Submitted by Kristine O’Brien – Owner/Operator of Paws Republic Boarding, Training & Grooming Centre
Photo Caption: A female cat brought in to Paws Republic from the streets of a Martensville neighborhood, which is currently at SCAT Street Cat Rescue, ended up having ten kittens shortly after arriving. (Facebook)
Let’s cut to the chase … it wasn’t the time or place I had hoped to have the chat with my currently 3 year old daughter about the birds and the bees – A relaxing family stroll along a cheerful Martensville street where we rudely interrupted two cats rendezvousing on a locals’ driveway. “No sweetie, those kitties are not fighting …..”. I promise we won’t get into my parenting techniques in this letter.
But what I do want to get into is the plethora of cats we see wandering our streets and concern we should all have as residents.
The simple fact that it is stated directly in the City of Martensville Bylaws that animals at large is against the law and that cats can be seen as a nuisance to other not-so-cat-welcoming neighbours, its dangerous for them and for others to have these numbers growing and filling our streets!
Despite the opinion that some people hold so dear – cats should not be wandering the streets free to spread their genes and do as they please.
First, their own safety is at risk. We see them narrowly avoiding being run over, getting injured from fighting other cats (Ever seen or smelled a cat bite abscess? You would lose your lunch!), attacks by other animals, and in some cases even showing aggressions to people if they are protecting their babies or have territorial behaviours. Then there is human inflicted pain, poisons, diseases, and of course back full circle to the topic of pregnancies and all the risks involved there (dare I say the word incest in the paper?)!
But let’s just say YOUR cat couldn’t possibly be a pain to anyone else (My McFluffPoof would NEVER poop in someone else’s flower bed) or your SUPER cat can SURVIVE anything – fend off coyotes and owls, have immunity to all poisons, have healing powers after being kicked, bit, or run over (till they don’t) – At the very least get your cat tested and vaccinated for diseases and SPAY OR NEUTER THEM. Don’t treat them like they are disposable.
Your intact male is out there starting fights, impregnating females (in broad daylight in front of the children) or invoking redirected aggression in housecats minding their business while your cat eyeballs them from the window. Your little sweethearts are bringing home their own bundles of joy with and without diseases that can be passed on to other pets and that there are not enough homes for, filling shelters, suffering or dying.
In the past 2 weeks ALONE, 4 of the last 6 stray cats that have been brought to Paws Republic were – you guessed it – PREGNANT. One of which had 10 – YES, 10 freaking kittens. Thankfully she was brought in DAYS before giving birth! The likelihood of 10 babies and the mom surviving on the street is slim to none. The other two didn’t have the required equipment to carry them but sure as heck had the equipment to produce them.
So take this is a local member complaining about the cat that continued to get into our garage for months, take it as a mom with a sense of humour asking for less awkward convos, take it as a lifetime animal care professional and wellness advocate pleading to help decrease the population and spread of disease – I don’t care how you take it really – just know that it takes seconds to google the risks, realities and dangers of intact animals at large and that the numbers are growing right in your own back yard.