Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It's World Spay Day!

Do you have an unfixed cat?  At what age can you get your cat spayed or neutered?  What are the benefits to fixing your cat?  The purrfessionals here at the PDX pride will answer your questions!

Happy World Spay Day from all of us!

Rori here!  As the Big Kitty of the household, it is my solemn duty to inform you unspayed or unneutered cats of the blogosphere to get your acts together and schedule your fixing surgeries!  It's an important step in your independence as a cat-of-the-world to get this done!

1.  Spaying and neutering prevents unwanted and/or "surprise" litters.
2.  Spaying before the cat goes into heat for the first time greatly decreases a female cat's risk of breast cancer.  To learn more about breast cancer in cats, please visit our friend Sugar at her website:  Sugar Rub!
3.  Neutering greatly reduces a male cat's "nuisance" behavior, including spraying, yowling, and territorial marking, as well as makes the urine smell less strong.
4.  Spaying and neutering reduces the number of adult cats that are dumped, killed, and given to shelters.

I was spayed while I was in heat for the first time, which is more expensive than spaying while a cat is not in heat.  My yowling was intolerable, so that's why I was spayed while in heat.  However, this can create other health problems, such as weight gain.  I am now a very chunky girl!

Friends do not let friends go unspayed!  No, I am not having s*x with Smokey!  She went into heat for the first time, and I decided to discipline her by scruffing her.  I let her know that going unspayed is not tolerated in MY household!  She was much calmer after being spayed, and got adopted to Mama Erin soon after.
A happy, healthy, spayed Smokey!

Starla here to say how glad I am that I got spared the rigors of teen pregnancy!  My aunt had three kittens very young, and the boys were chasing me as well.  Somehow, I never got pregnant at that time, but most female kitties get pregnant their first time.  The next time I went into heat, my people had already scheduled my spay appointment through the Spay and Save program in Portland, Oregon, one of many low-cost spay and neuter programs around the country.

I was very lucky to get my spay when I did, because there were three male cats that were trying to get me pregnant.  If I hadn't had my spay, I'm sure I would have ended up a teen mama with a litter to find homes for, like my cousin Little Bit and my aunt Boo-Boo Kitty.

Hi, Little Bit here, and this is what happens when you don't get spayed!  I'm Smokey's sister, Rori's half-sister, and Starla's cousin.  My dad Spongebob (also Rori's dad) is an unfixed male who roams the neighborhood and has befriended all the ferals within a three-block radius.  His friends also included my mom, Boo-Boo Kitty, who had a litter of three.  My other sister, Baby Chiba, had a different dad and died as a kitten.  Yes, cats can get pregnant by more than one male in the same heat cycle, so the kittens in a litter can have different dads!

When I grew up, my original people didn't want my forever family to get me spayed, and so I remained intact.  My original people were not responsible pet owners!  They only decided to give me to my forever family after a tragic thing happened:

1.  My mama cat, Boo-Boo Kitty, got pregnant again and had a litter of four.
2.  I went into my first heat cycle just after my mama cat got pregnant and had a litter of four.  My kittens were born when I was five months old, just a kitten myself!  Two of my litter had the same dad as I, which is not unusual for cats.
3.  The dog my original family owned got pregnant by another of the same litter (the dog's brother, who was a neighbor) and had a litter of 10 puppies.
4.  My original people got an eviction notice because of the amount of animals in their house.
5.  They decided to take all of us kitties except two of Boo-Boo's kittens (who already had homes) to the humane society.  But after driving around to two humane societies, they were told that it was the middle of "kitten season" and the kittens would be put-to-sleep if they were surrendered.  The people didn't want that to happen.
6.  After hearing this from the second shelter they went to, they stopped by the side of the road and threw Boo-Boo Kitty out of the car, then drove away!  I still don't know what ever happened to her after that.
7.  They drove to a fast-food restaurant, rolled down the window halfway, and went inside to eat.  Mind you, this was with my two 8-week-old baby sisters, myself, and my litter of four three-week-old boys in the vehicle.  When they got back out to the vehicle, they didn't see me and drove off anyway.
8.  They went back home and brought my baby sisters over to my forever family, two houses down, and told them the story I've just told you.  My forever daddy human was so mad that he took my baby sisters inside and left my forever mommy human to talk to the lady.
9.  My mommy went to get the box with my kittens in it from the lady's vehicle and found me in there as well!  She brought all of us back home with her.
10.  My new family found homes for all of us, but only I stayed with them as part of their forever family.  Everyone else who came with me on that horrid trip found wonderful new homes!  One of my babies had a birth defect, but even he found a forever home for the few months he lived.

