Showing compassion to feral cats

By Trisha Gurley
By the time you read this it will be February, and love will be the theme of the month. Whether you find Valentine’s Day a happy occasion or a day you could take or leave, it’s a reminder that love indeed makes the world go ‘round.

The animal world gets that message loud and clear. There are tens of millions of feral cats nationwide, and Memphis, particularly CY, has its own feral population. The world isn’t a kind place to a feral cat trying to find food, shelter, and warmth on cold evenings. Alas, feral cats, like any animal, will follow their biological programming and breed as soon as they’re able to do so. Factor a female cat having a gestation period of only 65 days on average, and the feral population grows out of control fast. There are more cats roaming the streets in CY and in the City than there are resources to care for them.

Perhaps you’re a responsible pet owner who keeps their pet indoors and has had them spayed or neutered. Good job! Your pet is lucky to have you. However, take a moment to consider those who don’t have a caring human to look after them. My own cat, Milton, was a shelter kitty, and I don’t even want to think about what he may have endured before a good Samaritan brought him into the shelter for help.
Here is your chance to show some Valentine’s love to an animal that has likely had none. Mid South Spay and Neuter Services (MSNS) is again hosting Feral February. Cats will be spayed or neutered for free the entire month of February! Can’t get much cheaper than that, right?
The free spaying and neutering is for feral cats only. The MSNS staff or your veterinarian can inform you on how to humanely and safely trap a feral. Feral cats are seldom able to be domesticated into a calm and snuggly house pet, but their lives will be made much, much easier by being spayed or neutered. Best of all, you will have helped curtail the feral cat overpopulation in Memphis.

If your non-feral cat needs to be spayed or neutered, you are still in luck. February 22 is National Spay Day, and MSNS will offer 10% off its services that day! A rabies vaccination can also be given for no charge.

Should neither of these offerings be applicable to you or your pet, you can still show some love. MSNS survives on donations alone and needs people like you and me to keep their doors open. As cliché as it sounds, every little bit truly helps. If your donation helps just one cat be sterilized, you’ve helped prevent countless kittens (and later, their kittens!) from being born into a life of pain, abuse, starvation, injury, or illness.

Feel free to contact MSNS at 901-324-3202 or visit their website at spaymemphis.com. They are located at 854 Goodman and can answer any questions you may have. Let’s make CY and Memphis a place that is known for animal compassion in 2011!

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