Why Are There So Many Homeless Cats

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Just call him Inspector Dexter, indeed. My dog found a missing cat last summer and I am beaming with pride.  This can happen to any of us at any time, and by keeping our eyes open imagine the number of missing pets that can be reunited with their frantic, panicked pet parents. In honor of Adopt a Cat Month, allow me to re-tell this tale and ask for assistance from this very savvy community of cat parents and bloggers. This also opened my eyes to the epidemic of homeless cats. Keep reading…

While walking my dog at lunch one day last summer, a family member and I spied a sign posted to a telephone pole. Missing cat, specific details, bright purple color, and all the hallmarks of an attention-getting notice. We noticed. A black and white 7-year-old female cat went missing and is very friendly, the sign beckoned. Maxx misses his little sister. Poor Maxx!!! I snapped a photo of the poster in case we ran into the lost little girl on our walk.

cat rescue poster

So while on the walk, Dexter, my dog, starts doing his wigglebutt shimmy towards a bush. Out of the bushes, here comes a black and white, very friendly, collarless cat. She lay down and my little boy lay down near her, staring and wagging. My family member scooped her up and off we were to reunite kitty with cat mom.

Little Miss found us. After a series of phone calls and inability to reach the missing cat owner, we were able to enlist the help of a lovely elderly neighbor who said the cat had been missing a week. She thanked us, allowed Little Miss to stay with her and a family will be reunited.

cat rescue

Ironically, over the last 10 years or so, 12 missing dogs and now one missing cat have all placed themselves in my life’s path. They literally found me. In this case, Little Miss found Dexter. Keep your eyes open when walking your dog. Listen for a familiar jingle in your front lawn. Someone’s pet could be missing and you (or your dog) could be the one to help reunite them.

So Now What and How Can You Help

Since this episode, I have become more astute to the cold reality of how many cats are literally roaming the streets. Calls to local animal organizations are not too helpful: They know there is a problem. I can try to “catch” a cat and take him or her to the local shelter. And then what? Many of us know that sad end result in most cases.

Last month, my significant other found a stray cat and her babies in the garage of a neighbor. We left water for the mama and put some blankets down. She was gone two days later, her kittens in tow. No one knows what happened and this breaks my heart: Did we frighten her?

BP_June_Adopt_local

I cannot begin to tell you the number of stray cats we encountered as we went across the country in May via car. How and why is this such an epidemic? How can we get people to spay and neuter cats? What programs are working and what needs to happen?

I admit to needing help on this front: I am a dog mom who loves all animals and wants to help cats, too. What can be done and why is this such an epidemic? How can we get people to wake up, treat animals with respect, and be as savvy as my dog: Simply reach out and help!?

I’m all ears.