I have always owned a cat — or maybe I should say a cat has always owned me. I adore their quirky traits and loving personalities. They are low maintenance as a pet, so owning a cat does make it easier for most individuals. They do not require walking and their grooming requirements are quite low.
Every cat I have owned has been a rescue cat and they have been very charismatic and charming. My first cat came from the SPCA in Ottawa. I remember going to the shelter and being floored when I saw how many cats were looking for homes. That was more than 25 years ago, yet the never-ending parade of homeless cats continues.
Time marches forward and, luckily, life has changed immensely for homeless cats. Cats are no longer regarded as the poor cousin. They have been lifted to a coveted and well-deserved spot in our society. Numerous independent cat rescues have opened their doors and they are run by dedicated cat advocates. I believe animal advocacy is almost always a part of any rescue organization.
Cat rescue has become not only urgently important with animal advocates, but municipalities have become educated and involved with the health and welfare of local feral and dumped cats.
It is now illegal to leave a pet behind when you are moving. This was a common plight for owned cats and it was a heartbreaking situation for landlords. These cats often ended up at shelters confused, nervous and depressed. We are lucky to have new tough laws in place to protect owned cats from ending up homeless. Local municipalities now participate to protect feral cat colonies. Some have also donated funds to help with spaying or neutering cat colonies.
Some of the best people I know in animal rescue are the individuals who rescue homeless cats. They spend their evenings, weekends and holidays driving to different neighbourhoods or rural areas to tend to cat traps or feed cat colonies. It is backbreaking work and it would test any person’s inner resolve for humanity.
If you would like to help homeless cats, please contact a local cat rescue. They need help with funding, or you can donate cat carriers, specific litter, food, cleaning supplies, beds, towels, bowls and many other items. If they have a shelter for their cats, I am confident they would warmly welcome your assistance in caring for the felines. You can assist in socializing the cats so they can find a terrific forever home.
If you are looking to adopt a rescue cat, please look in a local shelter, rescue or even call your local veterinary clinic. Your veterinarian may be aware of a cat looking for a new home.
There are many homeless cats in Nova Scotia looking for a new home. All a cat needs is time, patience and love to settle into a new routine. They will repay you with loyalty and affection.
Please be kind to animals.
Tracy Jessiman is a pet portrait artist who lives in Halifax with her husband and their three pets. She is a volunteer with Animal Rescue Coalitions of Nova Scotia. She has been rescuing animals most of her life, but more intimately, animals rescued her.