The Monday Rant: Fed up with Starvation

jessie 6The Monday Book will return next week.

Dear ____:

You asked me for a cat, but on learning you’d have to put $20 toward her spay, went to a yard sale site and got a “free kitten” instead. Then you posted on Facebook that you were “all for rescues but I can’t afford to help with the costs.”

I see.

Via Facebook, you also complain about welfare recipients taking this country apart with their demands for free services and refusal to contribute to the common good. This week, four of my friends are trying to feed, foster, and find homes for: 14 kittens and 5 adult cats; 18 kittens and 7 adult cats; 6 kittens and 4 adult cats; and a feral family of five. Most have some form of infection from lack of care.

We live within ten miles of each other.

In each case, we are paying–from our own pockets, from crowdsource begging, from crafts we make–to get them all spayed and neutered. Because we know if we don’t, five months from now we will be bottle feeding another sick, starving family of neglected cats.

This doesn’t count the litters that go to the shelters because their owners “couldn’t afford” to spay Mom.

Here is some information on what it costs taxpayers to run an animal shelter:

 In 1972, American shelters spent approximately $800 million on animal welfare versus around $2,400 million in 2007.there is a direct correlation between the dollars spent per capita on shelters and the decrease in shelter populations/euthanasia. (

In other words, it is cheaper to kill than to adopt. It is understandable that you need to live a frugal lifestyle, but does that mean you euthanize the unsold Doberman puppies from your backyard breeding business? $900 as the going price seems like it might offer a little bit of discretionary income, but hey, it’s your money.

None of us object to you living on what you can afford; we object to you leaving us to clean up your messes. What you refuse to pay for, my friends and I are covering in sweat, tears, and cold hard cash: sick cats whose suffering could have been prevented with a $16 vaccination package; unweaned kittens left in roadside boxes where it takes them two days to die of starvation; 6 of 10 cats entering our shelter euthanized at taxpayer expense because $67 on the Margaret Mitchell van was “too much.”

The cost of refusing to spay/neuter is exponential, but if I have understood you correctly, so long as you don’t pay, you don’t care. Let bleeding hearts like me pick up the tab and the kittens. It’s a kind of legal blackmail based on personalities: we care; you don’t. La-la-la-la.

Not taking responsibility for your actions does not remove the problem, just passes it to someone else. Sorta like those welfare people you complain about.

You are not despicable. You are evil.

In which Owen Meany, Staff Kitten, Introduces Himself

Hi! I’m Owen Meany, staff kitten here at Tales of the Lonesome Pine Used Books and Internet Cafe. This is my human mum’s blog, but she was very tired today and said I could do it, if I promised to pay close attention to my spelling. (We have been working hard on foniks this week.)

My job here at the bookstore is to make the customers feel happy. I let them pick me up and rub my tummy and nuzzle me with their faces. I don’t mind; most of the people who shop here smell nice–like meat, or candy.

There are a lot of kittens here, more than I have paws, so I don’t know how many that is. They are all looking for homes. I came here with a group of kittens looking for a home, too, but I just kept quiet and worked really hard at learning to use the box and keeping my fur clean and bright-white. I also learned a nice way of meowing very quietly that Mum says is endearing. So I got to stay.

Mostly all the kittens go away again, to a place where they get tutored or played, Mama says, and then they go to live with someone who wants to give them a nice home. All the kittens get named after famous books or famous characters. There’s been a Bronte series, and a Harry Potter series, and a Louis Gibbons series, and a lot of others. The kittens right now are “Shades of Grey,” because they’re all grey, I guess.

We have a lot of bookshelves here, which is fun because if I’m careful I can squeeze over the tops of the books between the shelves. It’s like a secret tunnel system through the shop. I run through the tunnels and jump out into customers’ laps when they’re sitting down looking at the books. Once I did this and a lady screamed so loud Mama came running. The lady was not pleased. I think it had something to do with the sign above her head: “P-A-R-A-N-O-R-M-A-L R-O-M-A-N-C-E-S.” Mama says I will get tutored soon, so not to worry about what R-O-M-A-N-C-E-S spells.

I like it here at the bookshop; every day I make the rounds to be sure everything is tidy. If there are bits of fluff or fur on the floor I bat them away. I also keep the shop dogs in line; someone has to! And then when we open I run around the customers and make them happy. It’s a very good life, being a bookstore staff kitten. I hope my friends back at the shelter get a good life like this one!