Sunday, June 15, 2008


Soooo.... I've been a little quiet lately. I don't really have a good excuse. Mostly, I've just been feeling introspective, trying to make sense of things. Trying to find meaning in my current situation and understand the consequences of some of my decisions. No, there is nothing big going on. No crises. I'm just sorting some things out. I know how good it is to keep posting, to bounce ideas and opinions off of you. But I also have to do what feels right. And right now, keeping things in my own head or letting Dean help me get through things feels like the right thing. I'm still around, reading you guys and I'll continue to write when I feel like it. I'm just putting out a warning that I haven't really felt like it much lately. But, like all things good and bad, this too shall pass.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Adopt a (BLACK) Cat Month

June is "adopt a cat month" and while I do not condone the impulsive adoption of a pet (despite doing it ourselves), perhaps I can plant a little seed in your mind that will start with you pondering if you are able to open your homes to a first or additional kitty. Dean and I are in agreement that taking in another kitty while renting an apartment is not a good idea, especially while our lives are in transition. But we are also in agreement that once we own a home, our furry family will grow bigger still.

In case you still weren't convinced that the anemic economy affects literally every aspect of our world, let me assure you that our four-legged friends are feeling the pinch of our pocketbooks as well. The shelters are full and there is a long turnaround time. I have spoken with several rescue groups and no one is taking in new cats for adoption because cats and kittens are not being successfully adopted from shelters. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay alone has a waiting list of 300 cats that will continue to roam the streets until the cats that are already in that shelter start getting homes. With gas prices prohibitively high and grocery prices seemingly following a similar trend, taking on the financial commitment of caring for an animal is the last thing on people's minds. And, as witnessed by feral cat feeders, some people who can no longer afford the pets they have are abandoning them at feeding sites.

So are you thinking about whether or not you can give a loving home to a needy animal? May I suggest a black cat?

My first two cats as a child were black cats, which until I learned more about cats I thought was a coincidence. Both times they were the only kittens left for adoption. It was no coincidence, it seems that black cats statistically have a tougher time finding homes. First, the black pigmentation is a dominant trait among cats and was genetically selected for due to the camouflage it allows while hunting. As I have mentioned before, a good fraction of the dumpster kitties are black, including my favorite one:

I don't usually pick favorites, but this one actually lets me pet her on occasion and will eat from my hands. So not only do more black cats end up needing homes, but fewer actually end up in homes. People generally aren't as excited about adopting black cats and kittens, so they actually get adopted at a slower rate than cats with other types of markings. I'm not really sure why that is, maybe their plain coloring just doesn't grab the attention of perspective adopters. I don't imagine people are still superstitious about black cats, but who knows. And if things weren't tough enough for the black ones, even if you wanted to open your home to a black cat, you likely can't do it if it is October, because most shelters will not allow black cat adoptions close to Halloween (you can thank the cat-torturing psychos for that).

It seems that black cats have three strikes against them, which is why I am having such a hard time finding a place for Oscar. Oscar is a kitty who was dumped at my feeding site. He is all black and extremely affectionate. The kids in my complex named him Oscar and love him because he joins them on the playground everyday after school. But he still deserves a real home with a real family and his own food that isn't served behind a dumpster. That's how I know so many shelters are full. One group I contacted - they are run straight out of people's homes so can always take animals they feel are needy enough - were willing to listen to Oscar's story but promptly rejected him after asking about his coloring. I was so frustrated that I shrill-ly told the lady that animals should be afforded the same rights from discrimination that are afforded to people. She hung up on me.

So, to sum up: The economy sucks. People are not adopting pets. Now is an especially good time to go to and adopt a black cat, so says Allie.