This morning I went down to my partially renovated basement which has
been the home of some 35+ cats 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!
Even though I paid Monica to drive me there as I am less than a stellar driver, this was a huge saving for my deflated wallet! Monica was a dear to do this for us as she is forever cleaning homes --trying to keep the bodies and souls together of herself, her four children, a cat and a dog.
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. I had taken her on a "journey" twice already in a cage and each time she fought the incarceration tooth and nails. The first time I took her to a low cost spaying vet near by- we came back the same evening!
The vet had become angry and upset with me when I told him that I wrote a letter to the editor of our community newspaper re the irresponsible people in my environs who let their cats roam unaltered and kittens have been appearing -Penny and Patrick having been two of them. He sadly knew what would happen in my town - the "shelter" people would come out and hunt them down and kill them. He wouldn't use the gentler euphemism - "put them to sleep" and indeed, for someone who cares about cat lives - there should be kindler alternatives. And of course, TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) is one.
And then what he did next astounded me. He put Penny back in the cage and told me to go somewhere else! Aside from being unprofessional, he was also very unkind. I had a hard time getting Penny in the cage and for the first time ever I had to grab her by the scruff of her neck to get her in. Ditto -Patrick but failing to click the gate door properly, he burst out and I couldn't catch him again. I also had to ask a friend to take Penny and me to the vet because he wanted the cats in at 5:30 in the evening. While it was still light then, coming back I knew I would have difficulty with these old eyes driving at night.
Before this unsavory incident, this vet had helped me trap "Prince" a beautiful black cat who seemed to be feral. 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!
The vet had placed two traps on my porch. Sunday morning I found someone else in the trap but it was not a cat. It was an oppossum. 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 any food and water I place on the porch.
So now I had to turn to the APL for Penny and Patrick. Marta of APL was very kind and 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. I was to bring a can of food for each of them.
Because of Monica's 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.
I hope anyone reading this will understand the importance of altering your
cats (and dogs). 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.