Note: I felt the message in this post from 2011 was worth sharing again, along with some revisions and updates. I've included helpful reference information at the end of this article you'll want to take note of and hopefully, share.
Motherhood is a sacred institution, but not if you're a cat. Motherhood can mean an end, instead of a beginning. This year, with a warm winter behind us, cats around the country bred in record numbers. “Kitten Season” which usually starts in April, began earlier. More pregnant cats have been surrendered to shelters. More are struggling to survive on the streets. More will die.
©2010 Maria Sandoval. Tansy with daughter, Pattycake. Patty and her brother, Moonpie were adopted by a big family who spare no expense on their care. They are so lucky. Update: Tansy is not doing as well. Her adopter is facing allegations of animal hoarding and Tansy has been in a North Carolina shelter, as part of a seizure of the animals in the home, waiting for a judgment since September of 2011. 2013 Update: After 2 years in a cage, Tansy, renamed Mabel is living with me, safe and sound at last!
Motherhood is the worst thing I could wish on a cat that isn't a purebred show cat (and I won't get into what I think of THAT right now). Most shelters aren't equipped to deal with pregnant cats, especially because their offspring can so easily and quickly get sick, then spread that virus through the shelter since most don't have a quarantine room. They treat newborns like hot potatoes-MUST get them OUT of the shelter and into foster homes BEFORE it's too late! Many of my previous foster cats are a very good example of that. They were born in a shelter and by the time they were 3 weeks old, they were so sick, their care cost thousands of dollars and the end result is a lifetime of waxing and waning illness for the rest of their lives. To make matter worse, if we hadn't gotten them out the day we did, they all would have been euthanized.
©2009 Henry Co. Care & Control. Cupid with “Santa's Team.” Cupid, the creamsicle-colored mama, gained 5 pounds after rescue. She almost died she was so thin from nursing her kittens. She is adopted and with a family who loves her dearly. Her best buddy is her Nanny, yes she has a Nanny and she's pals with the family dog. If you look closely, the creamy fur-blob at her feet, is my boy, Blitzen.
There's no bouquet of flowers or box of mouse-shaped treats for a mama cat within the concrete walls of animal control and the people that work there have their hands tied. I KNOW they want those cats (and dogs) out, but the numbers are rising so fast—especially this time of year, how can they keep up? Where's the town budget to add a quarantine room for newborns? Who would happily see their Property Tax go up to make this happen? Where are the guards at the doors that tell people with pregnant cats they shouldn't even step foot inside a shelter!
©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control. Our own Mazie with Chester, Polly and Cara. All were very sick for months after they got out of a shelter and all are in forever homes and doing well.
I go back to square one-we all know this: the mamas don't get to BE mama's if they're spayed. There's simply NO excuse not to spay your cat. There are low cost Spay and Neuter clinics all over the country. Many Humane Societies and Municipal Shelters will offer low cost vouchers. You're doing your cat (or dog) a HUGE disservice leaving it intact. Not only is the cat apt to get mammary cancer and tumors in the uterus and ovaries, but spaying avoids birth complications. Your cat will greatly reduce its chances of getting FIV+ or Feline Leukemia. But most importantly, you're preventing MORE cats from being born into a world that cannot handle them-there are TOO MANY CATS and NOT ENOUGH HOMES.
©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. Rose, Poppy and Daisy.
We've got to stop this nonsense. We've got to make sure our neighbors stop this nonsense and take care of their cats, females AND males. We have to tell our neighbor why they MUST do the right thing and make sure it gets done and not just wag a finger at them, help them. Offer to pay for their spay. Offer to drive the cat to the clinic and pick it up afterwards. Do whatever it takes. Just ONE LESS MAMA means potentially hundreds of less cats! It takes more than a village, but even if it's just a handful of people who do this, it's a great start.
Maybe someday, not in my lifetime, but someday, we won't have cat overpopulation and allowing cats to have kittens will be thoughtfully controlled. Until then, we need to truly revere Motherhood and respect it and respect the fact that some times NOT being a Mother is the smartest and most appropriate thing we can do.
©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. “Last Chance”-Angel with her son, Spyder.
Today, I sit here feeling sick. I already know there are thousands of Mama cats who have already given birth now that spring is here. Personally, my little rescue group can't even take ONE family in unless we get some foster homes. As for the other rescues, they are full up, overloaded, scrambling to help as many as they can, but with thirteen new mamas at ONE shelter in Georgia and half a dozen at another, WHERE are these cats going to go?
©2008 Robin A.F. Olson. CallaLily and her babies. Callie is doing great in her new home.
I can tell you. They are not going anywhere. They won't even live to see Mother's Day.
Where we're overjoyed if a woman is “expecting,” but if a cat, or dog becomes pregnant, odds are, if those animals aren't in a safe and loving home that will care for them, they'll be given up to a shelter and soon, we'll kill them.
