Tuesday, October 31, 2006

When a Man Loves a Woman Who Loves Pets

What to do? What to do? Rob and I came up with a lovely compromise. The truth is, we don't need any more pets. We have our share and more. I love animals. I can't turn a blind eye to a stray. However, I realistically can't afford to take in any more animals long term.

Farms are all around us. People drop off cats constantly at these farms. Pregnant females, kittens, etc. They end up flea infested, worm infested, mite infested, and people assume that the farmers will be able to feed and provide for them. Sadly, most of these cats die young or just keep having more kittens. It really is too bad.

I know I can't afford to step in and have these kittens spayed or nuetered or even take them to the vet. Usually our animal control will not come pick up stray cats, only stray dogs, and the shelter is closed by the time I get off and get home.

Even if I could afford to bring in more kittens, on a long term basis, the cat population on these farms is going to continue to grow out of control. I know, I know, I am starting to sound like Bob Barker here. I just feel sad for helpless creatures without power of their own to make it in life.

The way many kids are, even mine, after animals aren't puppies or kittens, they lose interest to a degree. Moms or Dads end up doing all the feeding, watering, and care. The kids give the pet an occasional pat on the head, and that's the end of that. That's why I look like a Pied Piper in the yard, with two (or more) cats and four dogs following me every move I make. Because I'm the one who gives the affection, the food, and the attention.

So, a perfect solution has been proposed, and is working well for us so far. We go to the farm, ask for a kitten (readily given!) and take it home. The first stop is a flea bath and flea treatment (very inexpensive since I have a dealer who provides me with discounted supplies) de-miting and de-worming. We then spend the next week or so handling the little one, loving and grooming and making sure it is litter box trained.

Then, off they go at the end of one or two weeks to be given to an associate of mine who has a pet store. There they are cared for until a family comes to buy them (at a very nominal charge.) I tend to find that anyone who would spend money for a kitten will value its life a bit more. I am sure that they have a better chance for a good life than being caught in the trap of overbreeding, which would otherwise be their fate.

Ideally, if I had all sorts of money to throw around- which I don't- I could take one kitten at a time to be "fixed." This is an alternative that makes me feel like I'm helping the helpless...and pacifying my budget and my husband at the same time.

This little guy was our first trial kitten. He was very skinny, lethargic and flea infested at first. At the end of the week he was plump and happy and playful. It was a rewarding experience. He's already found a home, which is exciting for me.

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One last photo...Jo...as Batman. Isn't he just as stinkin' cute as I said? ;)

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Holli said...

A kitty rescue is what you've started. Good for you. My dream has always been to build a pole barn and have stalls put in the whole thing. Have people drop off their dogs to me, and I would train them love them feed them and then give them up for adoption. I love dogs.
And Jo - OMG!!!!!! He is beautiful. Don't tell him I used that word... but oh my gosh... what pretty lips he has! He's gorgeous!

Elliemarie said...

That is so amazing of you to spend your time and money helping out these poor little kittens. That little guy is too cute!

And Jo's costume rocks! Hope you had a great halloween!

Anonymous said...

It takes a person with a very big heart to do what you are doing. Good for You Kristi!!!

neicybelle said...

kristi, thank you. thank you for your big heart...thank you for your compassion, and thank you for using your brain to come up with an amazing idea! i'm so proud of you and thankful for you! keep up the awesome work!

jo is just too gash darn cute for words!