to encourage you to spay and neuter your kitties. TNR (trap neuter release) programs work. They’re excellent in controlling the cat overpopulation, because while faces like the one to the left are adorable, those of us who do work with cats and do cat rescue know–we can’t keep or save them all. We need your help.