Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Irked

Guess who?


Millicent now comes when I call her but she is pretty skittish and has found a few hidey-holes around the barn. Yesterday I just fed her in one of them. She is getting along fine with the other barn cats, although Keaton chased her upstairs yesterday. Mind you, he does that to all the cats!

Now for the "irked"... a man dropped by on the weekend to see if I would take in two more cats that someone had dumped on his property. His family is allergic and he wanted the cats to be somewhere warm before winter, and the OSPCA doesn't have room for them right now. 

Do I want 19 cats? Well, maybe if I had some full-time cat-servants here to help out. So I told him that I was sorry, but I couldn't take them because I already had 17. And he said, "What's two more?"

And he was a nice man, and I wish I could have helped because he was trying to do the right thing, but I do get a tired of this "You already have X number of , what's one more?"  I'm not really irked at the man, but I hear that all the time. Well, where does it stop? I never want to cross the line into becoming an animal hoarder! And these animals all cost money to keep and so far as I can recall, only one person (the lovely woman who asked us to take Millicent and offered to pay for her spay) has brought an animal here with any offer of compensation. And I'm okay with that, but at a certain point, you have to say "no" or bankrupt yourself, whether monetarily or emotionally/physically (by no longer having time to do anything but care for animals.) I'm at neither of those points and I don't ever want to be.

It also irks me that the person with the 17 cats is the one who hears "What's one more?" I think the person with one or two cats is the one who should be taking in an extra feline. Unless you have an allergy or simply can't afford to care for another animal (completely understandable!) how about taking in that stray yourself instead of adding it to my cat pile? Our OSPCA shelter has the highest cat intake in Ontario, which is appalling. Use your imagination about how many cats must be euthanized there every year, because people refuse to spay/neuter, refuse to commit to a pet they once thought adorable, or simply refuse to be humane. If everyone else pitched in a bit more, maybe fewer cats would die. Obviously some people simply can't take in more, and I completely understand that. Not all cats get along with other cats, not everyone can afford to care for multiple animals; there are many valid reasons for not adding another pet! But for the people who might be able to give a home to one more needy cat, or a barn cat who would do a fine job taking care of your rat problem,  I would just say to give it some though before asking the person with 17 cats to take in another. And if you do, please spay/neuter and vaccinate them, and provide them with food and veterinary care, and most of all, LOVE.

And then of course I spent most of Sunday feeling sad for the two cats I didn't save that day. I did encourage the man to keep in touch with the OSPCA and get them in there before winter, and I will ask around as well. But I know I could have 100 cats tomorrow if I never said "no."

And finally I got angry. I got angry at the morons who allowed a cat to breed, then dumped the offspring on someone who actually gives a damn, but couldn't keep them (this man says cats are dumped at his place every year. He also said these two cats are friendly, which means someone played with them and gave them attention before they were dumped.) I got angry at all the idiots who have dumped cats at our farm (Redford, Emerson, Naomi, Emily, Keaton.) I got angry at the people who were once kind to many of our cats, and let them know how it felt to be loved and cared for, then callously dumped or abandoned them (I'm not talking about the animals that came here from loving homes were the owner took the time to find them a new home when circumstances changed.)

 I've had to work hard  to win back the trust of  neglected animals like these. It is something to behold when you see a scared cat like Millicent (abandoned to the elements when her owner went into a nursing home) realize that maybe she has a home again, maybe she can trust a human being again. The first time she purred while I cuddled her brought tears to my eyes. Her whole demeanour is now beginning to change. I just keep telling her that yes, this really is her forever home and she doesn't have to worry anymore. I hope she believes me.

And I'm angry at the people who get pot-bellied pigs on a whim, then dump them at the shelter because they start acting like pigs. Dogs, ponies, goats... the list of unwanted animals is endless, and their suffering is so damn unnecessary. I wish I could help all of them, because it breaks my heart to know animals are suffering. But I know my limits and Gordon knows his.

