The first one I remember was Saudi. Saudi was a tabby and white short haired kitten, I first met her when my daughter and I started as volunteers at an animal shelter. We had already adopted three adult spayed female cats and decided that was enough as we were on a low income at the time. Plus we really were not prepared for a kitten. So we did not adopt her, but visited her twice a week regularly as well as visited the other cats as part of the volunteer program.
As it happened my husband passed away and I found myself spending more and more time at the shelter to keep busy, they needed staff and hired me. Minimum wage, but it was a job I was passionate about doing. Anyhow, Saudi had been for adoption for a long time, and I was unable to take her, fearing I could not afford another cat, as such she (and several others that week) was euthanized. I did what was right for us at the time, however wrong it was for her. Two weeks later my widows pension kicked in, only $300 a month, it was just before Christmas.
Next was Thunder, he was a black and white fluffy kitten. I believe it was his misfortune to be given the name “Thunder” as it brought up negative connotations to people looking for cute, lovable kittens. The name sounded like a disaster in the making, as such he was never adopted and was euthanized too.
Countless others, euthanized because there were too many cats at the shelter and more coming in, most of which I remember somewhat, many of which never even made it into the adoption area because the area was full.
There was Sugar, a mother cat who came in with kittens, and while the kittens all got adopted right away, nobody was willing to give a mother cat a home. She was probably only one year of age.
Eventually I did adopt another adult cat. I was only sorry I could not have saved more, but the city had ruled that four cats was the maximum any one family could have, and probably for good reason.
Gypsy was a special girl too, calico, she had a great personality and was spared many times because the staff loved her so. She was the friendliest cat, anybody could hold her. We promoted her for adoption on television, newspaper ads, and so much more. Her down fall was that she got extremely upset, even depressed, when kenneled, as such she was not appealing, to the public, and never did get a home. Gypsy was two years old.
Oh yes, there were dogs and other animals at the shelter, and some of them were euthanized as well, but as a rule it was more often cats, and more often adults than kittens, although Saudi and Thunder were two exceptions, came in as only six or seven weeks of age, cute, but over looked, put down because at four months of age, they were not as “cute” as the younger ones.
There is no happy ending to this ramble, people who love animals will take the ones who are less adoptable and love them just as well, unfortunately there are so many that they will not all find homes. I never regretted working or volunteering at the shelter, it was a job I loved, and did well. Sad days, happy days. Animal shelter staff cannot control who picks what animal, and what life is saved, but one life saved is a life saved. Sadly a life lost, is a life lost.
Above – Ironically two cats who were born in the wild where I live looked remarkably like Saudi and Thunder. Pictured here are Kafka and Camus. These are 2 of my current 6 cats, I now live on 10 acres in the country. Both are neutered!
In the USA alone over 2.5 million cats, and kittens, are euthanized every year. The biggest problem is owners who do not spay, or neuter, their pets, and allow them to breed. Even one litter is too many. Please adopt, and save a life.
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