FFS and the Pandemic
Updated: Sep 7, 2021
Things are not much different around the sanctuary for the kitties right now, other than less visitors and more time with the mommy figure. Living on an island, we are always prepared for some sort of disaster which may force us to stay in place and carry on. Having enough kitty supplies is our top priority, as the cats wouldn't be interested in the lentils and grains in my pantry! Unfortunately all upcoming FFS events are postponed until further notice. We are still collecting rummage sale items, as we wait to book another date. I truly hope that by the time gorgeous, warm weather rolls around, we can host some additional events at the sanctuary.
On the larger view, this pandemic is greatly impacting humane shelters and adoptions. Folks likely don't want to adopt if their economic situation is questionable and may even be surrendering their animals if the shut-downs drag on. Fostering animals currently in shelters is the best way you can help animals right now. Foster cats only need a spare bedroom or bathroom (with a window preferably) and your resident animals don't need to interact with them. Kittens are already springing up, so possibly fostering and socializing wee ones is more your thing. If fostering is impossible, then donating food for feral cat color caretakers, directly to rescues and shelters and to food banks, is the next best action.
Public spay/neuter clinics are facing closures and limited hours, so sadly we could see an increase in litters born. Please keep an eye and ear out for abandoned cats and kittens when you go for walks. Never remove a litter without waiting hours for the mom to return. If she is a community cat then she needs to be trapped and spayed as soon as her kittens can eat food on their own (about 4 weeks). Nursing cats can be altered, as well as pregnant cats. Getting kittens before 6 weeks of age is imperative in order for them to be properly socialized and "adoptable" by regular folks. Be cautious about taking underage into a shelter - not all shelters have foster homes in place able to handle neonate kits and they may end up killing them. Fortunately there are many excellent feline resources in Western WA, where the kitties will be safely cared for until they can be altered.
In "hard times," animals and especially cats, often experience the trickle down of peoples' woes. People feel overwhelmed, so they throw their animals overboard so to speak. Our companion animals depend on us ESPECIALLY in hard times. They are there for us all the time, not just when we have "enough" money, or are in perfect health. Let's change this cultural norm and use this crisis to really grasp what's important in our lives - our commitments to those who depend on us every day. Those cute, silly, sometimes naughty and annoying, fuzzy little beings we need too.