©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. “Huggy Mama”, Dash & Snuggles. All got adopted TOGETHER! Yes, all three!
Let's make it a better world for our cats and show them how much we really DO respect and care for them by making certain they're ALL spayed and neutered.
No more Mothers, please.
If you'd like to find a Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic here are some resources. There are MANY MORE OUT THERE. Odds are, check with the biggest Humane Society in your area and they will also either have a program, or know where you can find one. A few minutes of research online will save you hundreds of dollars AND you'll be doing the right thing for your cat.
ASPCA & PetSmart Charities® Database for locations in the USA
Neuter & Spay.org includes resources in the USA, Canada and Europe. The site ran a bit slow, but it does work.
North Shore Animal League's SpayUSA
Live in Georgia? Try Spay Georgia.
Bobette and her boys visited Dr. T at Noah's Ark to have their spay/neuter surgery. As they often do, because they're so young and male, the boys were fine and running around after their surgery. Bobette didn't fare as well. Her surgery was unremarkable, but sadly, Bobette was very uncomfortable after her spay.
©2011 Maria S. Poor Bobette was very uncomfortable after her spay surgery
I'm very glad that Maria is such a doting foster mama. She saw Bobette angrily swatting at the kittens, as she sat curled up tightly. As any woman knows, the good old heating pad is a friend during certain times of the month. Maria figured the same might be true for what would comfort Bobette so she offered her the same soothing warmth. Bobette gingerly stepped onto the heating pad, then slowly stretched out. Her injured rear leg sat in a slightly awkward angle as Bobette curled her front legs under her chin. Poor Bobette. We don't know how her kneecap became subluxated or what happened to her bones fusing together. I have to get Bobette to Connecticut so she can have more tests and see a specialist, but our ChipIn isn't doing very well and we REALLY need help getting Bobette and family to Connecticut.
©2011 Maria S. Maria wisely offered Bobbie a heated pad, which helped her relax. You can see her kneecap is not in the correct location.
We use PETS, LLC to transport our cats. They're professional and though 97.4% of their transports are DOGS, they give us a place up front for the cats. The transport fee for the family of four is $300.00 ($75/cat). Yes, we could dig around to find a cheaper transport, but many aren't as reliable as PETS and don't provide the same attention to the animals during transport. If we can't do a private transport, this is a solid alternative.
©2011 Maria S. They boys did well after being neutered and it's clear they LOVE sleeping on a BED..
Adoption applications are coming in and this time of year there's a blip up in adoptions. The Pumpkin Patch has a reservation on a transport for next week and I have an Adoption Event for the day they arrive. I hope they can make it up here in time, but I may have to hold off on moving them if we can't raise the funds.
©2011 Maria S. Teddy.
Sometimes I wish I could just get in my car and go get them. I can't wait for them to be here. I need some orangey goodness now that Bob has been gone these past three months. Bob...I miss him so very much. In the next month or so I will be making a big announcement about him. I wish I could tell you now, but it has to stay a secret awhile longer. I know you'll be thrilled when you find out! Okay..I'll stop teasing you!
©2011 Maria S. Mikey's stripes are getting more defined.
A week has passed and Bobette is feeling better. She's still a bit testy with the kittens, but that's to be expected. They boys are oblivious and spend their days playing, napping and growing. They're ready for their next adventure-Christmas in Connecticut-and with any luck, a forever Home for the Holidays.
©2011 Maria S. Mikey is too tired to be photographed.
Your donation for Bobette and family is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE. The money will go to my Non-Profit Cat Rescue: Kitten Associates.
If you'd prefer to send a check, please make it out to: Kitten Associates and mail it to:
P.O. Box 354
Newtown, CT 06470-0354
Thank you very much for helping Bobette and her family!
©2011 Maria S. Bobette finally feeling better after a few days of rest.
So how's Cara doing?
What a VERY VERY LONG, difficult journey it's been for Cara. (here's just one of the many posts about her) Starting when she was just 3 weeks old last November, Cara has been sick.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Cara, a few months ago, during the worst of her illness.
Cara was injured from Doxycycline scalding her esophagus, which led to her needing three endoscopies to repair, which led to her getting helicobater pylori, which led to yet more medications, frustration, blood tests again and again and after the better part of a YEAR...
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Cara's coat is like fine silk and the pattern has really come to life.
Cara's been living in another foster home for about a month. Over that time Cara finished her (we hope) LAST round of medication. Her Vet, Dr. K. claims she should be FINE now. No more vetting, other than getting her SPAYED!
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. She may have grown some, but Cara still has big owly eyes!
