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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Monday, March 05, 2007

Run Down by a Motorist and Frozen to the Ice by His Own Blood, Roo Is Saved by a Caring Woman

"Many human beings say that they enjoy the winter, but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it. For them there is no winter food problem. They have fires and warm clothes. The winter cannot hurt them and therefore increases their sense of cleverness and security. For birds and animals, as for poor men, winter is another matter."
-- Richard Adams, Watership Down

The bitterly cold weather that savaged the northeast during the month of February claimed not only the lives of several individuals but it also killed a large number of cats and other animals as well. Since animal life is cheap in this society, statistics are not even kept on this subject.

Also, an untold number of homeless kittens, born out of season as the result of an unusually warm December and January, were woefully unprepared for Old Man Winter's belated arrival and as the result they either froze or starved to death. (See Cat Defender post of January 23, 2007 entitled "Global Warming Blamed for Unseasonable Increase in Feral Kitten Births on Long Island.")

Private citizens and animal rescue groups did, however, succeed in rescuing a number of cats from the cold. On February 16th, a two-year-old brownish-gray cat named Roo from Lower Windsor Township in Pennsylvania was saved from a sure and certain death by an unidentified woman who heard his plaintive cries and promptly called 9-1-1. When an officer from the York County SPCA arrived on the scene he found the cat lying on his side on Manor Road with his front legs frozen to the ice.

Roo apparently had been hit by a motorist and the blood from his injuries had frozen his legs to the ice. The officer poured warm water over them in order to free him and then transported him to the SPCA's shelter in Manchester Township.

Upon examination, it was determined that his right front paw had been so severely damaged that it had to be amputated. "It was barely hanging on," the SPCA's Melissa Smith (See photo above of her and Roo) told the York Daily Record on February 24th. (See "They Call Him Roo.")

His left front leg was also broken but the vets are attempting to save it. "He had some of the worst injuries we've ever seen," Smith added.

It is expected that Roo will require about twelve weeks in order to recuperate. After that he will be put up for adoption since no one has come forward so far in order to take responsibility for him.

The brave little tabby was given his moniker due to the fact that after the surgery he sat up on his hindquarters and held out his bandaged paws in front of him like a kangaroo.

Hopefully, the York SPCA will be able to find him a good home and all of his bad times will be a thing of the past. He has suffered enough and should never again be left to the mercy of either homicidal motorists or Old Man Winter.

Cats are fairly adept at finding shelter underneath buildings and trailers, but this is not always possible for those that are abandoned in rural areas. Consequently, there is a pressing need for the construction of feline shelters.

Pet igloos (See photo above), which can be purchased from pet stores and other retailers, are one option. Lined with straw as opposed to blankets which can get wet, they will sometimes suffice if they are located out of the wind and temperatures do not drop too low.

Small boxes are in many respects better, however. They can be easily and inexpensively constructed out of scrap lumber, insulated with cardboard, and covered with either plastic or rubber in order to keep out the elements. A cat flap can be installed for ingress and egress and the insides can likewise be padded with straw.

They can also be purchased from retailers such as Indy Feral Cat. (See photo above.) Normally they retail for around $45 apiece plus shipping and handling.

For individuals with deep pockets, cat houses constructed out of cedar (See photo below) can be purchased for $250 and up from Northland Pet Supply in Bythewood, South Carolina and other retailers. These structures can also be made quite cozy by the addition of heaters and special insulation.

Regardless of whatever type of facility is ultimately selected, it is vital that shelters not be located alongside feeding stations since the latter attract wild animals, such as raccoons and possums, and this sometimes leads to deadly conflicts. This is precisely the type of ill-advised arrangement that Alley Cat Allies has in place underneath Atlantic City's Boardwalk.

If feasible, it is preferable that these ad hoc shelters have both front and back portals so as to make it easier for felines to escape predators. They should also be either camouflaged or hidden from view if possible because fascist bird lovers, wildlife proponents, and other ailurophobes seldom pass up an opportunity to do a cat harm.

The cats' food and water supply should be checked several times a day if possible in order to ensure that it has not been poisoned. Feral cat caretakers must be vigilant at all times because their charges have many enemies.

Little Roo's brush with death highlights once again the compelling need for laws to be enacted in order to protect cats, dogs, and other animals from motorists who like to make a game out of running down any of them that happen to cross their paths. The recent decision of officials in Milford, Connecticut to erect a cat crossing sign is a positive step in this direction but more desperately needs to be done. (See Cat Defender post of January 26, 2007 entitled "Cat Activists Succeed in Getting Connecticut Town to Erect a Cat Crossing Sign.")

Photos: Bill Bowden of the York Daily Record (Roo and Melissa Smith), Google Images (pet igloo), Indy Feral Cat (box shelter), and Northland Pet Supply (cat house).