by Elisa Black-Taylor
Good morning readers. I need both your opinion and your advice on my cat sanctuary.
One of my Facebook friends sent me a message insinuating it's unfair of me not to adopt all of these rescues out. That they each "deserve a home of their own". So I decided to write on this and explain my feelings.
This has really upset me.
First of all I want to define the meaning of sanctuary. Encarta describes it as "a place or area of land where wildlife is protected from predators and from being destroyed or hunted by human beings" and "a safe place."
Well, perhaps not a true sanctuary as I don't have a veterinarian stationed on my property. But I do work with a local vet when one of the cats is sick. Here's a page to click on to find what a true sanctuary involves. It downloads as a Microsoft Word document.
I may or may not have a "real" sanctuary. Some of the criteria I do have when reading over the cat sanctuary standards list are:
*A separate area for sick animals.
*A place to hide if I have guests.
*Photos provided to show how the animals are cared for
*I work with a local vet when animals are sick
*A clean atmosphere for the cat
*Educating the public about cat issues (I've published OVER 120 articles on cat issues since January of 2010)
*My daughter and I are both certified first responders trained in American Red Cross CPR and basic first aid. My certification is more recent and must be updated each year.
*30 years experience in caring for cats.
*Animals are not allowed to reproduce.
*Animals are up to date on vaccines.
*Complete medical records are kept on each cat.
*Cats are exposed to natural sunlight as much as possible.
*Cats are kept in a temperature appropriate environment. Warm in winter and cool in summer.
*My home is of the size and design to maintain both the physical and psychological welfare of the cats.
Gizzy, Furby and Lola are in charge. Photos: Elisa.
So call my home a sanctuary or call me just increasing the number of cats I have.
I have 15 resident cats. Thirteen of these were pulled from the euthanasia list. I'd fully intended to save a few cat lives and then adopt them out as soon as possible. I hate it if I let down those who paid the sponsorship for the cats I have. I just thought I was doing the right thing at the time.
The problem is my daughter and I fell in love with all of them. We had to nurse many of them back to health and came close to losing several due to URI's. Our vet had six rescues on antibiotics at the same time.
My first rescue of the MandyLane gang upset me in that the shelter didn't think them important enough to have names. Gizzy was basically unadoptable because of her attitude. Misty, Sheela, Shirley, Jethro and Lily were at the top of the euthanasia list when I pulled them. Shirley and Sheela's litter mates were killed for lack of a rescue. I even talked my friend Debra into rescuing under my name and now she's a big supporter of taking in just one more cat to save a life.
My plan now is to simply provide a good and safe home with me and my daughter for most of these cats. That's why I tell people I have a sanctuary now instead of a rescue.
Am I just a mother refusing to let go of her children?
Another concern is whether my cats would be put outside and left to fend for themselves. Or turned into a shelter when a family tired of it. There are just too many concerns I'd have to lay to rest before adopting any of them out. With us they know unconditional love. Gizzy is even accepted for being the house bully.
I really hate to question myself on this. I feel between my daughter Laura and I we provide a safe, comfortable, happy environment for the cats. One of us is with them almost all of the time. They're well fed and well loved.
I keep everyone up to date on the condition of my cats through articles written here and pictures uploaded to Furby the Cat. I believe in showing that my cats do not live in dirty surroundings or live in cages. There are actually places out there who do this. Yes, my cats have my daughter and I, both trained as servants. They're even held for naps and sleep with us at night.
Mandy and Cassie are due to be spayed next week. Jasper and Sammy will be done before they're old enough to start spraying. My other males were done before rescue, either by the shelter or by the previous owner. I really hate to use that term as cats aren't property. I'm being a responsible cat lady and not contributing to an already overpopulated cat world.
I await your opinion readers. I already know I'm keeping my cats. I just need a little reassuring. Am I being selfish? I believe we're doing what's best for the cats. What do all of my friends here think? Should I put all of them up for adoption or do you feel they're better off with my daughter and I?
Do I have a sanctuary or am I just "keeping cats?" I need to know how to classify my love of these cats.
In closing I'd like to say I don't mean any disrespect to those who run legitimate sanctuaries. I totally admire you.