Today, October 16, is Global Cat Day. Global Cat Day was launched by the organization Alley Cat Allies in 2016 with the purpose of raising awareness of the rampant cruelty cats still face around the world. From the Global Cat Day website:
"We fight harmful acts against cats in any form, whether individual acts of cruelty or deeply entrenched institutional cruelty by shelters, parks, or local governments."
At the end of the blog, I will share a few links for you to learn more about how cats are suffering and what you can do to help. Here, I would like to share the stories of the cats who have and do hold my heart and and run my life.
Gemma, Daisy, and Gus all began their lives outside. Daisy and Gus showed up together in our backyard. Gus couldn't have been more than a few weeks old and Daisy less than a year. They came by a few times before we tried to trap them. Thankfully, they were easy, lured into the carrier with some wet food. They had worms and one of the nails on Daisy's back right foot was missing (the vet said it was likely pulled out somehow) but were otherwise healthy, and, they were not microchipped. Gemma lived on our back porch for a little over a year before we tried trapping her, she seemed so wild and was older so we weren't sure she'd respond as well (if at all) as Daisy and Gus had to living an indoor only life. She is ear-tipped so we knew she had already been spayed but she clearly did not have a home. We had heated houses for her outside and dried her off when she ran up to the door after playing (and likely hunting) in the rain, she was fed and always had fresh water available to her.
Gemma needed a home, whether she knew it or not. She killed chipmunks, mice, voles, birds, and even a squirrel once, often leaving parts of them by the door as a "gift." She alone was significantly impacting the wildlife around us.
Gemma, Daisy, and Gus are the lucky ones. While we don't know what they experienced before they found us, we know they came to us whole, friendly, and ready to be loved.
Another cat whom we would see from time to time always seemed to be pregnant. We had taken to calling her Mama. We could never get close to her, she proved impossible to trap. It's been a few years since we've seen her, I can only imagine the life she has led. Those who let their cats out, especially those who are not spayed or neutered, ensure there will be more cats like Mama out there. The cycle never ends.
I adopted Cookie from a shelter, she was 4 years old at the time. She had been the victim of hoarding, pulled from a house with 43 other cats. She was timid, she hid for weeks, ultimately, she was my soul cat. She lived to be 16 and had many, many more love-filled pampered days of her life than she didn't. When I adopted her I promised she would never know a hard-life again, I hope every day I fulfilled that promise.
Despite the first 4 years of her life, Cookie was a lucky one too. She had never been injured or tortured.
Global Cat Day exists because many cats are not as lucky. Those who are let out to roam their neighborhoods are at risk of being poisoned, tortured, and/or killed. Cat colonies, even when tended to by local groups, face these same risks from people whose only motivation is to harm these beautiful sentient beings. Teenagers at risk of committing heinous acts against humans, often start by committing those same acts against animals, very often cats.
Will you take action? Tell me in the comments below.
If you have ever loved a cat, tell me about their personality in the comments too.