Monday, September 15, 2008

A Break From Politics

Recently I have become addicted to Animal Planet. I think this is because all my HGTV shows seem to be repeats these days and I've gotten back into addictive knitting again and need something going on besides knit and purl. You can only watch so much Curb Appeal before you feel entirely unworthy of owning a little shitty home with no curb appeal whatsoever.

My internet and couch-surfing bud Harvey and his wife Chika have recently moved to the US and contacted me last week because they were adopting a cat from a shelter in Boston and wanted advice. I basically told them to get a few enpty boxes and some food and be prepared to enjoy. I think they will be very good parents because they keep asking me questions to be assured their little "Red" is not acting abnornmally. Cat virgins are so much fun.

When you "get" any animal it is a lifetime comittment. My oldest cat Sonny is now 18 - going on 19, and he is now deaf - I suspect 90-100%. This presents new challenges but when he was 2 I adopted him and in doing so gave him a home for the duration of his natural life. I have been through moves where it was difficult. I have lived in apartments where he was "invisible" due to unbelieveable pet deposits (due I am sure to irresponsible pet owners in the past). I have been through unemployment where I thought I might possibly have to find the cats another home so they would have regular and proper care at a time when I could barely afford to pay my electric bill and would not have been able to make it through this time without a loan from my parents. At age freaking 41. Somehow everything fell into place and my little feline family survived intact and with no ill effects but the point is that they are my primary concern. I have now built a savings that equals about 5 months of extremely cut back expenses and have one credit card that I keep open with no balance in case of loss of job and veterinary expense. Actually I have two zero balance cards but only one is earmarked for vet expenses in an emergency. The other is for job loss and groceries. I am sure I will never need this but I keep it all set just in case. I am also sure I will never need my other safety nets but I will keep building them until one day when I am 93 I finally realize I can quit my job and retire.

Anyway the point of this is these Animal Planet shows. I especially am intrigued by the SPCA shows where neglected, abused and abandoned animals are rescued and the motherfuckers who did the deed are charged criminally. I battle with myself all the time about my (so far two) extended absences for business. Both times I have returned home as often as possible and have paid a professional bonded certified person to come to my house in my absence to make sure all the needs are taken care of. It is not at all ideal but my cats are indeed well cared for by people who will get them to the vet if necessary. Their litter is clean. Their water is clean. They have food. But what I see on these shows are people who buy exotic snakes and then move out of the house and leave them behind to be found weeks later. Cats tied to trees on 2 foot ropes with no food or water. Horses emaciated. Who the hell DOES this???? Most of the time I sit here and think my real calling is to work as an SPCA officer or a foster Mom for these animals but then I realize I would KILL these people with my bare hands.

Please DO NOT take an animal into your home unless you realize you are responsible. EVERY DAY. FOR EVERY NEED. Dogs and cats live 10 - 15 years on average but up to 20 or 22 years. Large birds can live 30 - 50 years. Exotics should NOT be kept. If you have an animal that you need to rehome REQUIRE an adoption fee and have all veterninary records ready to turn over. And if you cannot do this contact the SPCA and do not abandon the poor helpless thing. The SPCA accepts any animal and if they are healthy they will do everything to make sure they are adopted to a good and loving and responsible home.

Sorry for this lecture but it is something I feel so strongly about. I have four cats, all of whom have distinct personalities.

Also good lord people - if you have a dog or cat that is not spayed or neutered what the FUCK? If you are concerned about the emasculation of your pet I think you probably have sexual identity issues yourself. I assure you your animal will not notice. Unless you have a freaking DOLPHIN. Dolphins and HUMANS are the only mammals that have sex for pleasure. The rest probably don't know why on earth they do it but it isn't for pleasure (although they might get pleasure from it). If this is due to cost (in which case maybe you should rethink your choice to have a pet) do an internet search for low cost clinics or places providing certificates for the full procedure at a $15 or $20 donation. I had 3 cats altered with certificates when I was a poor waitress/actress. I've had 3 more altered at full cost so other waitresses/actresses could take advantage of the certificates. Just find a way to do it so more puppies and kittens will not come into this world unwanted and abandoned. My 4 were all unwanted and abandoned - one wandering on the roadside (Sonny the 18 year old) and 3 others found by dumpsters in shopping centers. You could not imagine four more beautiful loving cats. Their lives really are worth so much. They give me so much love and amusement watching them play.

I promise to write soon about Mac (McLovin) who is a little grey boy I adopted about 3 weeks ago. He has now fully become a member of our house and plays with the others and is gentle and loving with Sonny. I think I have a capacity of 5 since 5 is the most I have ever homed. I think I am waiting for that next one who really needs us and seems to be a good match.

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