In Honor of “The Basket”

We have this basket. It’s old, and it used to be a baby bassinette back when it was brand new. I’ve had it for years. These days, the basket is next to my desk so the cats can nap in it.

Just about every cat who comes through the house takes a nap in the basket. The permanent residents take turns pretty much every day, especially when its chilly.

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Aine
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Seamus

Even foster cats and my parents’ cats who sometimes visit spend time there.

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Tink
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Roo

Sometimes, there’s plenty of room for two, usually Emmett and a buddy.

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Emmett and Tink
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Emmett and Dickens

Other times, one cat passive-aggressively pokes around until another cat gets annoyed and vacates the basket.

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Emmett and Roo (she eventually got up)

Earlier this week, we bought two more baskets so that each cat has one. Emmett has immediately taken to one basket, which is shaped like the original bassinette but deeper.

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Emmett

The other one is in the “cat resort” my son set up for the cats with a toy attached to it. No one has napped in that one yet, but they’ve all sniffed around it and batted at the toy. All in good time; there’s a lot of winter napping time left!

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The “cat resort”

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Update: Dickens and Poe at Home

It’s been a little more than a month since Dickens and Poe were adopted and went to their forever home. I’ve been getting updates from their new family, and they are so happy! The boys took a couple of weeks to settle in, but now that they’re comfortable, they’re snuggling and playing and begging for attention — even shy guy Dickens.

We could not be happier for them!

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Noona Needs a Home!

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Look at beautiful Noona!

This gorgeous gray girl has been in foster care with Rescue Angels of Southern Maryland for several months now, and the Three Irish Cats wanted you to meet her. Noona is a year or two old, and she came into the rescue with Athena, who was adopted a couple of weeks ago. (Hooray for Athena!)

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Noona is shy and quiet, and she is fine with kids, adults, and other cats. In foster care, she’s even been OK with chill dogs! Noona is shy and may need time to settle in, but we think you’ll find it’s worth the wait. When she’s comfortable in a home, do you know what Noona loves to do?

Snuggle! Under the covers!

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That’s right. Noona will be your bed buddy on these chilly winter nights. When it’s time for bed, Noona is right there.

If you want to meet Noona, email Rescue Angels to set up a meet and greet. We think you’ll fall in love with this pretty, affectionate kitty.

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I Can’t Call It “Euthanasia”

011317-euthanasiaI’m a writer by trade, so I try to be precise in the words I choose when I write.

That’s why I don’t use “euthanasia” to describe the death of an animal in a shelter because of overcrowding.

By definition, “euthanasia” is a humane way of ending the life of a being who is suffering from a painful and incurable disease. In my opinion, “too full” does not qualify as a disease.

Our cat Aoife was euthanized in 2015 after inflammatory bowel disease took away her appetite and she lost an incredible amount of weight. She couldn’t process food, and she was growing weaker by the day. We opted to euthanize her to end her suffering.

In 2013, our cat Rory was euthanized after a diagnosis of histoplasmosis impacted his appetite and energy level. The weakness led to a heart attack, and his veins were too narrow for an IV. He was suffering. We decided to do the humane thing and let him go.

But I can’t call what happens every day at overcrowded shelters across the country “euthanasia.” Shelters of all types – kill and no-kill – are constantly full. Many publicly run shelters are not allowed to turn away any animal for any reason, so their kennels and cages fill over and over. A high profile event like the national “Clear the Shelter Day” may empty or nearly empty a shelter, but it only takes days for these facilities to fill up again.

An owner who surrenders a pet can almost bank on their pet being killed if the accepting shelter is not a no-kill shelter and if the shelter is beyond capacity. Because there is no “stray hold” or waiting period for an owner to claim an animal, pets surrendered by their owners can be killed almost immediately. That’s not euthanasia.

A feral cat who is turned into a shelter rather than allowed to live in its outdoor home is almost always killed. These cats are rarely microchipped or identified as a feral cat in another way (like an ear tip), and they can be impossible to handle. Most feral cats die when brought to a shelter. That’s not euthanasia.

“Euthanasia” is a word we use to make ourselves feel better about what is actually happening. Perhaps if we called these deaths “killing,” the movement to reform shelters and decrease the kill rate would gain momentum.

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