And of course I still can't get those two cats off my mind... it irks me that I am the one feeling bad about those two.




32 comments:

  1. Natalie, all your feelings are fully understandable. You and Gordon have done above and beyond what most people would do. And I know you will worry about those cats. Hopefully the man will do the right thing and get them into a shelter. I have been reading your blog for a number of years now and I am amazed at all you accomplish in your day. I worry about you and all you take on. I was happy to read awhile back that you got help on your farm. As you say you could have 100 cats easily but it does have to stop somewhere. Take care of YOURSELF too Natalie! Oh and Gordon too!❤️

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    1. You are very kind! Thank you. <3

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  2. I hear you! I only have 4 cats and it cost us nearly $300.00 a month to feed and keep them in litter; and let's not get started on vet bills! You are so generous taking in animals, but people need to take responsibility for their animals in spaying and neutering them so over-population doesn't occur. Laziness is all I can say! Hang in there, my friend.

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    1. Thank you, Susan! I just needed to vent. :)

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  3. My dear young friend Ann has the same problem at her Wisconsin farm and kennel. Cats are left in the drive, dogs not claimed from the kennel. It's an international disgrace. I like to think such meanness affects the rest of their lives, though, sadly, probably their children, too. Thank you for what you do.

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    1. I'm pretty sure there's not a farm around us that doesn't have at least a couple of pet cats that were dumped there. It's very sad.

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  4. I totally feel your frustration and anger. The latest was a pregnant feral cat dumped here (in October). we had to take her to the OSPCA. She had to be put down because she was VERY feral. She haunts us to this day.
    My aunt and uncle spend ever cent they can spare spaying and neutering the many many cats that are dumped on them. They insulated and furnished their old garage so the cats would have a warm dry place. THIS HAS TO STOP.

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    1. Kudos to you for taking her to the shelter, because at least she wasn't left to suffer outside. People really do not value the lives of cats, and they should. THey should be responsible so people like you don't have to feel bad about something not their fault, and people like your aunt and uncle, with big hearts, don't have the burden of fixing other people's mistakes. :(

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  5. you HAVE to have limits or you get run over. though you can and will feel bad, those cats cannot and are not your responsibility. like you said, it would be nice if everyone pitched in and was more responsible rather than leave it to those of us who care and give everything we can....

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    1. Exactly!! :) Thank you!!

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  6. We feel your pain. I volunteer at a no-kill shelter. It never ends and one has to draw the line. Spay and neuter all pets, people. If you can't afford that one time charge, you have no business owning a pet. If you want the kiddos to see the miracle of birth, let them watch it on YouTube. They can play with kittens at the shelters. Really.

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    1. Like there is ever any shortage of kittens to play with too! You said it perfectly.

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  7. I'd be irked too. And you should be proud of all that you are able to do.
    Before I got Rupert, I was checking Kijiji for kittens, and it REALLY pissed me off how many postings started with "My cat got pregnant and now we need homes for all these kittens"...
    Should you be saying.... "I was irresponsible and didn't get my cat spayed".....

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    1. I just look at ads like and think about all the cats being euthanized at our shelter because there are just too many cats. Makes me irate.

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  8. I too agree, Natalie. And I understand how it makes you feel sad... that you can't help them all. I had a lady walking her dog standing in front of our house this week. The dog was just sitting there looking around. There are black ferals in the bushes and he knew it. The lady said, my dog is looking for your cats. I said my 4 cats are inside only, all spayed and neutered. The outside ones you see are not mine. They are ferals that find our yard a safe place. She asked if we neutered and spayed them. I said that we've been here for 30 years and we used to neuter the females and take the kittens to the Adoption Center at the Shelter, but at our age now, we can no longer do either... physically or financially. So we offer shelter, food, and water. You do what you can... and that's about it.

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    1. I know how much you do for your ferals. I am grateful for good, caring people like you in the world!

