Here it is 2015, and we have been celebrating World Spay Day for 20 years now.. Despite all the wonderful progress we have made in the world of our companion animals, there is still so much more to be done.
It is so easy to insulate ourselves from the overpopulation problems. Our government institutions 'take care' of the problem for us. Three to four million companion animals (that is about half the population of NYC) are killed every year for the simple fact that there are not enough homes and this is done in back rooms and the bodies are quietly disposed of and it simply is not discussed (which is why there is such a huge swing in the numbers)
Most of us go through our entire day, a week, a month, heck all year with out seeing a single stray animal. Often when we do see them, we write them off as being owned by someone else. My husband convinced me of that once. A cute little stray kitten came up to us when we moved into a new apartment, and he said she must be owned by someone. A few months later she came back crying for help because it was so very very cold and she was so very very hungry. We were able to capture her, but she was so fearful that she almost didn't take our help. She eventually did, but unfortunately it was too late for her then, the FELV that was inside her was taking it's toll and we ended up having to put her down shortly there after.
Those of you reading this blog must love cats.. why else would you be here. Most of you already know of this horrible problem of over population, but do you really know... I mean KNOW.. We are told that three to four million companion animals never make it out of the shelter, but did you know that there are approximately 70 million cats that are living outside of a home in the US alone? I can't even begin to quantify 70 million in a way you might understand the enormity of that number. In a human's average life span you live approximately 613,600 hours..so that is about 114 life times in hours.
No.. how about this.. there are approximately one homeless kitty for each iPhone sold in the first quarter of 2015. (I'm not quite sure how I feel about that statistic). Honda was fined $70 million for under reporting injuries. The data breach by Target involved some 70 million consumers..
So freakingly overwhelming for one..
and those who are paying the price are the most vulnerable amongst us.
These were cats luck enough to be found so they could give birth in a home. They were fed well prior to and after giving birth so that they could nourish their offspring. Most of my queens were social and were happy to have me around during the birth. I have also fostered a couple of truly feral cats, ones that would rather rip my face off than let me anywhere near them, and thankfully the kittens were easily tamed and all made wonderful pets.
There is SOOOO much that can be done, and it can be done if we all take part. Your part doesn't have to be huge. Adopt a kitty and save a life. No room for another? How about fostering? I know so many of you swear you couldn't because you couldn't stand to give them up, but how can you stand to watch them die? Okay, I get it, fostering isn't for everyone.. How about donating some money to a local spay/neuter clinic, or a local friends of feral group? Even a dollar helps.. I know it feels so weird to just give a dollar, like we can't be bothered to be more generous, but dollars add up... they make a difference, really they do.
Have you considered ever volunteering for a spay/neuter clinic? You do not need medical training to help out. I went once and helped check cats in and set them up in cages.
And for the love of all that is furry, PLEASE, if you have a friend who has a cat who is not neutered, please share with them the contact information to a local clinic. If you see someone on social media spouting off how cute their cat's third litter of kittens are, tell them how disgusting you think they are (but in a nice and pleasant way since you do catch more flies with honey) for littering.
Be active. Participate. Do something. Do ANYTHING. Be part of the solution..
This post has been brought to you by Abby. Because of the overwhelming number of cats waiting for homes, kitties with special needs like Abby will most likely never find a home. The thought of returning her to the shelter depresses me to no end, and I've been in a pretty bad place for a while now. I cling to the hope that maybe, just maybe.. but each day that goes by that she isn't regulated or progressing away from the fear that rules here life... She can not stay with me indefinitely and I have put a limit on her time here as a matter of weeks. Returning to her to the shelter will kill me. She is an absolutely lovely cat that just wants to curl up next to you and be with you. She eats two cans of Fancy Feast Classics a day, and as of right now is getting 1 unit of insulin twice a day that she takes with out even noticing it.