World Spay Day
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Newpark Mall – Newark, CA
12 to 4 p.m.
Cat adoptions in our store on upper level near Burlington
Low-cost spay/neuter vouchers for sale downstairs near Three Kings Barbershop Drawing for the raffle will begin at 3 p.m.
Next Sunday, February 24, we will be hosting our World Spay Day Event. I previously wrote a post on Spay Day, who is sponsoring it, and what the objective is; but I wanted to bring our readers up to date on what Purrfect Cat specifically will be doing to mark the occasion.
We’re breaking out of our upstairs storefront for the day and bringing a few cats down into the mall (in cages, of course) where will be selling the low-cost spay and neuter vouchers. We decided to extend the number of vouchers we will sell at a reduced cost. We have committed $500 of our own towards the voucher cost, and will sell feral vouchers for $20 ($10 off) and owner-assist vouchers for $35 ($15 off). In order to see that as many people as possible can take part, people buying a single voucher will receive theirs at the discounted rate, while those buying multiples will receive a discounted voucher for every full-price voucher they buy.
Additionally, we are reducing the required adoption donation to $25 regardless of the kittens’/cats’ ages. Adopters will still be required to fill out an application and contract; we are lowering our price, not our standards.
Hope you will join us.
Charles for Purrfect Cat Rescue
In the interest of full-disclosure I should start by saying that I am particularly fond of orange cats. I don’t know why for certain, although when I was very young our next-door neighbors had a very large, very fluffy orange cat that I was determined to make my friend. He scratched the hell out of me, but I didn’t give up on making him my friend; I guess I liked the challenge. Unfortunately, the cat (and the family he lived with) moved to Buffalo, New York, so our friendship never did get off the ground.
That fondness for orange cats has stayed with me so I am biased when I suggest that people looking for a cat should consider one of these three. I’ve known Lyric for a year and have spent most of that time asking “Why hasn’t anyone adopted this guy?” As a kitten, Lyric had a very sensitive stomach and required an expensive hypoallergenic food, but I figured having one of the friendliest cats in the world was worth a dollar of cat food a day; the general public disagreed with me, it seems.
Today, his stomach is better and he is able to eat a more reasonably priced food, but he remains one of the friendliest cats I have ever met. He loves being pet and played with, and has a unique face, with big intelligent eyes.
Our next cat, Toffee, is equally charming and affectionate. He is about two-and-half years old, and was sent to us because his former owner claimed he was unreliable in his use of the litter box. Living in his new foster home he is kept in a large room-sized cage where he has consistently used his litter box as he should, but because he has not been given the run of the house, we cannot guarantee his bathroom habits.
His foster suspects his misbehavior was brought on by changes to his environment and that he might prefer a quieter, calmer home without children. We hope someone will give this highly affectionate cat another chance at a permanent home.
The last of our orange Titian trio is Jinx.
Jinx is a man of mystery. He was found by a friend to PCR and we agreed to try to find him a home. When he was taken to the vet for an exam it was discovered that he was microchipped. The information associated with his chip placed him in San Diego and his owners no longer lived there. We can assume they moved up here at some point and did not update their address with the microchip company. Or Jinx decided he preferred Northern California over Southern.
Whatever brought him here, he’s here. He is six years old, very friendly and affectionate, and needs someone who can give him a good amount of attention because (for obvious reasons) Jinx likes attention and reassurance.
If you are interested in seeing any of them, stop by one of our adoption showcases (times in the where to find us tab) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles for Purrfect Cat Rescue
Co-sponsored by Humane Society of the US and Humane Society International, World Spay Day 2013 will be held on Tuesday, February 26. Prior to that day we are doing our best to further raise awareness on the importance of spaying and neutering cats, both pet cats and those who are free-roaming. In under four years, I have had approximately 40 cats spayed/neutered. Many of those cats have gone on to be adopted, a few were placed in an animal sanctuary, and the remainder—because they could not be fully socialized— live their lives on their own terms out-of-doors.
Those 40 cats left to their on devices would have gone on to produce thousands of others over the course of their lives. There is a statistic commonly used by various animals groups that suggests one unspayed female can lead to a couple hundred thousand cats in her lifetime, but I think it’s flawed due to the variables you have to take into account: number of kittens in each litter; how many of each sex; how many survive to maturity; do the cats live in a temperate climate where two or three pregnancies per year are possible, and on and on. But it’s important to note that even if that statistic has been overblown just to make a point, the point itself is still worth making.
