Spring Flowers Bloom, Birds Return, New Lives Begin...
and Other Lives in Jeopardy
With weather fluctuating between the 70's and snow, it's been hard to figure out what season it is, but by the official calendar - it's Spring. Spring is a time of hope, a time of rebirth, and a time when new lives begin. More kittens are born in April and May than any other months of the year. Perhaps surprisingly, a study by the University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute found that human births also have some seasonal variation, with births in the U.S. peaking around June. And so, in spring, soon-to-be families are setting up the nursery, gathering baby clothes, attending birthing classes... and taking their previous "baby", the family cat, and dropping her off at the shelter where, as she competes with the flood of cute kittens, she faces almost certain euthanasia. Allergies, fear of hurting the baby - the reasons are many. But... there is really little cause for concern, with appropriate precautions.
Achoo! What's the best thing to do to prevent your child from being allergic to cats? Would you believe... get a cat? Click the link to read more:
While enlightened people know that the old wives tale of cats smothering a baby because its mouth smelled like milk is just that - an old wives tale - the tale is alive, well, believed and sadly still repeated by many people even today (click on the link). Fortunately, enough people set her straight!
Other families-to-be fear a cat scratching their baby, or feel that they will no longer have any time to pay attention to their cat. Still others are told by misinformed doctors that their cats represent a health hazard to their pregnancy - but that is not true:
The same simple precautions that should be used when introducing a new cat to existing cats - should be used when introducing a cat to a new baby. After all - you wouldn't leave your big dog alone unsupervised with Junior, would you? Yet, no one ever says "what are you going to do about your dog" when finding out that you're pregnant - but it's all too common a question about cats. And so, sadly, the surrogate baby, the cat that has enjoyed love and a good life for many years, suddenly finds itself no longer young, at the shelter competing for attention with the kittens and inching ever closer to death with each passing day.
Berta says, "I love my brother very much, and I protect and take good care of him. I'm very glad we get along, because I would hate for my mom to have to return him...