OK, I have ten rescue cats and one foster cat at the moment - so you could be forgiven for thinking I am a bona fide Crazy Cat Lady. I also have two ex-battery chickens living in my back yard and if I had the time, the money and the cats would allow it, I would also be surrounded by pooches and small furries. I am not however a cat collector or a hoarder. I do not breed, I do not sell. What I do have is the terrible affliction of a caring heart and as my day job is working with animals it can be very hard to say no. I feel I should also mention at this stage that neither I, nor my house smells of cat wee and I have a cat proof garden so the menagerie can have freedom without upsetting the neighbours. I have also rehomed more rescue cats than I have kept.
Guys, to put it frankly, things out there are desperate. There are so many strays on the streets, feral cats, those that have been discarded by their so called owners and those who are lost. Yet, still many people are letting their cats breed. Irresponsible ownership leads to incredibly stressed and depressed rescue workers who put their lives aside (as well as their finances) to try and solve the problem other people have created.
Thousands of cats are on waiting lists just to get into the rehoming centres around the country. Hundreds are being euthanised every day as they have not been claimed, no one wants them and there is just no room.
What really boils my piss is the owners who just want their cat to have one litter, because "if everyone had their cat neutered there would be no cats in the world", those that think because their felines are brother and sister they won't mate, that my friends, really is crazy.
Of course some people have genuine reasons for having to rehome their beloved pet, circumstances change and the rehoming centres were originally there to help in these situations and cruelty cases. These reasons do not and should not include that they no longer match the décor, they are old, they have fleas (seriously?), they poo too much, I could carry on with that list but it makes me way too angry.
There are simple ways to help this problem, do not buy, do rehome and make sure you neuter! It really can be that simple. To have a pet is a privilege not a right, they cost a lot of money to look after and just like anyone else you welcome into your family you have a duty to them, and that is what they are, family. It isn't just the day to day costs, vet bills are expensive, luckily veterinary treatment costs a lot less that human private health care, although there are some charities that can help eligible people, there is no NHS for animals (long live the NHS).
My guys have all come from abused or neglected backgrounds and every single one I make sacrifices for. Last winter was the first time in years I actually had a winter coat, thanks to my boyfriend who couldn't stand me going without (and yes I have a boyfriend, he isn't imaginary). But for me, my focus every month is to feed the hungry mouths in my house, everything else comes after them. When I took each one on I took a vow, just like I would if I had children, I made a promise to look after them and that is a promise I keep.
So call me a Crazy Cat Lady if you like, I have broad shoulders, but I would rather you thought of me as an animal lover, with a heart, trying to make a small difference, who has to hoover her house twice a day and should take out shares in lint rollers. To me if you profess to be an animal lover but you have no desire to help the furries or even worse, you keep adding to the problem, well you are far crazier than I will ever be.