From one Mother to Another by Jessica McColl

It is spring here, in sunny Sydney, Australia. We have beautiful warm days and the native flora on my street is in full bloom. My daughter and I go on long walks and my cats bask in the midday sun coming in through the windows.

Spring should be a beautiful time for all, but alas it is not.

At the pound, where I volunteer, we are already getting in mama cats and kittens by the basket load. Puts a real damper on my thoughts about spring.

On the weekend, I observed a mama cat with her young kittens. She watched peacefully while they played together, rumbling as kittens do. Until the rumbling sent one little ginger ninja and he plummeted head first into the water bowl. Once she had ensured his safety, mama headed over to the put herself in between the tabby instigator and it’s next victim. Gentle discipline at it’s finest.

I also witnessed the terror of a feral cat, separated from her young.

The young babes were taken by a rescue group.

The mama was ‘not suitable’ to be rehomed.

I have been thinking bout this non-stop. Because, you guys, these mama cats are not so different to me. I use gentle discipline always and if I were separated from my baby, fear would not cover it. In fact, I believe I would also become positively feral.

Yes, I see you mama cat.

My heart positively breaks for you.

A kitten yourself, trying to do the best for your babies. Sacrificing your own health and wellbeing to care for these little creatures. Knowing the fear that your future is uncertain. Hearing the sounds of danger all around with nowhere to escape to, nowhere to hide them.

Having them taken away.

Being taken away from them.

Hearing them cry out in little mews for you for those brief moments before you never see them again.

The absolute terror of being taken from the cage for the last time on a catchpole by a person wearing metal gloves.

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Today I am sick of it. I am sick of people being so damn irresponsible. I am sick of animals being treated as though they are garbage, dropped off for someone else to deal with. I would tell you to ‘desex your pets’, but hey, you already know that – yep you are already right here on this page. I would tell you that ‘tnr programs’ are great for controlling the stray cat population but I bet you know that too.

The hard truth is that the cycle, in itself is never ending. There is even a name for it – ‘kitten season’. It is horrific that we have a formal name for a time of year, which relates to the influx in the overpopulation of cats.

The only solution, I believe, is education. People must know the implications of not desexing their pets. This week feline lovers, I want you to shout it from the rooftops. Maybe from the high vantage point you will see me, because I will be out there shouting along with you.