It has been cat crazy around here lately. Last week, our local pound had a seizure of 28 cats and kittens, which were apparently being bred in a backyard breeding scenario. It was the feline equivalent to a puppy mill. I can't say much about this case, as it is still pending, but this is one reason I don't like breeding. Too many people look at animals as an easy way to make money, rather than think about the animals life, and what they are doing to it. Breeding to keep breed lines I think is not that bad, if they are responsible breeders, I mean we wouldn't want certain breeds to just die out. It is still difficult for me to get behind though, when I see so many homeless animals in pounds everyday.
I have spent the past five days cat trapping. This is my first time participating in this aspect of animal rescue, and it was pretty rewarding. My aunt and uncle have had feral cats visit their backyard for two years now, and we are finally working on stopping the cycle. Animal rescue is never glamorous- often you are wearing your grubbiest clothes because you know you are going to get dirty, whether by actual dirt or grease from the animals fur (they get dirty out there on their own!), or by other unspeakable acts. We are also spit at, scratched, bitten, thrown up on, all kinds of fun stuff. I can almost deal with all that. But trapping cats involves getting up early, something that I detest. Plus, you never really know what you are going to catch- it could be a cat, or it could be a raccoon, or a possum, or a skunk, not animals I really want to mess with, especially when they are angry about being trapped in a cage.
Yesterday morning though I caught a big old orange tom, with a giant head and an attitude. He wanted out of the trap so badly, I felt bad for him - he kept ramming his noggin into the trap bars trying to force his way out. He reminded me of Thomas O'Malley from Aristocats, and I just know he is the father of all the cats in the neighborhood, the dominant male of this pride. Yesterday though, ended his days of being a deadbeat dad, our rescue group took him straight to the vet where he was neutered. I also caught a small gray female tabby with him; she was smaller and younger, of course, probably a trophy girlfriend, who was also fixed at the same time. Those two will not be populating the neighborhoods of Riverview anymore.
Today my uncle called to tell me I caught another one. I was praying it was really a cat, and not a skunk, since my aunt told me only that it was a black and white animal. Thank goodness, it was a cute little "teenager." This one was less than a year old, and black and white and so cute. It was less feral than the cats from yesterday, and is currently at the vets right now, waiting its turn to be spayed or neutered. I have dubbed her ( I think she is a girl, although I am not sure) Mamie.
To me, all the evenings I have spent baiting these traps, checking the traps, getting up early, figuring out how they are getting to the vets and getting home, is worth it. In seven years one female cat can have 420,000 kittens. In a country where 6-8 million cats and dogs are euthanized every year because there are not enough homes for all the animals out there, we don't need this kind of population explosion. If the cat today is a female, potentially 840,000 kitten lives were prevented, which sounds kind of cruel until you think that most of them would never be a pet, they would live on the streets, where they could get diseased, hit by a car, attacked by other animals, even tortured by terrible people. And even if they ended up in a shelter, there is no guarantee they would be adopted, and would more than likely be euthanized. What kind of life is that to be born into? For every animal to have a home in the U.S. right now, every person would have to have 7 dogs and 21 cats. Just some things to think about before you adopt an animal.
Rescue an animal from a rescue group or a pound. If you want a purebred dog or cat, there are actually many rescue groups that just rescue purebreds, because believe it or not, they end up being unwanted too. And spay and neuter your pets- it is good for their health, and helps prevent overpopulation.