We started the week talking about Happy Cat Month and I promised I would focus on the health (which we did Monday), enrichment, safety and value related to your cat. I can’t believe it’s already Friday and we’ve gotten so off topic. Or have we? Let’s consider the element of enrichment. Aside from creating an enriching environment for our own cats, there’s plenty we can do in order to help other cats. For example, if you’ve seen a stray in your neighborhood, don’t turn your back on him—get involved. Ask around to see if you can find the owner. Let them know if you think the cat is suffering in any way. If no owner can be found, step up and care for the cat. If you believe it’s in the cat’s best interest, call a no-kill shelter and see about delivering the cat to them for square meals and consistent care and possibly the opportunity to find a good home.
If you suspect someone you know or you’ve seen in the neighborhood is in over her head
when it comes to the number of cats she’s caring for and if you think the cats may be suffering, by all means, call authorities. Here’s a good site that can guide you through the process of helping those cats: http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/animal-hoarding/
This also covers safety—a big element in keeping your cats safe is keeping them indoors. If they must go out and, believe me, I know cats who must be outside, at least keep them in at night. Know and understand the potential dangers for cats and take care of them immediately upon bringing a cat home. Let your cat guide you in what might become hazardous to him or her. As I mentioned earlier, for one of ours, it’s ribbon and bows. For a kitten, it could be an open toilet lid. I know a kitten that died when it got tangled up in a coat hanger. There are many, many plants poisonous to cats and, of course, most of your household cleaning agents and garden sprays, crystals, etc. are dangerous to cats. Don’t forget about cars and traffic. Statistics show that 6 million cats and dogs were killed on roadways last year. Gosh that’s a horribly shocking number when this is so easily prevented.
That brings us to value. In order to keep cats safe, healthy, and enriched, we must value them. Unfortunately, there’s still a faction who sees cats as dispensable—if they aren’t earning their keep as a barn cat or factory/warehouse mouser or even a show cat, they have no value. Isn’t that a shame? I look into Lily’s and Sophie’s eyes and see such beauty and magnificence—these two are complete individuals, yet priceless and precious in their uniqueness as is my mom’s kitty, Smokey, my grandson’s two cats, the munchkin, Brucie and his older sister, Regina, as is…well, you get it. Now take inventory in your home. Are your amazing cats getting all they need in this world? Health, enrichment, Safety and value?
As a bonus, I’m offering this link to a wonderful series of slides showing some of the most colorful and unusually-marked cats I’ve ever seen. Take time to check it out.
http://pawsome.topix.com/slideshow/17565/slide1?no_cover=1 (Cat’s of a different color)