Monday, December 21, 2009
The Purr-fect Gift: A Second Chance at Life
"Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to. "
- Alfred A. Montapert
Would you consider the saving of a life to be an ideal Christmas gift to yourself? Well, two young men obviously did!
On Friday, my friend Dr. Ong called me to inquire as to cat adoption procedures. Her teenage sons, Nigel and Andrew, did not want a PS3, Wii or new cellphone for Christmas. Instead, they wanted a pet cat to love and to care for. Dr. Ong wanted to know if I had any cats left for adoption under Project Second Chance, which is my personal initiative to vaccinate, rehabilitate, neuter and rehome stray animals, but I did not. All the cats that were not adopted are now permanently living with me and are as attached to me as I am to them.
I recommended that they adopt a cat from the SPCA, as the number of animals abandoned and surrendered increases dramatically every holiday season. There are too many people who consider getting rid of their pets as part of their spring-cleaning duties, and many others who have no qualms about surrendering their pets rather than making arrangements for boarding when they wish to go away on vacation. Too many animal lives are needlessly terminated due to overcrowding and lack of capacity.
I informed Dr. Ong that I would be at the SPCA on Saturday and would be able to assist them with the adoption process.
Nigel, Andrew and their dad Chris spent some time getting to know the animals. Andrew took a special liking to Ginger, a one-year-old neutered tomcat.
Their mum, Dr. Ong, signed the adoption papers. The boys will not be eligible to sign the adoption documents until they are 18. This is to reduce the likelihood of animals being adopted by well-intentioned youngsters who may not have a sufficiently strong sense of responsibility to care for an animal. To bring an animal home, care for it for several days and then return the uncomprehending and miserable animal to the shelter when you find that you are unable to cope with the responsibility would be cruel indeed.
Fortunately, I do not foresee that the Patterson boys would be capable of any act of neglect or irresponsibility. They have a weekend job doing delivery work in their neighbourhood and will be using their hard-earned money to purchase cat food and litter with!
"Two cats are easier to care for than one," I advised Dr. Ong. Cats are social creatures and will be happy to have each other's company. Further, if you have two cats, you will not have to feel so guilty about going out and leaving poor Kitty alone at home for the evening.
Her kind-hearted family agreed, especially since there was a tiny kitten in the same cage as Ginger, and they did not have the heart to leave him behind.
Meet the newest members of the Patterson family, Ginger the Tomcat and Rusty the Kitten!
Andrew and Nigel couldn't wait to bring their new pals home. Thank you so much for saving their lives, guys! I hope you have a Paw-some Christmas!
Many more lonely animals await a new home at the SPCA Animal Shelter and from the Independent Pet Rescuers and other Kuala Lumpur-based animal rescue groups. Would you have room in your heart and home for one?