There are many aspects of Cats Protection that I like and one of them is the fact that no cat is euthanised unless there is a genuine need to do so. In other words, the word “euthanise" is actually being used correctly. When a cat is euthanised it means that the cat is deliberately killed because that is the humane thing to do under the circumstances which would invariably be severe or terminal illness, which makes the only solution, to put the cat to sleep, viable.
You will find all over the world that the word “euthanise" is often misused. It is used in a way which is misleading and which is designed to validate what is inherently incorrect and unethical, namely, to kill perfectly healthy cats because they have no home to go to.
|Raised by Louise from 2 days of age (see below). Photo: Louise Mullins|
This website has given donations to the Chelmsford branch of Cats Protection in recognition of articles written by Sarah Hartwell for the website. She lives in Chelmsford. Chelmsford Cats Protection helps hundreds of needy cats each year. The annual cost is £70,000.
Taking September 2013 as an example, 54 cats were taken in at the branch that month and 43 cats were re-homed. In November, for example, 27 cats were taken in, while 35 were re-homed. I think that gives an idea of the throughput of cats at the branch.
In October of 2013 the Chelmsford branch of Cats Protection had their fiftieth anniversary. They celebrated the event with afternoon tea at the Miami Hotel with speeches by the Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress. Afternoon tea included sandwiches, scones, cream and jam with cake and lashings of British tea! It seems like it was a very British affair.
Sometimes the staff have to hand rear newborn kittens. An example is Harry who was left in a child's shoebox on the reception desk (see picture above). Louise Mullis raised him. When she started, Harry was 2 days old and his eyes were shut. He was put into an incubator, initially, and fed a special veterinary formula kitten milk. Then Harry went home with Louise. He was fed every 2 hours and that means 24/7. That's dedication.
Louise admits that hand rearing is a job that they would rather not have to do as cats care for their young in a much better way than people can ever do. Despite raising a newborn from scratch being exhausting it is highly rewarding because the caregiver sees a vulnerable bundle of fluff turn into a thriving, beautiful and handsome cat.
Volunteers at Cats Protection who look after kittens and cats are often asked whether they're going to keep the cat and I can see why that question is asked. A close bond must be created if you raise a newborn to adulthood. There must be a desire to hang on to the kitten but common sense and a sensible approach puts a check on that, kicks in, and the cat is found a new loving home.
I suppose every Cats Protection volunteer could become a cat hoarder unless there is a lot of common sense together with a practical and realistic approach to their work.