By Stacey Frazier October 29th is National Cat Day, or as my cats like to think of it, National Cat World Domination Day. Or maybe National It’s My World You Are Lucky I Let You Live In It Day. It is supposed to be a day we focus on the nearly 4 million cats that are taken in by shelters annually and how we can reduce that number and make their lives better. My cats think it should be the day I think about how to make THEIR lives better. This year they actually sent me a list.
Dear Human Servant, here is our list of demands:
- Put more breakable stuff in precarious locations. There is nothing more adorable than your face as your prized possessions crash to the floor. Thank you for recognizing we like high places and decorating them accordingly.
- Leave your shoes out so we have a safe place to put our kills. We know you don’t want us leaving mice heads and bugs parts just anywhere.
- Leave a nightlight on so that you don’t fall when you get up at 1 am to yell at us for practicing our flag football spin moves and wind sprints. Your swearing is distracting.
The list actually went on for several pages, but I think you get the idea. Cats have needs, and those needs are sometimes at odds with ours. For example, cats like to practice their hunting skills and surprise attacks. We humans are not always fond of a furry little ninja shooting out from under the bed and wrapping around our ankles. Humans hunt on occasion, and display trophy heads on plaques hung on walls. Cats like to put their trophy heads in more secure, low-key places, like in shoes or on pillows. Cats want your attention when they want your attention, not when it is convenient. This includes occasions like when you are asleep, in the bathroom, precariously plucking facial hair, or trying to untangle shoelaces.
I have tried explaining to my cats how lucky they are given that they are fed regularly, have a safe home, health care, and all the attention they want. They have been spayed and neutered so as not to contribute to overpopulation. They are vaccinated so as not to suffer from or spread disease. They live in a climate controlled environment and don’t have to find shelter every night or in bad weather. They will never be beaten, abused, poisoned, maimed, or starved. My cats are my companions, my friends, and my family.
The true meaning of National Cat Day
Unfortunately, not everyone takes pet care as seriously as we do. They see pets as disposable possessions rather than members of their family. They are uncaring or unaware of the fact that a single female can have 100 kittens a year. Kittens that are often born feral and left to fend for themselves. Kittens that if they survive their first few months often have kittens of their own before they are even six months old. It is mind boggling to realize that a single pair of cats and their kittens can produce something like 420,000 kittens over a seven-year period. This is what National Cat Day is really about; bringing awareness to the thousands of cats that enter shelters every year. So much pain, suffering, expense, and illness could be avoided simply by having cats spayed or neutered. Adopting a cat from a shelter saves so many more lives that just that one single cat. Trap-Neuter-Release programs can help to slowly reduce a feral cat colony while still allowing them to live full lives.
We all can make a difference. If you have the time, volunteer at a shelter or with a rescue group. If you don’t have time but have, a few extra dollars donate to a local low-cost spay and neuter clinic or organization. Even if you don’t have the time or the money to make a sizable impact you DO have the ability to share this information, and educating people is where real change starts. In the meantime, spay and neuter your cats; it’s the best way to show you love them.spay and neuter your cats; it’s the best way to show you love them.