Saturday, October 30, 2010
Early in our Older Cat Program we placed Blackjack -- a pure black male cat – very sweet and cuddly as the resident cat at a local assisted living residence on their Alzheimer’s floor. He seemed the perfect cat to engage and assure the residents and families in their difficult time. After living there for only a few weeks it was clear that he would do a great job but – the staff asked for a second cat for those people who were superstitious about black cats. Luckily we had the perfect match – a pure white female cat named Mama. The staff embraced her and quickly changed” Blackjack’s” name to Papa. Now they had a special cat for everyone and by linking the white and black cats together by connecting their names (Mama and Papa) the “black cat issue” soon ran its course.
So when you think of Halloween go ahead and think of black cats like Robin and Larry who are as innocent as new-fallen snow. Let the negative image churned up each October of black cats as instruments of evil fade into the soon to be forgotten past. Celebrate instead the fact that even with cats – “black is beautiful”. Happy Halloween! Meow!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Our cat programs began in 2000 by providing free spay/neuter help to feral cats in Michigan and now we continue that work in New Mexico as one element of our Cat Spay of Santa Fe program. Over the years, though, our primary focus has shifted toward pre-emptive “TNR” – working to keep cats in their original homes -- off the streets and out of animal control shelters -- by providing free and convenient spay/neuter access to lower-income families. We know that the overwhelming reason why people abandon their cats is that their cats aren’t fixed – and money and convenient access to spay/neuter help is the overwhelming reason why they stay intact. By fixing these cats we can stop feral cat colonies from forming (or growing) in the first place. And it’s incredibly easier to get disadvantaged pet cats fixed than it is to live-trap feral cats for sterilization.
We salute the efforts of Alley Cat Allies in driving home the existence of feral cats and their efforts to ensure that all cats – not just shelter-adopted house cats – are brought under the spay/neuter radar. But in the process let us not assume that feral cats are inherently different from pet cats – as they are the exact same species. And – let us not assume that because a cat wasn’t socialized as a kitten that they can’t or wouldn’t enjoy living with people. We’ve learned that lesson first hand from the 4 teenaged feral cats who share our home. It took a little front-end work to get them comfortable but now they enjoy all the amenities of indoor living. After 5 years of being house cats it’s hard to distinguish them from the other socialized cats they live with -- other than we can’t pick them up and --except for Cleo -- they’re not lap cats.
feral colony management program details.