I usually make that point by talking about my nemesis Momma Threadgoode. (Yes, I name feral cats.) In the three-and-a-half years I have been actively trapping cats and kittens, five litters have belonged to Momma. While two-thirds of her kittens willingly walked into my trap, their mother has outwitted me at every turn. The story I tell people about her sidling up to me when I don’t have a trap but heading for the hills when she sees me with one, has an almost comic edge, but there is not actually anything funny about it. Of the 17 kittens I know to be born to her, seven did not survive their youths; and at least half of those died under very unpleasant circumstances.
At times I’m a little fanatical when telling people about spaying and neutering. It’s hard not to be. When you have had to trap and euthanize a kitten that suffered stomach-churning injuries after climbing into a car engine for warmth, you’re likely to develop a strong opinion on pet owners slacking off in their responsibilities . Those outdoor cats who do not meet such violent ends still have a difficult life out there on their own; something that was brought home to me this winter when I had to euthanize one of Momma’s free-roaming children, Idgie, who was just three years old but suffering from severe asthma.
Having World Spay Day as a vehicle to spread the word I preach daily is a great opportunity and a great help. The Humane Society has resources for people wanting to spay their companion animals, as well as people looking to help out the free-roaming cat population. Some agencies are lowering the cost of spays and neuters, and a few are even waiving their fees altogether. With so many shelters and rescues taking part, there is very likely one in your area, wherever you happen to be located.
For our own small part, we will be holding a Spay Day Event on Sunday, February 24 at our store at Newpark Mall from noon to 4 p.m. The first ten people to come in to purchase low-cost spay vouchers will receive one at a discounted rate, and we will be ending a fundraising raffle; the prizes include (among other things) two hand-made lap quilts. We hope you will join us.
Charles on behalf of PCR
This is Idgie shortly before I had her euthanized. Something a lot of people are surprised by is the trust that can be built between a feral animal and its caretaker. Not socialized enough to be adopted, she went back outdoors and remained there for three years with no more human intervention than a daily meal from me. Yet when she was sick and needed help, she allowed me to pick her up and carry her home, somehow knowing I was on her side.
Having euthanized several sick or wounded cats over the past couple of years, I have probably mentioned this before: It’s a unique privilege to see an animal through its death. However fierce or wild or antisocial it may have been in life, it welcomes your being there, holding it and caring about it, as that life ends.
As we reflect on the past year at Purrfect Cat Rescue, we must first give our thanks for those who supported us, either with donations or by adopting one of our cats or kittens. Our collective dedication to finding homes for otherwise unwanted cats means nothing without the people willing to open their homes to them.
2012 was a busy year for us, fostering over 200 cats, and adopting over 50 of them in a single weekend during Maddie’s Pet Adoptathon in June. Additionally, dozens upon dozens of people purchased low-cost spay and neuter vouchers so they can assist us—and the whole community—in lowering the number of free-roaming cats. Ultimately this makes our job easier, even though it’s sometimes hard to measure that difference given the number of cats that come into our program each year.
We were busy as well with our new location at Newpark Mall. The store, long empty, needed a good deal of work to function and feel like our own spot, and it has come a long way, but we’re not done yet. In 2013, we want to expand our spay/neuter program by stocking the store with humane cat traps to rent to the many people stopping by to ask about TNR (trap, neuter, return). In addition, we hope to simplify the process of obtaining the vouchers and potentially recruit volunteers to help members of the public new to TNR programs.
Another goal is to increase our group of foster homes to the degree that the majority of them will be caring for only one litter at a time. This will help reduce the spread of kitten-hood illness between litters making it easier for us to have healthy, young kittens available for showcase and adoption. It will also make it possible for our long-term, cat-weary foster homes to slow down enough to take care of not only kittens, but themselves as well. In order to address this significant shortage of foster homes, we plan to launch a “one litter a year” foster program for those interested in helping but unable to commit to the long-term rigors of year round foster care.
Another problem area is the harder-to-adopt adult and special needs cats that often remain in foster homes for years. An effective tool to combating this is a community outreach program—quite simply, a group of volunteers whose sole job would be to occasionally send out e-mails to everyone they know describing the plight of the cat in question. We tried a small-scale version of this with June, a sweet, playful Siamese with a chronic urinary tract issue, and in just over a week a home was found for her.
This is fairly ambitious, but those of us who choose this sort of work fall into the category of “Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread.” Still, in order to make any of this happen—and in fact, in order to guarantee that Purrfect Cat Rescue continues at all—we need a great deal more volunteers in these specific areas. Our core membership has grown much smaller and at a certain point it will no longer be feasible or even possible to run this program with a handful of people taking on all the duties.
