Before I launch into "My Say" I wanted to comment on the opinion page of The Sun Post during Thanksgiving week. I almost discarded it without reading it because of laziness, but put it aside for a full read later. I'm glad I did. Loved Draus Klein's piece on the only important thing is TO BE KIND. I wholeheartedly concur. So many of our ills can be laid to the lack of it. She mentioned the Dalai Lama who advocated it. Jesus, of course is the supreme proponent of it, and then I gratefully remember Cleveland Armory because I am an "animal" person. When he came to Cleveland in the 80's to expose the horrendous experimentations done to primates at Pennsylvania University, he ended his talk with 5 simple words - WHY CAN'T WE BE KIND?
"Searching in vain for 'made in America' '' by Susan Ketchum was also a sad reminder of the Clinton administration's legacy -NAFTA - or "free trade." China was able to send its cheaper products to us easily now and we bought them gratefully - not realizing that American products and workers would pay the price one day. That day has come.
And lastly -I'm always sad to see people move on because we become so use to them, but good luck to artist Freska as he moves on. I always admire the art which people like him produce. They and musicians enthrall me because I can neither draw or play an instrument. I can't even "draw" with words as some people do so admirably. However, thank you God - we all have gifts - and this thanksgiving I hope we have told You how much we appreciate them.
Now MY SAY re the importance of altering our cats and the usefulness of TNR
The Feral Twin Greys and the Black Prince
This morning I went down to my partially renovated basement which has been the home of some of the rescued cats I took in over the last 30 years. I was eager to see how "Penny" and "Patrick"- two feral grey twin cats were doing after being altered by the APL of Cleveland at the nominal price of $40 each. I was so very grateful for that since I am hurting financially like so many of us and couldn't afford the $300 my friend Jan of New Jersey said she paid for ONE in a traditional animal hospital setting! This $40 price extends not only to the altering of feral cats, but if one qualifies with the low income guidelines, their cats will be altered at the same price as well. This applies to all Cuyahoga residents.
Marta of the APL was very kind and had explained that I would have to bring the 2 cats in on Thursday or Friday by 8:30 in the morning and then they would have to be picked up the same day between 3:30 and 4 PM. I was to bring a can of food for each of them. The price was $40 paid either by cash or credit card.
Because I am less than a stellar driver, I had asked a friend--Monica to drive us to the APL. Because of her hectic schedule, we were late for both appointments but Marta was kind and understanding.. Finally picking them up, I was so relieved to see them both eating from the can of shredded salmon in the cage with them, and Patrick's was gone enroute home. Although groggy --Penny was still trying to finish hers when I let her out of the cage at home.
So now, bringing food down this morning I was glad to see both Penny and Patrick mobile. Penny was wary of me though because she didn't want to be enclosed in a cage again. She had fought the incarceration tooth and nails. Luckily, I was able to grab her by the scruff of her neck and got her in. Ditto, her twin gray brother - Patrick.
Earlier with the help of a vet I was also able to get "Prince" a beautiful black cat neutered as well. The doctor had set two traps on my porch and I called him the next day telling him that we had captured him. He came by and took Prince still in the cage to his hospital. He called me the next day telling me that he had to operate on Prince's mouth because there was a growth there. He would keep him till week's end to give him medicine and to monitor his mouth. When he brought him back, he suggested I release him. He said he felt that Prince was mean because he bit his assistant. Maybe, but I would imagine he bit because he was hurting. Nevertheless, at week's end, Prince was released and I would continue to feed and medicate him for the following week. Thank God- it seems Prince will be well and would produce no more babies!
Because there still was another trap on my porch, I called the vet on Sunday to tell him it had been sprung - this time by an opossum. I feel sorry for these creatures as I do all living beings, but sadly they seem not to have a place of safety and refuge with us any more. I called the doctor to see if I could open the cage to let him out and he said -no. He would come around and release him. If I opened the cage, he might bite me and then he would have to cut his head off to determine if he was rabid. He was released unharmed and I would like him to know that he is welcome to enjoy some of the food and water I place on the porch for Prince.
I hope anyone reading this will understand the importance of altering your cats (and dogs) and even any feral ones in your vicinity. Even though I did not allow my indoor cats to go outside, of course they still needed to be altered and were. I am proud to say that none of my cats or dogs ever gave birth. It is a terrible fallacy to think that children should be exposed to the "miracle of birth" --unless you follow up with the horrors of death so many of these animals experience -- freezing to death, dying of thirst, being struck by an automobile, etc. I will never forget the one morning seeing a tiny black kitten crushed by the curb. Someone should bear responsibility for this, but sadly I doubt they ever will or even worse -care.
Please have a heart and neuter or spay both your cats and dogs. People who love their companion animals can do no less. If you need the services of a low-cost vet and don't meet the income requirements of the APL there is Friends of Animals you can access on the internet. They provide a listing of low-cost vets and you can purchase a certificate from them to alter your cat or dog at a nominal fee.
P.S. After writing this I received Animal People which had a front page article entitled "$75 million offered to further non-surgical sterilization." Finally- some real money which may lead to much needed non-surgical sterilization research. Of course, this will not be easy to develop, and if ever -will be some years down the road. But hopefully, if perfected, it will lead to less animal suffering and cut down on a lot of unnecessary and irresponsible pet breeding.
My hope, too, is that if it can be developed for cats and dogs, it will be developed for other animals like the free range wild horses of the West. It is my understanding that BLM's only recourse for thinning the herd was to sell the overflow at auction. Of course, this was just what the horse slaughterhouses wanted to make a tidy profit by providing horse meat for the rich tables of Europe. This is not what "Wild Horse Annie" envisioned when she prevailed on Congress to protect them all those years ago. She knew that horse slaughter is particularly inhumane because of their size.
On the other side of the coin I happily saw on TV that the lovely wife of Boone Pickens, a horse lover, is involved in purchasing thousands of acres of open land to relocate wild horses. What a wonderful way to give back to our earth.