By day I am an animal shelter adoption associate.
By night I am Ahab, a three-legged scrawny cat. I am of another generation. Maybe several generations. It is said that cats have nine lives and I am living proof of this fact. I do not know how many lives I've had because cats, contrary to popular opinion, can not count. I may have had only two. It could be eight. Nine? Who knows? I do not care.
I am a DSH, which stands for your standard domestic short hair, as opposed to one of the many more elegant breeds mentioned in specialty books on cats. I am a scraggly orange tiger and proud of it.
My lives have been filled with activity. I have been known to fish in the Adriatic Sea, in small aquariums, and round fishbowls with equal success. I can climb refrigerators, book cases, the walls surrounding the emperor's palace, and lace curtains. Using only my front claws and my tail, I can catch and destroy nurf balls and chair legs. And, most important, I can read and write and surf the web. Perhaps you've heard about my friend Archy, the cockroach. Back in the Twenties he wrote on an old typewriter, jumping from key to key. He could not use upper case because he could only hit one key at a time, so his musings lacked capitals and punctuation. Neverheless, his boss, Don Marquis, pole everything Archy wrote and published his musings in books, raking in the monetary rewards of Archy's hard work. Is not that just the way of people? They force us pets to learn tricks, show us off by making us perform in front of audiences, and then take all the credit. Fortunately, most cats have learned early-on to refuse to perform, leaving that sad function to the more gullible dog species.
But I digress.
Archy, the cockroach had a best friend named Mehitabel, a free spirited ally cat who almost ate him on their first encounter. They managed to become fast friends and Archy often wrote of her activities and achievements. Mehitabel wanted to be a dancer but she was handicapped by one big problem: litters. I quote:
Archy she said to me
The life of a female
Artist is continually
Have i done to deserve
All these kittens
(Archy and mehitabel, by Don Marquis, Doubleday, 1927)
Mehitabel continued to exclaim that her only prayer was to be allowed to give her best to her art but just as she felt she was succeeding in her life work, along came another batch of kittens.
Archy should have told her, anonymously, of course, how to resolve this continuing catastrophe.
Mehitabel get spayed he should have written.
Wise words, to be sure.
My friend ZeeZee is a perfect example. She is an exotic lilac point Siamese with beautiful blue eyes, a sensitive personality and a howl that can crack cement. She knows how beautiful is she and will tell you in no uncertain terms. "I am perfect," she purrs. She is spayed. She is perfect. I mean, can you even imagine her going into heat and making that yowl of hers for three to fifteen days up to three times a year? Please, my ears!
I, on the other hand, am a manly man cat. I have cooked prey larger than myself, sprayed in room corners, hurled balls of yarn across tables, and dragged whole hams off kitchen counters. I have been a stray, owned, lost, strayed again, arrested, adopted, and, somewhere along the way, altered. Yes indeed, I am a neutered male, and I am proud of that feat, too. Who among us would not be?
We, who are spayed and neutered, are unique and healthy, for the most part, than our intact brothers and sisters. We can live our lives in elegance without worry of combat with rivals or caring for multiple little mouths to feed. Think about it.
Now I know there are humans out there who thinks having a litter around is cute. They can make lots of money selling the puppies and kitties, and they can show their children the birth process. Not.
First of all, keeping a litter costs lots of money. The little ones need to stay with their mom for eight weeks in order to learn all the important cat and dog things that mom can teach. Soon the people will have to feed those babies and they eat plenty. The babes also need to see the vet and get those first shots. That's another cost, but a necessary one if the people are conscientious owners.
And then there's showing the kids the birth process. What's that all about? Come on, any new mom likes privacy in this moment of crisis in her life. She wants a warm, dark spot to do what needs to be done. She does not want an audience. People hanging around, especially children make Mom extremely nervous. Sometimes the poor gal gets so confused she wants nothing to do with her new litter. Face it, this is not educational television here.
Personally I think some humans have some pretty strange ideas about pets. It is our duty to keep those people in line and teach them how to be good servants to us who are most worthy.
My advice for the day is to take the leap. Be spayed. Be neutered. Be hip.