Tuesday, 14 June 2011

No Place For a Cat

With my birthday at the end of the week, I had to think long and hard about what I wanted! This is the question that I always dread.  I get nervous and try to ignore the question altogether.
Or else I throw out random, unrealistic things, such as a hotel (Paris Hilton style), a new car, five cows, or a trip around the world.  Of course, these things rarely happened.  I guess the car really wasn`t that ridiculous as my parents got me my sporty Honda Civic for my 16 birthday.  Have fun topping that one up mom and dad.
This year I really don`t know what to say to people when they ask.  I want everything and nothing.  I am so happy with all the lovely things that my parents give me that I don`t really need anything else.  My life is pretty much perfect.  I have two jobs which help me pay for school, and my parents and grandparents always have my back when it comes to life.  I have an awesome family, fantastic friends, and I live on a great farm.  What more could I really ask for?
And then it clicked.  For the past two years our cat population seems to be dwindling.  Growing up I had a slight obsession with cats.
And by slight, I mean huge.
First of all, "kitty" was my first word.  In our old house, our hallway window was at a low enough level that I could stand and look out into the yard.  My mom said that I would stand there for hours and watch the kittens play.  As I got older I was always surrounded by cats.  I spent every waking moment that I wasn't at school or sports outside with my animals.

In grade 3 one of our barn cats had a small orange kitten.  I made it my habit to name all of the cats on our farm, even the year that we had a total of 40 at one point (I guess that's what happens when you have 7 mama cats).  Thankfully, that year no one else in our community had kittens and everyone wanted some.
But back to the orange cat.  She pretty much had the most original name, Baby Orangie.  I know.  It's like calling the black cat Blackie.  Anyways, this cat was my baby.  I could do anything with her.  I would go to my grandparents every day after school and play with her.  My grandma would let me sneak the cat into her house.  I had a small shoe box with blankets in it for her.  She would lie in her bed and let me brush her, dress her up, pretty much do anything.
Grandpa didn't like animals in the house, so whenever he would come in one door, Orangie would go out the other.
Orangie even accompanied me to our small, country schools on a few occasions.  All you city folk, beat that show and tell surprise!  When you go to a small school with 14 kids in your grade you get anything from dogs to frogs in your class for show and tell.

I would spend countless hours in our hay loft with the kittens.  I did everything from giving kittens eye drops, to teaching the little babies how to drink from a dish.  Note - when I say "teach them how to drink from a dish" I didn't literally lean over the dish and start lapping up milk! I would dip their little noses in the warm milk.  They would then lick their little faces and realize how yummy the milk was! This would start them on their way to weaning from their mamas!
My handsome little man
All my kittens would have names.  And I would remember them.  Yes, I was obsessed, I admitted it already.
One morning before school I was in the barn feeding the cats and I could hear meowing, kittens.  I climbed into the hay loft, couldn't see them.  Back down into the main part, couldn't find them.  The noise was coming from the wall.  The kittens had climbed into the lean-to part of the hayloft and fallen into the wall!
Our barn is quite old, and the walls were hollow.  The kittens were stranded! I didn't even know what to do.  I tried thinking of ways to save them, and I realized there was no way I was getting them out.  I didn't want them to have to die.  I love my animals, and the minute they get a name they become that much more special.
I started crying. What else was there to do? My babies were going to die.  Once again, Grandpa came to the rescue and diligently got to work taking the boards off of the wall, saving the babies.
funny kitten pictures. Cats!
I have so many more kitten stories that I could share, but I am afraid my blog would be chapters.

So I decided I wanted a couple of kittens for my birthday.  But they couldn't be just any kittens, I wanted to pick them out.  So I started looking around Kijiji and I found exactly what I was looking for.
"Sweet Rescue Kittens For Adoption, Apply Now"
Why not adopt from a shelter! Help them out since they help out all the homeless and neglected kittens.  What better a life for a cat than to live on a farm where they get milk and cat food each day, a warm barn and heated shop to sleep in, a huge place to run outside, a family that loves them and mice!
So I clicked the link and my heart melted when I saw Bella.

Bella, only a month old, needing a family. 
I wanted her.  Who wouldn't! I wanted to be her mommy, and cuddle her and care for her!
So I clicked on her link and it took me to a website called SAFE - Saving Animals From Euthanasia.  Perfect, I would love to help these people out.
I can't find a number so I click the link that says "fill out an application".  Seriously?  I never made people fill out applications when they had our kittens.  Now I am worried, did my kittens go to unloving families.
On the application there are questions that say things such as what type of home do you have, will the cat be inside or outside, have you had a pet before, why do you not have you previous pet, have you ever been charged for an animal crime, will the animal be spayed, and the one that surprised me will you allow our team a minimum of three follow up visits to see your pet.
Wow.  I feel like I didn't give my kittens a chance for survival! I didn't do follow up visits.
So I filled out the form.  I said that I loved animals and that I wanted a kitten to live in our shop, who could have free range of the shop, barn and farm.  What a better life for a cat! Grow up with a family that loves you and cares for you, with two other kittens your own age, and a huge farm to play on, as well as a great opportunity for health care and warm meals every day! Is there a better life for a cat?  Some people in this province aren't even guaranteed all those things.
So I sent in the form.  By this time I was super excited.  I couldn't wait to get my new kittens!
My email flashed. A response!
I was so excited.  Best birthday ever!

I opened...

I read quickly...

The smile faded from my face.

"Thank you for taking the time to fill out an adoption application which we have reviewed and declined."


How was the best life for a cat ever declined!

Apparently, they only want the adopted cats going to places where they will only be indoors and have a lifelong companion! I wanted to be a lifelong companion!

I had put on the sheet that I didn't want my kitten spayed, I wanted it to have a set of babies so that we would be able to have enough cats once again to control our farm mice.

Wrong answer.

Apparently they only give their cats to people who are going to spay them.  They said that there are too many homeless cats in the city that need homes so they are trying to control that by spaying all the cats.  I do understand why they make that a rule, especially in the city, and it is a good idea, but the farm is a different situation!

Well, on our farm, and in our farming community, we need cats.  It isn't us with the problem! I completely understand where they are going with the whole spaying thing, and I would have got them spayed if that was a requirement!

But apparently the farm is no place for a cat.

They said that Bella has never been outside and would likely end up being owl or coyote bait being out on a farm.

Seriously.  Before cats were domesticated they only lived outside.  And our German Shepard barks all night long, it's not like the coyotes sleep in the hayloft with the cats.  I wasn't just going to take her down to our bush and put her in an episode of "Cattracker" featuring a coyote.

I honestly felt somewhat offended.  I responded to the e-mail.  They say that they are having a problem with the cat population in the city.  I suggested to them that if they gave rural families a chance at adoption, they might be able to more easily find their cats good homes.  I told them that the animals on our farm are cared for like they're are part of the family, given a proper diet, love and affection, and medical attention.

A farm is no place for cats.  It seems somewhat hypocritical.
These cats look pretty happy to me. (this was a couple years ago when my cats were everywhere)

Fact:  Cats love mice.
Fact:  Cats are predators, they love hunting, and pouncing on things.
Newsflash: Cats like being outside too!

I'm heartbroken.
Tell me a kitten wouldn't be my companion!

Time to find a new kitty.  Any ideas anyone??



  1. would you accept any mexican cats???

  2. I would love a Mexican cat if it is coming from your farm! Do you want to UPS me three?

  3. Just make sure that you put holes in the box so they can breathe! :)