By Elisa Black-Taylor
In this article, I’d like to reflect back on what I consider my most important stories for 2013. I have summarized the stories and added a link at the end. These are the articles that meant the most to me.
Why Core Vaccines Must Be Given Upon Intake In A Shelter Environment [Link]
Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate! There are many potentially fatal illnesses being passed between shelter pets on a daily basis. This article tells the importance of vaccinating immediately upon intake. Cats begin to develop immunity within hours, if not minutes. This topic raises awareness that although shelters may say they vaccinate upon intake, many are falsifying records. To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to take your new kitty to your personal vet for a checkup and to administer vaccinations. We had a serious outbreak of panleuk back in 2011. Two of our kittens survived because the lady who turned them into the shelter had her personal vet administer core vaccines two weeks before she brought them to the shelter.
A Reminder About Remote Car Starters and Cats [Link]
Sealy, who we adopted in February 2012, survived a horrific fan blade injury. The blade cut into his skull, and he lost his left ear in the accident. A lot of people associate car fan blade accidents with someone who simply doesn’t bang on their hood, toot their horn, or physically inspect the engine compartment before starting their car. The danger of cranking up on a cat is greater since the invention of remote car starters, a device that offers the convenience of starting your car from inside your home that allows the vehicle to “warm up” before leaving home. Please keep in mind there are a lot of stray cats hanging out in large parking lots, so the need to check under the hood is necessary before leaving a mall or supermarket.
Our Cats And The Special Relationships They Have [Link]
This is an enjoyable article to write, because it gave me the opportunity to let the readers know our cats aren’t perfect. The majority of the time our cats get along well. Our home is what I’d call an indoor colony, complete with male and female rulers. There are a few we have to separate in order for others to come out and play. I hope I educated readers who are thinking of adding another feline to their family in some of the ways to make the transition smoother.
Do You Ever Call Your Cat The Wrong Name? [Link]
Do you ever get the cat now confused with a cat you owned years ago? This article is a cross between memory lapses and cat reincarnation. Personally, I believe I have with me now several cats I owned many years ago. My problem is that I’ll call the cat by the name I gave it 20-30+ years ago. The confusion drives my daughter Laura a bit nuts, because she doesn’t know whether I’m having a memory lapse where I get confused, or whether I really believe I have a reincarnated version of a previous kitty. If you look at the photo collage for the story, it’s easy to see the resemblance between my cats of yesterday, and my current cats. I believe Laura is very afraid of my growing old, and on some days I have to say I join Laura in that fear.
An Animal Shelters Responsibility To The Community [Link]
One of the most serious articles written in 2013 deals with the public’s right to know versus an animal shelter’s reputation within the community in which the shelter serves. Should it be illegal for a shelter to sit on information concerning a major illness infecting a higher than average number of cats and dogs? A shelter will argue that all animal shelters have a higher than average rate of panleuk, kennel cough, canine flu and calicivirus. What percentage of pets in a shelter who have fallen ill make it necessary to inform the public that cats and dogs adopted or rescued may be, or may have been, infected before leaving the shelter? This article ties well into the one I wrote about core vaccines. Why are so many animals sick when the shelter assures the public that all dogs and cats are getting vaccinated at the time of intake?
Branch Of U.S. Department of Agriculture Illegally Killing Pets [Link]
This article tells about a little known USDOA department called Predator Control, where conibear traps and leg hold snares are “accidentally” trapping and killing thousands of companion animals each year. If you live in a n area where these traps are set, please be aware the government isn’t going door to door telling dog and cat owners to monitor their pets access to the outside world. A few neighborhood associations were mistakenly led to believe the traps were being set to trap rats. Pet owner’s need to be aware these “U.S. government affiliations” are out there, and they’re a very real danger to our pets. Hopefully this article will convince the public that the government doesn’t necessarily have the best interests of the community in mind, regardless of what they claim.
Homer The Blind Cat Has Died [Link]
On August 21, the world the cat I personally believe to be the most famous cat in the United States in the past decade. Homer (Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale), who survived being blind, and who also drew worldwide media attention after being trapped inside his home during 9/11, went to the Rainbow Bridge. The world mourned his loss as Gwen Cooper told of his last days and recounted the amazing life of this little cat. This was without a doubt one of the toughest articles to write out of the more than 500 articles I did overall in 2013. Homer taught cat lovers that almost anything is possible, even for a disabled cat. Because of Homer, many cat lovers took in a blind cat with the knowledge that just because a cat can’t see, doesn’t mean the cat can’t have a fairly normal life. Homer was notorious as a furniture climber, and had an amazing perception of where he would “land” while performing his acrobatic stunts for his mom, bestselling author Gwen Cooper.
Humane Officer Shoots 5 Kittens; Chief Says He Won’t Be Disciplined [Link]
The story of how North Ridgeville, Ohio humane officer shot and killed a family of kittens living next to a home in a woodpile enraged more than dog lovers with this case. An outraged community demanded justice. The Ohio SPCA went so far as to threaten the department with legal action. Sadly, looking for an update on Barry Accorti, I’ve been unable to find any information saying he was eventually punished for his cowardly act. Imagine how many times this happens where the news media never gets word of a cat or dog shooting by animal control. Social media has played the biggest part ever in bringing animal abusers to the forefront. Unfortunately, many of them have the title of “humane officer” or “police officer.”
Shelter Cat Dead Because Of A Lie [Link]
Think you have heartless relatives? A 6-year-old cat named Bella was euthanized because her owner’s daughter lied to the staff at the local shelter. Because Bella was listed as an owner turn-in, she was eligible for euthanasia immediately, as a holding period offered to strays doesn’t apply to animals brought in by their owner. Despite having empty cages, Bella was euthanized less than 48 hours after she arrived. If nothing else was accomplished with this article, at least I’ve made people think a bit harder over who watches the family pet while the family is away. Sometimes it’s better to hire a professional service than to trust a pet to relatives.
Is A Male Cat Still Fertile After Neutering? [Link]
I’ve had quite a few friends tell me they were unaware that recently neutered cats may still be fertile for several weeks. It’s important to keep the male cat away from female cats in heat for at least six weeks, just in case any kitty sperm swimmers are still floating around in the male. This article also stressed the importance to have a male cat with undescended testicles neutered, as the risk on cancer is much greater.
What was your favorite article on PoC? Think back to all of the articles written by the PoC family during 2013. Which is your favorite and why?