Post 303: Sochi Winter Olympics dog slaughter

I will not watch or support in any way the Winter Olympics because of the slaughter of the stray dogs of Sochi. Dogs are not the problem. It’s people who create these situations, and humane solutions, while difficult and expensive, perhaps, are needed, not bullets or poison.

As a responsible pet owner, as someone who earlier rescued two cats and who periodically makes donations of cat food to the local animal shelter, I can not watch these games without feeling I’m betraying my need to promote responsible care of pets.

America, for that matter, can do better with regards strays and pets, too.

Contribute time, money, food, whatever you can to local shelters and encourage them to become no-kill facilities if they aren’t already. If you want a cat or dog, adopt from the local pound instead buying one at the pet store. Shelter pets are in great need of love and a good home.

Learn as much as you can about the type of animal you adopt into your home before you adopt them because you are responsible for the quality of life of that pet until it dies. Even little details like knowing you need to have one litter box per cat plus one can make a big difference to the cat and to you in how well they adapt to life with you or other cats in the household. Knowing that a Jack Russell terrier is a high energy dog before you get one prepares you to spend lots of time with it playing doggy games and taking it on walks to wear off that energy. Know these sorts of details before you adopt!

Responsible pet ownership involves more than tying up your pet in the backyard and forgetting about it. They need your love and attention. They are social animals. They need food and water, shelter from the elements, grooming, current vaccinations for all diseases your veterinarian recommends vaccinations for. Always spay or neuter your pets, especially if they are outside animals.

Provide care appropriate for each stage of their lives. Kittens and puppies are a delight. They quickly grow into adults, however, and suffer many of the same illnesses and disabilities geriatric humans do when they reach the later years of life. Know what diseases and disabilities your pet is likely to suffer, especially pedigree animals that have more genetic issues than mixed breed animals, and prepare to deal with the needs brought on by those issues.

Sometimes they have severe medical needs because of disease or when injured by other animals, bad people, or they are in street accidents with trucks and cars. Those are more reasons to keep them inside or in a place where they can run free in the yard but be fenced in. Veterinarian bills can run into the hundreds and thousands of dollars. Don’t kid yourself about that possibility!

Sochi didn’t just happen. People in their ignorance and indifference to the needs and eventual suffering of their dogs failed to prevent the circumstances that lead to it, but the dogs pay the final price.

kitten “ornithologists”

I have an interest in birds, and am, in fact, a life member of Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union.

I like birds. They are cheerful, often brightly colored bits of fluff that decorate our trees year around. Many migrate, so there is anticipation of their return each year that adds to the excitement of seeing them again on the bird bath or on a tree or feeder.

There is a fir just outside my computer desk window that is a reliable bird tree year around, a detail quickly learned by Andy and Dougy, my two smoke Persian kittens. For you who’ve followed their story, parenthetically, I note they turn nine months old April 1st, but back to the main thought: The kitten brothers are avid bird watchers!

I have no intention of letting the boys become outside or partly outside cats because of the dangers there of injury from animal or human encounters. Mosquitoes and other cats are potential disease hazards to the boys, too. They had a rough start in life as kittens, so I’m a bit over-protective of their health and safety. An ounce of prevention…!

The kittens aren’t without their window on the world. They are too small yet, possibly ever to look out the back door screen. (I have no idea how big they’ll grow.) That is a prime place, however, to view the outside world in relative safety. To that end, I set up a children’s chair that they can sit and stand on to view birds flying in to use a bird bath just outside the door. It has been a huge success!

View the video by clicking on the link below.
The kitten brothers like to watch birds.

This kitten brothers have a fan club that covers the world, yet their world is only as big as my apartment. I know they will live longer, happier lives as inside cats, getting their bird watching done looking out the windows and back door!


It is my brother’s birthday today, March 23rd! Happy Birthday, Richard!


Katzenjammer” is German for (roughly) wailing cats, which, as anyone who sleeps in summer with open windows knows is a dreadful, piercing, yammering yowl from Hell – or two cats in “love”.

The product of the Katzenjammer frequently is a litter of kittens.

Did you know that the female and male cats mate frequently when the female is in estruous? That each kitten in a litter can have a different father? That a female can become pregnant as young as five months old, bear up to five litters a year? That cats don’t go through menopause, but can reproduce up to death? That if you keep kittens past sexual maturity, they will bred with any available cat of the opposite sex, including each other or one of their parents?

Zack Scott recently posted this important video on adoption of found pets.

You’ve seen the cat hoarder on “Animal Planet” with a house so polluted with cat urine and feces from an over-population of cats that the house has to be demolished. One cat hoarder, one pregnant cat, sufficient time- as little as a year -and that’s all it takes! Most of the cats from these houses are either sick or have to be euthanized.

There’s a mistaken notion that letting your female cat have one litter before spaying results in a better-adjusted, healthier cat for the long term. Veterinarians dispute this notion. Nor will your cat companion get fat in consequence- unless you over-feed it!

In a world where half of the cats and dogs ending up in pounds are euthanized as humanely as possible (which is killed nonetheless), it does not make any sense to allow your pets to reproduce on your whim or by accident. Again: male pets should be neutered, females should be spayed.

Most of you reading this are, I hope, people who do neuter or spay your pet, do take the necessary steps to assure your pet is happy and safe, do get all the required shots at the required time, do license your pet if required by the jurisdiction where you live, do love and provide for your pet’s physical and emotional needs. The Lord bless you people!

The ones who most need to read this probably still don’t get it, if they read this far. More’s the shame.

Zack Scott’s excellent appeal to adopt found animals focused me on a long-time need. I’ve considered all changes adopting a found cat will cause me, not to mention will cause the cat. I’m not the easiest fellow to live with! Ha!

I thought I'd test-drive a used cat resting on my shoulders. Looks pretty good!
Here’s a prototype cat resting on my shoulders. Looks pretty danged good!

The big question is: Am I ready to have a cat companion? What do I need to have in place before I even bring a kitten or cat home? Do I need to cat-proof (ha!) my apartment first? I know Dieffenbachias can poison cats, so I need to find a home for that plant at least. Do I have any other plants that can harm a cat? Am I financially able to take care of a cat? Pay for spaying or neutering? Provide adequate toys, attention, and amusements for the cat? At my age and with my health issues, am I likely to outlive the cat? I mean, what needs to happen in my life to make cat adoption a bad idea?

I think I can do better with a mature or very mellow young cat that likes to be cuddled. I knew a cat like that, a neutered cat that belonged to my neighbors. We got along very well indeed, and he established in my mind that I am not only a dog person but a cat person as well.

Naturally, then, I e-mailed my sister in Seattle because she has a tuxedo cat (Sox), and knowledge of what I need to consider before adopting a cat. This is a big step! Her response helps me feel positive about going ahead with the adoption.

I’m almost through assembling the necessities for happy cathood. Mine will be an indoor cat, spayed or neutered, that may be allowed supervised trips outdoors on a harness leash. Maybe.

Next time- I hope!- a blog entry about a new found cat.