Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jasmin is at the Vet

We took Jasmin to the vet this morning. She is getting spayed. The poor baby. She has been in heat for 4 days now. I thought it was supposed to be 2-3 days.

To top this off.... Spaying and Neutering does not control the feral population.

Okay, maybe I need to clarify that statement. It is not a statement I believe in, but one that the County Animal Shelter believes in.

Again, some clarification. Let me start this story at the beginning.

Several months ago I was walking around the side of our house to feed my horse Asahm. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a small white ball of fluff dart behind our a/c unit. I knew mom was coming out, so I yelled for her to get a towel. She brought out a large beach towel which we were able to toss over the kitten. As mom tried to carry the ball of fluff into the house, she got scratched and bitten. We had caught one of the feral cats that live in our barn. I figure she was the last in a trail of kittens following their mother. When I came around the corner, I figure she was so scared she ran the wrong way.

We put her in the bathtub for the first couple days, she was so small she couldn't get out of it. Once she was bigger, Ted (gotta love Ted) brought a watermelon crate from work to put her in. We all worked with her to tame her. She has been an indoor kitty with daytime outdoor privledges for several months now. A few days ago, she started howling and rubbing her body all over the carpet, us, the walls, and the furniture. She even tried to get my neutered male cat Bubba to help her. Hahaha!!! Anyway....

So, yesterday, we went to the County Animal Shelter to get a coupon from them for $20.00 off the price for spaying a cat. When we got to talking with them, they tell us that spaying and neutering the feral cats does not help. That they have to be euthinized. This sucks. I want to know why they think that.... Well, really, we asked. They said that it is about more than the feral cats. It is about the wildlife populations, and that if you are feeding feral cats, if one of those feral cats bites someone, you are responsible for any medical bills that would come from it. Holy Crappola!

My stepdad feeds about a half a dozen feral cats or more. Each year there is a new litter. The mother cat that dominates the barn, runs off her previous years litter, but some of them try to stick around. Then we get the neighbor's cats coming around, and the neigbor's barn cats coming around. Oh and did I mention that people dump their unwanted cats out, out here?

Now, I'm sure you are wondering why we don't trap these cats and take them to the shelter. Well, three times we have set a trap, three times we have caught animals that were not cats. The first catch wasn't so bad, it was a raccoon. We were able to let him out pretty easily. The next catch, well that was a skunk. Yes, you read that right, we caught a big, mean and very angery skunk. We couldn't get near the trap without him spraying at us. We called animal control, they said let it out, or kill it. It took us a day or two, but we found someone to kill it for us. Just so you know, when skunks are killed, everything in their scent sacs releases when they die. It ruined our metal trap. When we bought a new one, we tried again, this time we set the trap in the barn where my step-dad feeds the cats. Yes, we caught another skunk. This one did not spray and we were able to let him out. No, we haven't tried to catch any of the cats since.

Okay.... I've lost track, what was I really talking about? Oh right, the whole euthanizing thing. I am so against this. If the cats have been spayed or neutered, what is the big deal? You are ending a cylce by preventing more cats, so once the altered cats die, that is the end, there won't be any more. I just can't see killing a cat once it is already there, especially if you are willing to take the time to alter it, feed it and take care of it.

At the shelter they said that Shasta County is having a "huge" stray cat problem, well gee, if it didn't cost so much to get your cat altered, there might not be a problem. So, I don't blame the owners nearly as much as the vets. If it was cheaper to get your cat altered, then maybe people could afford to get them altered. One of the ladies at the shelter even had the nerve to say that the girls need to be fixed before the boys. What the heck!?! I'm sorry, but it is equally important to get them all fixed. If you have a male cat, it is your duty to get him neutered. If he isn't neutered, then he is part of the feral cat problem. When he is outside, he can get to all the unspayed female feral cats. If you ask me, all males should be fixed first. Granted, I plan to get my girls taken care of first so that the neighbor's unaltered cats won't get to them. So, okay maybe I do see their point now. Until everyone gets their cats altered, we are stuck making sure the girls are taken care of first. Okay I get it. Until everyone gets on the wagon to alter their pets, we are stuck spaying the girls first. Although, if everyone altered all their pets, it wouldn't matter which order they were done in, because they would all be altered. Oh for a perfect world where everyone took care of their..... wait, wouldn't everyone take care of their responsability to their pets if it was cheaper?

Okay, that settles it, I blame the vetrinarians for our feral cat population. If they would lower their fees, we'd all get our cats altered and there would not be a problem. I give up and I'm sure you are tired of me rambling on.


Stacy said...

Your point is valid and I am not for euthanization for population control, but my point would be that people who can't afford the fees should not have pets. I hope that doesn't sound callous, and Im not talking about you, but there are plenty of irresponsible people who take on pets and cant afford to buy food, much less pay for vet services like spaying and neutering. While the price does appear high, I see why they have to charge it to a degree in order to cover their overhead. Just my 2 cents!

BrownCoat said...

You know, I don't think people who can't afford pets should have them either, but if the vet bill was lower, then maybe people could afford to keep and have pets. Mom informed me after I wrote this that the vet bill is going to be well over $150.00 and that is after the $20.00 coupon we got from the shelter. How are normal people supposed to pay to get their cats altered if it costs that much?