Committing to a Lifetime of Care and Compassion
It seems like more cats, and pets in general, are living longer since they are taken to the veterinarian regularly and there have been more advances in pet care in recent years. This is great as long as people remain committed to the responsibility they made to their animals years before.
I hear about stories every day of a cat, often a senior, abandoned in an apartment when the family moved like 12-year-old Muffee, a foster I have right now (and, yes, she does look like Muffin, my outside cat that I take care of). I get particularly troubled by and moved almost to tears by these abandoned senior pets. Where is the sense of responsibility for the pet that depends upon you? One family even took their two adult cats to a veterinarian in Florida to be euthanized because they were moving. How truly despicable! Thank goodness a kind-hearted person rescued them and I’ve posted the cats on my Instagram page to help find them a new home.
Snowball and Tommy
Another situation that I see happening a lot lately is owners passing away, but they have not made provisions for their pets. I certainly try to help and take some of these poor babies, but I can’t take them all. Two boys who I am currently fostering are Snowball and Tommy, whose owner clearly loved them but passed away a few months ago. These boys have been so sad and confused. It’s heartbreaking. They’re just starting to come out from hiding now in my home.
Please, please at least try to make provisions for your pets through a family estate plan or find a family member or a friend to take your pet into their home. I recently also posted a two-year-old cat named Rose, who is now at Animal League America, and came in from a home. A kitty like that one truly hurts my heart. She’s having a very hard time in a shelter environment. It makes me think about how my four resident cats would do after having lived in the comforts of a home for their entire lives. Just imagine how scared Rose is. If you truly love your pet, a much better option is to make arrangements so that he or she goes directly into another home.
There’s great news for cats on the New York legislative front. The bill, A1303B, which prohibits the declawing of cats and other animals unless the amputation is performed to treat a medical condition, has passed both the NY State Senate and the NY State Assembly. It will hopefully be signed by Governor Cuomo shortly. If so, New York will be the first state to make it illegal to declaw a cat. I have never condoned this painful, risky, and emotionally damaging surgery and am so pleased that soon cats in NY State won’t have to endure this unnecessary procedure.
Some of you know that ever since the truly horrific killing of Tucker and another puppy, and the near death beating of a third one by a couple on Long Island in May, I have been focused on advocating for stiffer felony penalties for aggravated animal cruelty in New York State. I am still haunted by the fear, terror, confusion, and pain that those innocent animals went through. I am pleased to report that Bill S58O7A, now known as “Tucker’s Law,” calling for stiffer penalties for animal abusers has passed in the NY State Senate and now moves on to the NY State Assembly. Assemblyman Santabarbara is sponsoring the bill there and New Yorkers must continue to show our support so that the bill, now A8157, passes in the NY State Assembly as well. I made a promise to do everything I can to make sure something like this never happens again and I intend to honor it.
I’d like to end on a happier note. For every person who does not follow through in taking care of their animal, there are many, many more who step up to adopt. All of the kittens and cats under my care—and there are a lot right now—find wonderful homes. One happy kitty, Lover Girl, just went home to her fabulous new family including feline sibling Bae. Loverlee meets her new family and becomes “Sloan.” She’ll have a new kitty sibling named Flutie.
Loverlee, aka Sloan
So I will remain optimistic that more people will continue to choose to adopt rather than buy and we will end animal homelessness by working together to Rescue, Nurture, Adopt, and Educate.