I am thinking more seriously about adopting a second cat. Am I crazy? Probably. I am trying to decide if my reasons for wanting another pet are actually legitimate. Part of me just really wants to do something to help the over-population problem. Guilt plays no small role. I have this home, with some extra space, and so many animals don’t. Since I can’t bring a new dog into the house – not yet – then perhaps a cat will ease my conscience. It is a ridiculous thought, I am aware. No matter how many animals I own I am going to feel like a selfish jerk. And I certainly do not intend on heading down that particular slippery slope. It would help no one.
Regardless, the fact is cats are being killed in massive numbers every year. According to The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies out of over 84,000 cats admitted in 2008, over 45,000 were killed. 45,000. And those are only the ones killed in shelters. It certainly doesn’t include the multitudes living on the streets. The Halifax Regional Municipality’s Animal Services Division did the math. For every un-spayed female cat, having roughly two litters a year with an average of three surviving kittens per litter can add up to 11,606,077 cats in 9 years. It is a hard number to conceptualize. That is a lot of cats, many potentially without places to live.
2011 has been declared Year of the Cat by many Canadian cat care networks, including the CFHS. They are dedicating this year to educating governments, welfare organizations, and individuals on what they can do to improve the lives of the millions of cats in this country. There is a lot a person like me can do to help. Adoption is naturally at the top of the list. While it isn’t the only thing I can do or even the only thing I want to do, it is the most substantial. The most tactile.
There is another reason, though. I am also looking for a new challenge. This is where the crazy comes in. Shiva is probably challenge enough for five people.
I have never raised or trained a cat before. It might be kind of fun. Though, my friend always laughs at me when I talk about cat training, as if there is no such thing. People train cats, don’t they? I’ve seen them do all sorts of tricks on Animal Planet so it must be true. I will have to teach him or her to stay off the counters and where to find the litter box. I have to teach him or her how to avoid the dog.
Oh, right. The dog. That does complicate matters. Shiva can be very pushy. Obviously we are going to need a cat that is either young enough to not be afraid or savvy enough to stand up for himself. Like The Cat is.
Oh, right. The Cat. No worries there! He gets along great with other cats that get along with him. We’ve even seen him holding court in the backyard. He even let a stray wander into our house and sleep on our bed last summer. As long as the new cat respects the fact that The Cat is king over this realm, all should be fine.
Nothing to worry about, right? All I have to do now is pick one out.
There is Sweetie. I’ve always loved the look of black cats and she seems to suit her name perfectly.
Handsome also matches his name. He is younger, which may be a good thing. And they say he likes other cats. I could see him being a swell guy to hang out with.
Tinker has already made me laugh. Her orange fur would fit right in.
But I think Mona has stolen my heart by her photo alone. She looks like she’d enjoy a good snuggle on a cold day.
So why am I hesitating?