I went into heat again a few days after we got to our new family's home.  Yes, I was nursing my three-week-old boys at the time, and continued to nurse.  I could've gotten spayed while I was still nursing, but my people chose to wait until I'd weaned the kittens to spay me.

I'm Tigress, and I was a teen mom as well.  However, my family chose to have my kittens spay-aborted because I was a feral kitten at the time of my pregnancy.  I was spayed through a trap-neuter-return program run by the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, which provides low-cost or free spays and neuters, first vaccinations, and humane trap rentals.  If I hadn't had my spay, there would have been at least two and possibly as many as five more feral cats that would have needed socializing, feeding, trapping, spaying or neutering, and adoption.  I got pregnant at the age of 4 months.

Please don't wait to get spayed or neutered!  Tell your humans to schedule your surgery today!  If your humans need financial assistance, it is available in most areas of the U.S. and Canada, and in some other countries as well.  If you are a feral cat, please tell your human to visit the Alley Cat Allies website for more information.

For World Spay Day events in your area, check out the official website.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cat-A-Lympics "Snow Day" Event!

Panther reporting from the Cat-A-Lympic stadium!  The cathletes have all gathered for the first events, and are ready to go!  The spectators are gathering on their blankies and strollers along the edges of the snowfield for the "Snow Day" event, hosted by us here at the PDX pride.  Our judge, Grandma, is taking her place at the judges' stand.

Watch your paws, kitties and doggies!  This snowfield is extra-thick, over 5 inches plus a sheet of ice.  We don't want anyfurry to get hurt on the course!

Our first competitor is Tigress.  She gracefully dances around the snowfield, skimming the top, then ends her performance by pawing together a snowball.  Wow!

If you would like to pawticipate in the "Snow Day" event, here's what you do:

1.  Grab the Cat-A-Lympics event badge at the bottom of this page.
2.  Post it on your blog somewhere with a link back to this blog post.
3.  Create a blog post with your "Snow Day" entry and link back to this blog post.  Your entry must have a pawticipant of some non-human species, snow, and be a real photo or video.  Editing for photo quality is ok, but no extreme photoshopping, please.  That would be unsportsmanlike!
4.  Leave a comment on this post letting us know you're entering the event!

We'll post the list of pawticipants here through Caturday, Feb. 22nd.  We'll post the gold, silver, and bronze winners on Sunday, Feb. 23rd.

Good luck to all pawticipants, and stay safe during the Cat-A-Lympics!

"Snow Day" event pawticipants, in order of entry:

Tigress of the PDX pride (see above)

Friday, February 7, 2014

News Repurrt: Feral Friday, Weather Watch, and New Visitors!

Rori writes:

See how much snow we've gotten?  It all has fallen within the last 16 hours, at the time of purring this repurrt.  We were supposed to get about 5 inches yesterday, but I think we got more than that!  I'm happy that my clowder stays inside and Tigress joins us on days like this.

Tigress writes:

I'm glad, too, Auntie Rori!  Although, I had a lot of fun squishing the snow between my paws to make little snowballs on the deck earlier, and pounced around a lot, but that's before it got as deep as it is.  And as cold as it is!  I slept under the rose bushes for a while, but then I got too much snow on me, so I moved to sleep behind the spare tire that's leaning up against the wall.  That way, I didn't get too much snow on my fur.  I much prefer sleeping inside, though!

I've wanted to stay outside a lot of the time for two reasons, and both have to do with visitors!  There's an orange kitty that's been hanging around in my territory, and I've got to show him that he's trespassing!  Daddy saw him two nights ago, but the kitty didn't stay to be seen long.  Good!  This is my house and my yard.  Daddy says I need to share for a while until they can see if the kitty needs taking care of or if it has a home.  It can't have this home, though.

The other visitor is inside, and she's actually not a true visitor.  She's moved in.  Her name's Grandma.  I've made a meowing acquaintance with her through the back door, and seen her sometimes when I've been inside, but new humans really scare me.  I always ask my purrents for out when I see her.  She tries to not scare me, but it will be a while until I get used to her.

Heimdall writes:

Oh, Tigress!  You don't need to worry about Grandma!  She's very nice and loves all of us.  She calls us her grandcats, which we are, and she makes stuff for us.  She gives us blankies she's made, and pets us with her feet (which I know you like).  She can't pet us with her hands right now because she's not feeling well, but she finds other ways to let us know she loves us.  She's moved into the room with the big bed, but Daddy sleeps on the couch and Mommy sleeps on the little bed, so you can still snuggle with them!  That's what the rest of us do.  We wish we were allowed in Grandma's room, but we can't be up on the bed or chairs or snuggle with her.  Even Carbon waits outside the room until he knows she's asleep before continuing with his evening!  Rori has let Grandma see her, and that's saying a lot!