At the end of the year, non-profits usually remind people that their donations are tax-deductible and then make one more plea for money, but we’re not going to do that. Our big holiday wish this year is to see our group continue beyond 2013, and that is far more dependent on capable, passionate people than on cash. If you or anyone you know is interested in working with a non-profit such as ours, please stop by our store on the upper level of Newpark Mall.
One final request, a much simpler one: the foster homes of PCR are always happy to hear about and see how our former charges are doing in their new homes. If you have any photos to share, please e-mail them to email@example.com
Seasons Greeting and Happy Holidays,
Everyone at Purrfect Cat Rescue
Suzanne, one of last years most charming cats (I fostered her so some would say I’m biased about that, but I think they’re wrong—she had real personality).
While the person writing this has mixed feelings on the very idea of “Black Friday” and all that it entails, we see no reason why we should not take advantage of large numbers of people in our general vicinity. As such, we will be opening our Newpark Mall store from 3 to 7 p.m. on November 23. And as it is Black Friday, we will be showcasing our black and black-and-white cats exclusively. Kittens and cats of other colors can be found at Petco in Fremont from 5 to 8 p.m., as they are every Friday.
If you happen to be out in search of bargains, stop by and consider a different kind of gift. i-Pods, laptops and up-to-the-minute designer accessories are all well and good, but a family pet is a gift that will live longer, gratify the recipient far more, and become a part of not just this years holiday memories, but all holiday memories for a long time to come.
Not to get too reflective about things, but when I think back on the holidays throughout my life there is always a pet somewhere in those memories: KoKo stealing a leg of lamb off the dinner table; Alexandria napping in (in, not under) a fully decorated Christmas tree; Toby, the dog my Grandmother bought herself one year as a present without telling Grandpa; and my sweet little Dexter who would nap on a pillow in front of the fire while admiring the lights on the tree.
Laptops and digital cameras can preserve memories, but cats and dogs create them.
Brick and Seamus creating another memory.
I have said in past that all the cats we handle are special needs because they are rescues—some are rescued from backyards, parking lots and construction sites; others from car engines, questionable (or downright cruel) people, and busy streets. To me they are special needs because sometimes they need a little more time to adjust to a normal home, having previously been free-roaming or in environments where they were not welcome.
But occasionally we get a cat that truly does have needs beyond the ordinary. June is such a cat. June suffered an injury that has left her with a higher-than-average likelihood of developing arthritis later in life; additionally, she requires a prescription food diet for a chronic health issue (which is completely controlled by diet). Seeing as her foster cannot keep her indefinitely and that her dietary requirements do not make her an appropriate candidate for placement in an animal sanctuary, we have reluctantly chosen to have her euthanized in ten days time if she cannot be placed in a permanent home.
Below is an e-mail written by her foster Rose. Please share this message with anyone you think might be interested or know of someone else who might be. Contact us through our facebook page, through purrfectcatrescue.org or at firstname.lastname@example.org, be sure to write June in the subject line, and remember that her probable euthanasia has already been scheduled for October 24, 2012.
June is between 1 1/2 and 2 years old. She is a good-natured cat— friendly, easy to handle, happy and playful. Presently she lives with 4 other cats and 2 small dogs. Although the cats aren’t all best friends, everyone lives in peace. When it comes to interactive play, whether with the dogs or cats, June is in the middle of it. She lives as an indoor/outdoor cat and will want to continue that lifestyle.
Early in life June sustained an injury to her hind quarters that did not heal properly. As a result she sits with her right rear leg extended out and to the side. Her stride is a bit short in the back but otherwise does not seem bothered, romping and jumping are part of her daily activities. According to the vet, as a senior she may develop arthritis in her hind quarters. June also has confirmed feline urological syndrome (FUS), meaning that triple phosphate crystals form in her urine.
This condition is completely controlled by diet. She currently eats Purina UR dry without complaint. This is a prescription food. A 6 lb. bag costs about $32 and lasts her 6-7 weeks if fed 1/3 c. in the AM and 1/3 c in the PM. At some point—prior to her diagnosis and subsequent change in diet—June became less than 100% reliable about peeing in her litter box, probably a result of an irritated bladder and painful urination. Now that her diet is corrected, while confined to the foster home’s “cat room”, she is confirmed 100% reliable about using that particular litter box. She is not permitted unsupervised access to any other areas of her foster home so her overall litter box reliability is unknown.
June needs a family that will maintain her restricted diet and allow her an indoor/outdoor life. Her new family should be prepared to continue indoor supervision until they are satisfied she is litter box reliable, or be willing to transition her to an outdoor-only existence (or indoor confinement / outdoor) should she prove unsuitable to be left indoors unsupervised.