16 November 2014
By Joanna Dunn Samson, FOTAS Director
“What greater gift than the love of a cat.”
I love cats, I really do – so if cats have gotten short shrift in this column over the past year, it’s only because I am obsessed these days with my beloved shelter dogs and constant companions, Maggie and Jack.
Actually, my very first animal loves were cats.
When I was in grade school, a long, white cat named Gussie kept my sister April and I company when our mother was at work, stretching out on the couch between us while we muddled through our homework.
There was Nicky, a big yellow tabby who terrorized my mother into feeding him into obesity because he tackled her ankles when she walked through the kitchen.
My heart of hearts was Poo Cat, a tuxedo cat of advanced years who appeared on my doorstep one bitterly cold December day in 1978 while I was cramming for law school exams. She quickly made herself at home, settling on the table and playing with my pencils while I read, perching on the toilet each morning as I dried my hair, and curling up on the pillow next to me while I slept. To this day, the thought of Poo Cat makes me weep.
Personable, affectionate and mysterious, it is no wonder cats are the most popular pets in the world. They were considered sacred in ancient Egypt and revered as exalted souls in various ancient religions. In Norse mythology, the goddess of beauty, love and fertility, Freyja, traveled the skies in a chariot drawn by two cats.
Pam Borger, who recently adopted Bubba, a white and gray cat with emerald eyes, from the Aiken County Animal Shelter, has been a cat lover all her life.
“Cats are so easy,” says Pam. “They are meticulously clean, affectionate and low maintenance – you don’t have to walk them three times a day or spend weeks house-training them. You don’t have to take them to obedience school.
Plus, cats are less needy than dogs – more independent, happy to be with you, but perfectly content without you.”
“You think they’re as smart as dogs?” I ask.
Pam laughs. “I once read a quote by Jeff Valdez [a popular television writer and producer]? He said, ‘Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.’”
Think about it; he has a point. Plus, cats make ideal companions for people who don’t have room or outside facilities for a dog, people who work, and people who live alone. Cats are terrific pets for children – playful, kind and non-aggressive.
Thousands of cats and kittens pass through the doors of the Aiken County Animal Shelter every year. In fact, cats and kittens make up the majority of animals at the shelter at any given time, which means, sadly, more adoptable cats are euthanized each year than dogs.
But here’s the good news: it also means you will have lots of choices when you decide it’s time to bring one of these regal creatures into your home and heart.
Here’s more good news. During the month of November, you can adopt a fully spayed/neutered, wormed and inoculated cat or kitten for only $10.
That’s a small price to pay for so much love; just ask Julie Seremak and her newly adopted kitten, Gretchen.
BY THE NUMBERS
On Nov. 12, FOTAS’s Fix-A- Pet program organized the pick-ups of 28 pets and funded their surgeries.
On Nov. 11, FOTAS organized the transfer of 11 dogs, three on the “urgent” list, to a northern partner humane society.
PETS OF THE WEEK
Peppermint— Female, Terrier mix — 2 years old — 23 lbs — $70.00
Crunch — Male, Domestic Short Hair adult cat — $10.00