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Friday, December 30, 2011

I went to the shelter today and made sure to take a bunch of photos of cats. I had seem some posts online from people who were upset about the lack of attention the cats get.. it's true, cats are not as often posted as the dogs. When looking at the overall numbers of those adopted versus those euthanized, the cats are not doing nearly as well as the dogs.. and since the dogs are not doing great.. well, that is a problem. 

I happen to love cats. I haven't had one in the house for some time and I probably won't for a long time. I was heartbroken after losing my own cats in the last couple of years so I just decided to not have a cat for a while- mine had lived to 18 and 20 years old.. they had been with me for so long so that it wasn't easy to just go adopt another. I did take in a foster last year.. I was so excited because she was a pregnant cat and I looked forward to helping her family have a chance. Things didn't go so well though. She got a URI and although I took her in and medicated the mom... the babies also got it. They were just too tiny to fight it and they were all lost.. so there I was again heartbroken over lost cats. The Mom cat did ok and went on to find a home. Now, I would love to have a cat- but, I'm afraid the wonder twins would "play" with a cat and hurt it. So.... I'm catless. 

What I do not understand is all of the people who trap feral cats. I just don't know why. Are they thinking they are helping them? Are they just mad? Frustrated with the cats? Vindictive? I just don't get it. I once had a neighbor who flipped out on me because he said my cat was peeing on his bushes. I saw he had set a trap out..even though I explained my cat was indoors. The funny thing was that he did finally find the cat that was peeing on his precious bushes- it was a bobcat. I wonder though do people trap cats because they are peeing on their bushes? If so do they honestly think their bushes are more important than a life? The only times I think a feral cat needs to be trapped is if it is going to be fixed and released.. or is vicious and attacking people or animals.. otherwise- why not leave them alone? Why not call a rescue group to come in and fix and release them? I just don't get it. 
Feral cat - I wanted to take the cage and run
So, at the shelter today, there were feral cats sitting in their cages .. poor cats that some person had decided that did not deserve life. Feral cats are not adopted out. They really can't be- they are wild. They are terrified and they would not make good pets and it would be dangerous to adopt them. A feral cat brought to a shelter is going to be a dead cat.. (unless a shelter has a special area to allow them to live out their lives such as the Best Friends sanctuary)... there is no hope for them. The cats I saw today had no hope. I doubt they are still alive.. especially with space needed for the influx of kittens that were dropped off today.. such a constant stream coming in.

Some things a camera cannot capture. My lens cannot capture the shaking and the crying. The orange cat above shook the entire time I was there. There was no way to comfort the poor thing.. it was not socialized, it was fearful, and it was not a cat that could be handled. So the entire time it was there it shook in fear. I bet it shook until its final breath. And why? Because a person decided that its life was not worth anything. It makes me want to kick someone.

But, before I make it seem like things are just beyond horrible and there is no hope - I also saw  good things happening today. I saw people looking to adopt and I even saw an adoption. I also saw that there was a group from the Humane Society who were pulling cats to take. That is great.. that is what needs to happen.. to see groups who can help alleviate the numbers at the city shelter, they are not only saving the cats that they took- but, they also are opening more cage space for all those kittens that keep pouring in the door. I know it is hard to find groups to take cats.. it can be really hard... so it was a big deal to see so many cats today that were going to be going to safety.

Humane Society workers choosing cats :) yippee! 
Other good things I saw where hard working people who took time from their own lives to volunteer and even one employee who came in on her day off to help me take pictures.  I also saw the photographer hard at work who comes in a few times a week to take fantastic studio photographs of the dogs and cats... they make a difference. The thing is that we can all so easily look at the negative and get so caught up in it until it consumes us and makes us feel hopeless... or, we could focus on the little things.. the little successes and make it known how important they are and how others can have the power to do seemingly small things to lead towards bigger changes. So, I could have left the shelter feeling hopeless and upset.. but, I chose not too.. I chose to focus on the little victories and to know that I am trying to do my part to make a change.. instead of just laying blame. I couldn't save the orange cat, but I can work to give a voice to those who otherwise may not have a chance.. that is what I can do.. what can you do?

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