My whole life, I’ve had or lived with cats. My parents (more than likely primarily my mother for reasons I noticed later in life) didn’t really do the “indoor cat” thing. If we adopted kittens, they were indoors until spayed/neutered and gradually given monitored outside time until they were. We lost a lot of cats this way. There were some, such as Blackie, Prissy (Blackie’s litter sister) and Skunky. Smokey, who was Skunky’s bestest friend in the world, lived a bit longer than average outdoor cats (typically 5-7 years). The cats I just mentioned all lived to somewhere between 10 and 20 years (Skunky the longest. I wrote about it a few days back).
After I moved out of CA in late 2001, I was cat-less for about a year and then decided on adopting early 2003. Enter JoJo, who just passed away (Congestive Heart Failure) at almost 15 years old, 14 years to the month of her adoption in February 2003. Six weeks later, I adopted Jack at 7 months old. He passed away at 8 years in 2010 from Acute Renal Failure. I adopted Portia at the end of October, a few weeks after Jack died, at roughly 4 years old. All three have been indoor cats. I’ve learned a lot having them. After adopting JoJo and Jack, I joined The Cat Site (referred to as TCS from here on out). The forums and people there helped me navigate going from having outdoor cats to having indoor-only cats.
In the last couple of years I’ve also discovered LAPS (Langley Animal Protection Services) up in Canada, and a rescue group that is distantly connected to them, TinyKittens. They help feral colonies in the area with feeding and TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release).
Between TCS, LAPS, and TK, as well as my own volunteering with Multnomah County Animal Shelter here in Portland and Pixie Project, I have become an advocate for cats. I also highly recommend supporting The Pongo Fund. They do awesome work as a pet food bank for the PDX area.
I encourage spaying and neutering. If you insist on having your kids watch “the miracle of birth” via pets, I recommend you start watching TK whenever they get a pregnant feral momma. They livestream the births, nothing blurred out. For one thing, pregnancy of cats and dogs can have a whole host of problems just like with human births/pregnancy.
Also, the longer a female cat goes unspayed, the higher the risk of mammary gland (breast) cancer or uterine cancer. Intact males can also get cancer of their reproductive organs as well. It’s best for cats and dogs to be spayed and neutered as young as possible. And yes, they can be fixed before 6 months. You have to find a vet who will do early spay/neuter. They MUST weigh 2 pounds minimum, for being able to handle anesthesia. When I was at Multco, we adopted out kittens at 12 weeks, already fixed.
I am an advocate for cats mostly, although many of the same rules apply to dogs. I love dogs, just haven’t had one since high school. And Portia hates/is scared of dogs (hates small dogs, scared of big dogs). My cats have gotten me through so much in my life. I could never imagine life without at least one.
That brings me to my current situation. I only have Portia right now and she’s a social, albeit initially shy, cat. She wants to be where I am, or at least the action. I’m sitting on my bed right now (still semi-homeless of course, but it’s a fold-down bed) and she’s a foot away from my leg and this computer. Sleeping. She has been showing signs of wanting a friend again. The resident cat is still hesitant about her, so she’s sequestered in our room/space. I’m in the “spa” room in the house. Non-functioning hot tub and then the sauna room. The glass on the sauna room is slightly reflective, so she sees this “other cat” which is just her reflection. The last few days, she’s even climbed onto my stuff between my pillows and the door and put her nose to the glass, looking for this mystery “other cat.” JoJo tolerated her. But JJ was a bit of a bully/brat. I did find them sleeping touching sometimes… rare, but it did happen. She wants another cat. But right now, being between homes (and jobs… ugh), I can’t take that on. I’d love nothing more than to give her a new buddy to hang with, but not in a temporary living situation. So, it has to wait for now.
I am that person who would go to the ends of the earth to help cats and help other humans understand cats. Whether it’s behavior, food, etc… if I don’t know it, I research it. With TK, I’m learning even more about ferals. They do amazing work there.
Well, I did a lot of rambling in this post. But I provided links and hopefully conveyed my love and passion for helping cats and other pets.
Portia and I still need help getting our stuff in storage paid up. She has some cat tents in there and more toys. And getting back to having a full size bed so there’s plenty of room for both of us and a future friend for Portia. But saving our stuff is super critical right now. Any help is greatly appreciated. Keep spreading the word.
~Amanda and Portia