Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Bittersweet Day

Today was one of those bittersweet days. I went to the shelter to rescue 6 kittens, "any female cat" and a "maternity cat". Sounds like an AWESOME rescue to me! How often do I get to leave the shelter with 8 cats + some unborn kittens? I was practically fist-pumping when I arrived at the shelter.

As I walked up and down the aisles looking for the cats to rescue I stopped suddenly when I saw him:
It was Baby. I felt frozen in my tracks and my eyes started to burn. If you haven't read about Baby, I encourage you to click on the link. I was so sad that the people never contacted me again. I tried so hard to find Baby a home. My heart hurt to see yet ANOTHER cat whose owner died and the family left him at the shelter. At least this family tried. Baby doesn't like other cats, so it's not an easy match. He's listed on the shelter website as "Honey" - which I'm fairly certain this really is his name. (Where the hell did I get "Baby" from anyway?)

The good news is, I might have a foster home for Baby. I'm going to make contact tonight and keep my fingers crossed. This foster home has no other cats, so it might just work!

Another foster home came forward for Magoo, so I'm insanely excited about that!

There's a feral Mom at the shelter with her kittens:

The Mom cannot be saved because she's too frightened and she'll be euthanized tomorrow morning (along with many others) before the shelter opens. Because it's only April and not July, I'm going to be able to save her kittens. This will be their last night together as a family. My heart broke into a million little pieces as I watched this family snuggle together for the last time.

God, I hate this.

To add insult in injury, I came home to THIS email:

"Hello Beth,

Thank you for your e-mail, yes, I am looking for a friend to my cat Buddy, who is very friendly, happy male cat, he is not fixed, because one of my friend wanted kittens for her female cat, but she changed her mind and now maybe it is too late to do it...

The reason, why I wanted second cat, because I am working all day long 10-12 hours/day and Buddy sitting alone at home, I feel really sorry for him...."

My response to her was probably over the top:

"I'm sorry (name deleted), but I can't permit a female cat to be in the home with an unneutered male. I must admit that I'm appalled that you and your friend would consider breeding her cat. I just came from the shelter where they are euthanizing thousands of kittens each year because there are not enough homes. Even if your friend could find homes for HER kittens, it takes the place of the ones that are dying in the shelter.

Please have your male cat neutered and encourage your friend to have her cat spayed. She really should be ashamed of herself for permitting her cat to have kittens. She needs to come to the shelter and watch them kill kittens that have no homes. It's awful.

I'm sorry, but I don't think this will work."

With all the education out there about animal overpopulation, it's still shocking to me that there are people out there wanting to BREED their cats for the sake of just having a litter of kittens. Makes me want to puke. It really does.

You can see why it was a bittersweet day. I've gone from doing a Snoopy happy dance, to feeling emotionally crushed like an overripe grape. I wasn't planning on going to the shelter tomorrow, but if I can get out Magoo and Baby...I'm going. Somebody has to pick up those 5 week old kittens after their mother is dead too.

It might as well be me.


CanuckPet said...

I seen Honey/Baby earlier on petfinder and kept going back to look at him, he has something very sad in his eyes... not surprising being that he is there rather than in a loving home

I hate emails/calls like those, a friend who works in a shelter in the US had someone who used to come in all the time looking for a long-hair to breed with her cat - she eventually took a picture of the freezer after the vet had been in to euthanise and gave her the picture. The girl never came back again, it was mean, but it got the point across - the number of times I have thought about asking for that photo to give to someone who made a comment like the one you received

Steve Bartlett said...

That was a relatively mild email, in my view, considering the subject.

Elizabeth said...

When people tell me they want to breed their cat I suggest that they spay their own cat then go to the shelter and foster a pregnant cat. They still get to see "the miracle of life" but don't add to the cat population and they save a few lives.

BTW I have no idea why its called the miracle of life as I remembered watching a cat give birth being rather messy and gross.

Shannon said...

Your email was gentle when considering what you see on a daily basis.

My feelings about spay/neuters are very clear. I've been known to 'catnap' barn cats that belong to my friends up north and stray cats that they feed and take them to be altered. Originally, they were dead set against it. Barn cats aren't house pets they argued. We need them to be able to reproduce. But they've come around and been able to rehome some of the homeless cats that I've had fixed because they haven't had to find homes for all the kittens.

whitesocks said...

You're my heroine, Beth, for having the strength and courage to go on doing this. That was a great reply you wrote, and not too harsh at all. I am going to steal it for when I hear of such things. I am glad it was not too over the top as that just alienates people. Your response to this person laid out the case in bleak terms that really made the point well. Hugs to you.
We all share your sadness for the feral mom. Thank you for taking on her kittens.

Anonymous said...

I thought you exercised great restraint. I would have thrown some name calling in there (just kidding, but not really)

RHz said...

I hope someone pulls through for Honey.
As far as your response to the email, O.M.G. You were much, much kinder than I would have ever been.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. If a person wants to breed their pets, and take full responsibility for the babies, they have the right to do so.
The problem lies in the use of euthanasia as the only solution to population control; do not put the blame on pet owners, but on the lawmakers and the wimps that support them.

whitesocks said...

The most usual way people "take full responsibility" for the babies is to find them homes...and each such home found is one more animal at a shelter dead as it could not find a home.

It is sickening that people breed their pets without caring about the huge animal overpopulation crisis.

Falkosmom said...

I wish you could have gotten the little feral momma down into the states. I would have loved to have her join my household. Her story broke my heart. They could have at least waited for her to raise her babies another couple of weeks.

kb said...

I blamed people who refuse to spay or neuter their cats too...until I realized there is no low cost spay/ neuter clinics in the Hamilton area. Whats up with that???

Anonymous said...

Best poster I ever saw at my vet's office was a picture of a basket of 5 kittens. Above it it read "Pick 1, because the other 4 won't be alive in a year"
'Nuff said.