Folks who have followed this blog for a few years will remember Oscar and Dora’s story. For those who haven’t, six years ago, a little scrap of a feral kitten (Dora) showed up under my bird feeder in the deepest cold of winter … so thin and desperate looking I could not begrudge her the bird she had managed to take down. Shortly after, a beat up and bedraggled Oscar showed up … likely because I had started feeding Dora to try to build a bit of trust.
The short version of this story turned out to be a Much Happier Tail than normally befalls abandoned kitties and their offspring. Dora is now spayed. Oscar actually turned out to be a neutered tom and not Dora’s mother as I had first thought. Hey … in the absence of any hard evidence … wouldn’t you think those two pairs of bibs and boots had to be related?
Dora and Oscar may have been the exception to the rule … but Dora’s mother and any siblings certainly were not. It is quite possible that Dora’s mom was a stray, eh? Was she tossed away like trash instead of getting spayed? Or was she left to fend for herself when it was clear kittens were on the way? It boggles any thinking mind that a country road well-travelled by gravel trucks could be seen as a humane option for a little pet.
By the time the next winter rolled around, Dora and Oscar were well settled in to their new lives here as indoor only cats. They may not be social butterflies whenever company comes around, but they are happy and healthy and well-loved and safe.
But like I said .. their story is not typical. In spite of the best and most heroic efforts of cat rescuers around the province, there are just so many Very Unhappy Tails waiting for abandoned cats and kittens. Out here we have hawks and eagles. Coyotes and foxes. There are no dinner dishes waiting on this road that is so well-traveled with neither street lights nor any active police supervision. And saddest of all of course is that all too many humans still treat community cats like vermin instead of the casualties of human carelessness that they actually are.
Worst of all of course, is that in the absence of any public funding for their work, groups can only save as many cats as they can fundraise for 😦
On the uptick, the new regulations specifically state that it is now illegal to abandon a cat! Of course the trick will be providing proof that will stand up in a court of law. Like anything else in life, this law will only be a deterrent if it can actually be enforced. Really … how many people would hop behind the wheel after Happy Hour if the RCMP did not diligently do everything in their power to prevent that?
What time is it? It is way, way past time for our provincial government to provide meaningful support for the cat rescuers who are creating healthier and kinder and safer communities by providing clean up crew services. And before the keyboards cat(ch) on fire .. if there is money to prop up the “poor destitute’ mink farmers … if blank checks are being written for ferry services … and if struggling big banks can get subsidies … then there is definitely money available for this!
Of course … it is also always time to remind your MLA’s that even if cats cannot vote … that you can!
PS …. if you do happen to see anyone abandoning a pet … please contact the SPCA Cruelty Line licketdy split.