Here's an article from The Barrow Journal that was published a few weeks ago. Kitten season is upon us!!!
The Crazy Cat Lady
Life without kitties? I don’t think so! For as long as I can remember, the pitter patter of sweet little paws, sandpaper kisses, and purring lullabies have been part of my life. Besides grandbabies, there’s nothing sweeter than a little fur ball curled up in my lap, snoozing after a hard afternoon of frolicking about the house.
Currently there are three kitties who share my home. Why do I have three kitties? Because I can’t afford four (or a hundred!) I could so totally be The Crazy Cat Lady. I want them all. I had to stop following the Humane Society pages on Facebook, because I worried about the kitties finding homes, and I’m sure my friends grew tired of me always posting pictures of kitties who needed homes.
While there are many factors that determine the active kitten season, it seems that spring and summer are the busiest intake times for the shelters. And guess what… spring is right around the corner.
There are beautiful breeds from which to choose for those who are looking to buy a fancy cat. Of all the cats I’ve had, there were two that I actually paid money for. Yes, they were gorgeous specimens of fine breeding, and I loved them dearly. But, in reality, they were no more special than any other cat I’ve had – including the ones with torn and tattered ears, one with a paralyzed tail, and several who surely qualified for the Kitty Psyche Ward. Bottom line, if it purrs, I love it.
I’ve recently been amazed and delighted to find that there are folks in the area who are totally dedicated to the feral cat population, and are personally committed to these homeless kitties. There was a story on one of the cat pages on Facebook about a woman who came into town for work, and stayed at a local hotel for a few days. She discovered a sweet kitty living in the parking lot, and started feeding her. The kitty would come out late in the evening, and after a few days, allowed her new friend to pet her. She had an obvious injury to one of her feet, and the lady wanted to save her. She reached out to this Facebook page, and several people got involved right away. Someone volunteered to adopt her, if she could be caught. Another person agreed to come to the site and capture her. This was an amazing story to follow. The lady from out of town was so concerned about the kitty, that she stayed in Athens for an extra two nights, just to ensure that someone was able to rescue the kitty. It took a village to save this little furbaby, and after getting the medical care she needed, she is flourishing in her new home.
Kelly Bettinger is the awesome gal who captured the kitty. She works with an organization called Campus Cats over at UGA. I know she is awesome because she rescued that particular kitty in a matter of minutes, late one night, on her own time. Kelly also drove to Statham one Sunday afternoon to help capture Dixie, one of my best friend’s kitties, who was scheduled for spay surgery the following morning. Dixie is one of four kitties who “took up” at DJ’s house a while back. Dixie got herself in the family way, as cats are prone to do, and gave birth to four beautiful kittens. As responsible pet owners, DJ and David made sure to get all the kitties fixed, but could not for the life of them capture Miss Dixie. After seeing the story about the parking-lot rescue, I hooked DJ up with Kelly, and she drove out and got Dixie caged in no time flat, enabling her to be transported for surgery.
Yes, I love kitties, and I’d like to adopt all of them. But these folks who get out in the field, give of their personal time to really make a difference… these are my heroes. Perhaps someday I’ll have the time and resources to help, but until then, I’ll do my best to take extra good care of Cooper, Scout, and Boo Radley, my sweet rescue kitties.
With kitten season just around the corner, please consider several ways in which you can help the overpopulation problem: Adopt a kitty of your own for a delightful addition to your family! Yes, there is an adoption fee, but your kitty will be totally vetted, fixed, and microchipped. It’s a great deal! You can also help control the feral population as well, by notifying a company called Altered Feral State, who will trap, fix, and return feral cats. For more information about this organization, you can call the Pet Smart store in Winder. I’m not sure how far out of Athens the Campus Cats folks are able to provide service, but please contact them for information, or volunteer to help. They are making a huge difference in the Athens area, and would so appreciate your help. There are many adoption agencies who work with pet stores in this area, as well as Humane Society offices located in most counties. These folks are always in need of supplies, donations, and volunteers. Add a bag of kitty litter, cat food, paper and cloth towels, or bleach to your shopping cart for donating. Sponsor a surgery for a homeless kitty. Call one of the agencies and schedule a play date for you and your kids to go into the shelters and play with the cats and kittens. They need to learn socialization with people to help them be better candidates for adoption.
I’d love to be The Crazy Cat Lady and have a house/yard full of kitties. I’d love to save them all. But I can’t. However, I recently saw a poster that said “How can you save 100 cats? Spay or neuter just one.”
There’s room for lots more heroes out there, and there’s a superhero cape with YOUR name on it! If you’re more of a dog than cat person, the same needs exist for our canine friends as well. Please consider how you can make a difference in the lives of our furry friends.