Help­ing home­less cats

All a cat needs is time, pa­tience and love to set­tle into a new rou­tine

South Shore Breaker - - Homes - TRACY JESSIMAN RE­CY­CLED LOVE re­cy­[email protected]

I have al­ways owned a cat — or maybe I should say a cat has al­ways owned me. I adore their quirky traits and lov­ing per­son­al­i­ties. They are low main­te­nance as a pet, so own­ing a cat does make it eas­ier for most in­di­vid­u­als.

They do not re­quire walk­ing and their groom­ing re­quire­ments are quite low.

Ev­ery cat I have owned has been a res­cue cat and they have been very charis­matic and charm­ing. My first cat came from the SPCA in Ot­tawa. I re­mem­ber go­ing to the shel­ter and be­ing floored when I saw how many cats were look­ing for homes. That was more than 25 years ago, yet the never-end­ing pa­rade of home­less cats con­tin­ues.

Time marches for­ward and, luck­ily, life has changed im­mensely for home­less cats. Cats are no longer re­garded as the poor cousin. They have been lifted to a cov­eted and well-de­served spot in our so­ci­ety. Numer­ous in­de­pen­dent cat res­cues have opened their doors and they are run by ded­i­cated cat ad­vo­cates. I be­lieve an­i­mal ad­vo­cacy is al­most al­ways a part of any res­cue or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Cat res­cue has be­come not only ur­gently im­por­tant with an­i­mal ad­vo­cates, but mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties have be­come ed­u­cated and in­volved with the health and wel­fare of lo­cal feral and dumped cats.

It is now il­le­gal to leave a pet be­hind when you are mov­ing.

This was a com­mon plight for owned cats and it was a heart­break­ing sit­u­a­tion for land­lords. These cats often ended up at shel­ters con­fused, ner­vous and de­pressed. We are lucky to have new tough laws in place to pro­tect owned cats from end­ing up home­less. Lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties now par­tic­i­pate to pro­tect feral cat colonies. Some have also do­nated funds to help with spay­ing or neu­ter­ing cat colonies.

Some of the best peo­ple I know in an­i­mal res­cue are the in­di­vid­u­als who res­cue home­less cats. They spend their evenings, week­ends and hol­i­days driv­ing to dif­fer­ent neigh­bour­hoods or ru­ral ar­eas to tend to cat traps or feed cat colonies. It is back­break­ing work and it would test any per­son’s in­ner re­solve for hu­man­ity.

If you would like to help home­less cats, please con­tact a lo­cal cat res­cue. They need help with fund­ing, or you can donate cat car­ri­ers, spe­cific litter, food, clean­ing sup­plies, beds, tow­els, bowls and many other items. If they have a shel­ter for their cats, I am con­fi­dent they would warmly wel­come your as­sis­tance in car­ing for the fe­lines. You can as­sist in so­cial­iz­ing the cats so they can find a ter­rific for­ever home.

If you are look­ing to adopt a res­cue cat, please look in a lo­cal shel­ter, res­cue or even call your lo­cal vet­eri­nary clinic. Your vet­eri­nar­ian may be aware of a cat look­ing for a new home.

There are many home­less cats in Nova Sco­tia look­ing for a new home. All a cat needs is time, pa­tience and love to set­tle into a new rou­tine. They will re­pay you with loy­alty and af­fec­tion.

Please be kind to an­i­mals.

123RF

Ev­ery cat de­serves a cosy, lov­ing home.

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