Yesterday was the cats' annual vaccination, all 16 of them. Yup, we have 16 at my mother's house, all spayed. It actually started out with one which she bought from the pet store. After that we were picking up stray kittens which were abandoned or lost their mother. At one point, I think we had 20, not counting the ones we fed outside.
People still keep offering us unwanted cats/kittens but we've stopped accepting. There are only so many cats we can keep and it costs quite a bit to care for them. For instance the vaccinations cost us roughly RM1600 in total, and weekly the cats need food, litter and vitamins to keep them healthy and free from disease. Sometimes they do get ill and that adds on to the cost as well.
Another reason for not taking in more cats is the issue of cleanliness. We love cats, but we don't love the smell. So the litter needs to be cleaned twice daily and their 'cattery' that my mother built behind the house, needs to be washed daily with disinfectant. We've tried to make it easier and more efficient to keep clean, but it's still a lot of work.
Because of this I have a deep respect for people who volunteer/work for animal shelters. I'm sure it is fulfilling, but also heartbreaking. I'm not just talking about seeing the animals hurt, dying, being put to sleep, suffering from injuries etc. but also the lack of funds, space and volunteers. I know of people who volunteer their weekends helping out at PAWS or the SPCA. Those who can't volunteer their time can just donate things they need or even a bit of money. You can check their websites to see what they need, I've provided the link above. Any contribution will be much appreciated I'm sure.
So people, it doesn't take much to help. One of the easiest way to reduce the stray population is to spay your pets. But most of all, be kind to animals.
"I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other ... And it's very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals ..."~Barack Obama President Elect USA
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated" ~Gandhi (1869-1948)