A few days ago I visited Cara. Seeing her again was startling. I knew it was Cara, but I didn't really recognize her. She looked so much better. Her coat was silky and shiny. She ran around the house and played with the other cats. I could tell she was very happy. No more hunching over in pain. Gone was the weak and fragile kitten I spent so many hours fussing over and medicating. Before me was a thriving young lady, still tiny and with those big owly eyes. It was Cara, only a lot better.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Cara has plenty of energy now!
Cara is no longer confined to a room by herself. She's free to run around the house and make friends with some of the other kitties. Two of them were also cats we rescued! One is Precious and the other, Little Maria. They'll be featured in the next update! Right now Cara is too busy having fun, finally growing a bit and gaining some weight. She may be about six pounds, four fewer than her brother, (Chestesr) Boris! She also has great energy and no longer shakes her head and licks at her mouth-which tells us she's no longer nauseous.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. What's out there?
We're nearing the end of our journey with Cara. She'll be spayed by surgeon, not just at a clinic. We have to take extra precautions because we don't want to injure Cara's esophagus during the anesthesia. Dr. K will be checking on Cara's spay, too. Only the best for this little girl who's suffered so much, already.
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Cara looks terrified but she's just watching a toy!
Once Cara recovers, we know what comes next. We figure out how to say goodbye to her. I have a feeling it won't be a difficult goodbye, but more like a “until I see you again.” Cara's probably not really going to be out of our lives any time soon, but I'll report on that when the time comes.
I think it's safe to say, that this is the day we've been waiting for for a very long time. This is the day when we can stop worrying about Cara and start focusing on watching her blossom into an adult.
Why am I so angry?
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobbi at Connie's house a few weeks ago.
Bobbi got returned to AID last week. That's really tragic and I'm VERY disappointed in her temporary adopter. They assured us they would GO SLOWY introducing Bobbi to their other cat, but they just couldn't manage it. They couldn't deal with Bobbi hissing-which is normal or the fact that Bobbi went after their other cat. Bobbi has only been in FIVE other temporary homes-each with many cats-over the past MONTH. Do you THINK that MAYBE she needed a few WEEKS to just get her bearings and TRUST in her surroundings? NO. You didn't wait or give her a chance. Like her family before, you gave up on her, too. Not great, but not the end of the world.
This is it. Sit DOWN in your CHAIR. Stop driving or whatever you are doing...
I got an email from Connie tonight. Bobbi has been doing great back at the shelter. Not fighting with the other cats. Getting along fine...then tonight...
I WANT TO HIT SOMETHING! NO. I WWANT TO HIT SOMEONE! NO! I WANT TO HIT THAT VET! I WANT TO PUNCH OUT WHOEVER TOSSED BOBBI TO THE CURB AND LET HER STARVE!!! I AM SO ANGRY!!!!!!!!!!!!! All I can do is type exclamation marks!!!!!
Did I go to sleep, then wake up in a parallel universe full of asshats? I mean, really? WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS WORLD WHERE THIS MADE SENSE TO SOMEONE? Did the moron who owned Bobbi hold a GUN to the VET'S head and MAKE him declaw the cat? That is the ONLY explanation that makes any sense to me!
I think my head is going to explode.
Meanwhile, Miss Bobbi is going to be SPAYED very very soon-on our dime. No problem. Worth every penny.
As for the Vet...all I have to say is Karma is a BITCH.
I like the way their eyes reflect on the floor! Yikes!
Looks like Zombie-Kitten changed tactics from brain-eating to humping!
No worries. No spermies were released during the shooting of this photo.
At almost four months of age, Blitzen is looking like a proper kitty now.
After a long, miserable night, spent mostly with food poisoning and an empty bed, I managed to get up another day and begin the usual rounds of caring for the cats. Tomorrow Blitzen is slated to be neutered. I called the Vet to double check that it was still all right to bring him, bearing in mind he has something on his head that is...I'm not supposed to make a diagnosis to this Vet, but...it's RINGWORM, OK?
It's hard to hold a wiggly kitten still long enough to look and my close-up vision ain't what it used to be. It wasn't until I looked at the photos that I could see just how bad things were looking.
You tell me that's not ringworm!
There's the telltale crust. It's gotta be ringworm. I've been treating it topically, but I wonder if I should do more? I guess I can wait until the Vet sees him tomorrow. Of the 4 kittens, he was the sickest, the longest, so it's not a complete surprise, BUT..now what? What about his siblings? He's going to have to be with me another few weeks. There is no where to quarantine him too. Everyone has been exposed. I'm in full “fuck-it” mode about this ringworm nightmare.
Sick or not, I've really fallen for this little guy. I'm not sure I can part with him. Maybe I'm willing him to stay here and he's responding by getting sick again? Sure. I have super powers. Why can't I have the super power that wins me a huge lottery payout?
I'd settle for super powers that make Blitzen be the last cat (or PERSON) I EVER see with RINGWORM!