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  9. Now that was a first class rant. Unfortunately you're not the first to give the same rant. Controlling idiots is impossible. They're anonymous.

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    1. Definitely just venting, because will things ever change? Maybe a bit, but not as much as I'd like.

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  10. I feel the same way of the people in our valley and area here as we have lots of feral cats because one person couldn't be bothered to look after or spay or neuter their cat or leave it behind cause they couldn't find it before they moved away , we have at least 6 generations of cats here we have one of them and my in laws have two, it is the same with dogs here people get these dogs just to tie up and leave out side 24/7 and ignore them pisses me off ,well I put a stop to lots of them as I called the city/municipality cause I wanted the people to pay for what they have been doing to these poor dogs but as for the Farrel cats the OSPCA here and shelters are also to full and will not take Farrel cats to begin with which is hard as that's how some of us who cant take them in or afford to pay for them to get spay or nurtured as they will breed with in the family could get a grip on our Ferrel cat problem and help in a small way . I understand where your coming from cause it all irks me to !

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    1. Thank you! It helps to know you understand. :)

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  11. Oh my gosh, did your posting hit a note with me!!! Someone dumped our little guy - when we found him on our porch he was 4 pounds underweight and sick, sick, sick. A good vet, some good food and time turned him into a healthy guy, but it has taken much work to make him trusting. To tell the truth --- we are still working on it. But, he purred for the first time a few weeks ago after A YEAR of living here. It was the sweetest sound on earth!

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    1. Oh my, you must have been pretty emotional about that first purr. So wonderful. Thank you for helping him back to health and a good life with loving people. You're the best.

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  12. I feel so bad for you and totally "get" where you are coming from. I live in a 2 bedroom condo (on the second floor of an apt/condo bldg) and there are strict rules about the number of pets that are permitted here. We are only allowed to have two. If we weren't, I would take in all that I could handle. I don't know how you do it. I know how expensive our TWO are...I can't imagine all of the animals that you have. Wish I would win the lottery to help you xoxo catchatwithcarenandcody

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    1. We manage because Gordon's business is doing well, we have no kids to support, and most of our money goes to the animals. :) We are very fortunate!!! You do what you can, right? :)

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  13. My heart is with you. We only have the two and thank our lucky stars every day. We understand our limits and limitations but have often felt guilty for not taking in another cat needing a home. You and Gordon do amazing things and created an incredible haven. No one can do it all.

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    1. You shouldn't feel guilty! You do enough with your two lovely boys. sos

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  14. I know exactly how you feel. and I'm sorry that person didn't realize how hurtful that comment was. As someone who fosters, I quite often get people telling me I should keep my foster kittens, and it hurts every time because I'd love to, but I know I can't.

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    1. I don't mean to be hard on the guy who asked, because bless him, he was trying to help the cats. But I do hear that a lot: "You have 17, what's one more?" Argh... ANyway, bless you for helping all the foster kittens you do! Amazing work.

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  15. First of all, I admire and respect you and Gordon so much for all you do for the animals. This post was so articulate and I agree with everything you said. And, yes, I would be feeling guilty for refusing to give an animal in need a home. I just hate to see animals neglected or mistreated and cannot understand how anyone can do so. Praying the person is able to find a good home for the two cats. Also, so thankful for all you do for the animals!

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    1. THank you Shirley! I am pretty sure the guy will persevere until he finds a place for them. I'm optimistic!

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  16. Well said. You and Gordon have done so much already. I have 3 cats, and even though it gets expensive, I wouldn't have it any other way. I understand your "irk", and I understand your worry about what will happen to those cats.This post has prompted me to sponsor you.

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    1. That is so kind, Ann. I hope I didn't come off as complaining about money... it's just the way people don't even consider that when they ask if we'll take in an animal (and honestly, it's not really an issue. We take what we can afford to take!) "You've got 17, why not 20?" Sigh...

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!