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The Grey Feral Twins and the Black Prince

Story ID:4493
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Lakewood Ohio USA
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This morning I went down to my partially renovated basement which has
been the home of some 35+ cats over the last 30 years. I was eager to see how
Penny and Patrick- two feral grey twin cats were doing after being altered by
the APL of Cleveland at the nominal price of $40 each. I was so very grateful
for that since I am hurting financially like so many of us and couldn't afford
the $300 my friend Jan of New Jersey said she paid for ONE in a traditional
animal hospital setting!

Even though I paid Monica to drive me there as I am less than a stellar driver,
this was a huge saving for my deflated wallet! Monica was a dear to do this
for us as she is forever cleaning homes --trying to keep the bodies and souls
together of herself, her four children, a cat and a dog.

Bringing food down this morning I was glad to see both Penny and Patrick mobile.
Penny was wary of me though because she didn't want to be enclosed in a cage again.
I had taken her on a "journey" twice already in a cage and each time she fought the
incarceration tooth and nails. The first time I took her to a low cost spaying vet
near by- we came back the same evening!

The vet had become angry and upset with me when I told him that I wrote a letter
to the editor of our community newspaper re the irresponsible people in my
environs who let their cats roam unaltered and kittens have been appearing -
Penny and Patrick having been two of them. He sadly knew what would happen
in my town - the "shelter" people would come out and hunt them down and kill
them. He wouldn't use the gentler euphemism - "put them to sleep" and indeed,
for someone who cares about cat lives - there should be kindler alternatives.
And of course, TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) is one.

And then what he did next astounded me. He put Penny back in the cage and
told me to go somewhere else! Aside from being unprofessional, he was also
very unkind. I had a hard time getting Penny in the cage and for the first time
ever I had to grab her by the scruff of her neck to get her in. Ditto -Patrick but
failing to click the gate door properly, he burst out and I couldn't catch him again.
I also had to ask a friend to take Penny and me to the vet because he wanted
the cats in at 5:30 in the evening. While it was still light then, coming back I
knew I would have difficulty with these old eyes driving at night.

Before this unsavory incident this vet had helped me trap "Prince" a beautiful
black cat who seemed to be feral. The doctor had set two traps on my porch
and I called him the next day telling him that we had captured him. He came
by and took Prince still in the cage to his hospital. He called me the next day
telling me that he had to operate on Prince's mouth because there was a growth
there. He would keep him till week's end to give him medicine and to monitor
his mouth. When he brought him back, he suggested I release him. He said he
felt that Prince was mean because he bit his assistant. Maybe, but I would
imagine he bit because he was hurting. Nevertheless, at week's end, Prince
was released and I would continue to feed and medicate him for the following
week. Thank God- it seems Prince will be well and would produce no more babies!

The vet had placed two traps on my porch. Sunday morning I found someone
else in the trap but it was not a cat. It was an oppossum. I feel sorry for
these creatures as I do all living beings, but sadly they seem not to have
a place of safety and refuge with us any more. I called the doctor to see if I
could open the cage to let him out and he said -no. He would come around
and release him. If I opened the cage, he might bite me and then he would
have to cut his head off to determine if he was rabid. He was released
unharmed and I would like him to know that he is welcome to enjoy any food
and water I place on the porch.

So now I had to turn to the APL for Penny and Patrick. Marta of APL was very kind
and explained that I would have to bring the 2 cats in on Thursday or Friday
by 8:30 in the morning and then they would have to be picked up the same day
between 3:30 and 4. I was to bring a can of food for each of them.

Because of Monica's hectic schedule, we were late for both appointments but
Marta was kind and understanding. Finally picking them up, I was so relieved
to see them both eating from the can of shredded salmon in the cage with
them and Patrick's was gone enroute home. Although groggy - Penny was
still trying to finish hers when I let her out of the cage at home.

I hope anyone reading this will understand the importance of altering your
cats (and dogs). Even though I did not allow my indoor cats to go outside, of
course they still needed to be altered and were. I am proud to say that none
of my cats or dogs ever gave birth. It is a terrible fallacy to think that children
should be exposed to the "miracle of birth" --unless you follow up with the
horrors of death so many of these animals experience -- freezing to death,
dying of thirst, being struck by an automobile, etc. I will never forget the
one morning seeing a tiny black kitten crushed by the curb. Someone should
bear responsibility for this, but sadly I doubt they ever will or even worse -care.

Please have a heart and neuter or spay both your cats and dogs. People who
love their companion animals can do no less.

P.S. After writing this I received Animal People which had a front page article
entitled "$75 million offered to further non-surgical sterilization." Finally- some
real money which may lead to much needed nonsurgical sterilization research.
Of course, this will not be easy to develop, and if ever -will be some years down
the road. But hopefully if produced, it will lead to less animal suffering and cut
down on a lot of unnecessary and irresponsible pet breeding.

My hope too is that if it can be developed for cats and dogs, it will be developed
for other animals like the free range wild horses of the West. It is my
understanding that BLM's only recourse for thinning the herd was to sell the
overflow at auction. Of course, this was just what the horse slaughterhouses
wanted to make a tidy profit by providing horse meat for the rich tables of Europe.
This is not what "Wild Horse Annie" envisioned when she prevailed on Congress
to protect them all those years ago. She knew that horse slaughter is particularly
inhumane because of their size.