Shirley Chan
This is writing…

Love me, Don’t crowd me

by Shirley Chan
(Rotorua Daily Post, SPCA insert)

Daily Post’s own Jo Raphael, Design & Production editor, has two cats, a male ginger, named Fester and a white tabby cat, named Bonnie, both adopted from the SPCA.

As Jo works evenings and is home most mornings, the cats enjoy having Mum home to languish around the house and the garden. When Jo is away, Fester and Bonnie keep each other company, sleeping most of the day. If Jo is away from home overnight, arrangements are made for a friend to feed them.

Jo says, “My cats don’t share much of my outdoor activities. They like to supervise me while I’m working in the garden. Otherwise they’re pretty much occupied with other important cat stuff.”

Those who know how independent cats are, can appreciate the “love me but don’t crowd me” attitude of felines. They choose when they want to be loved, pampered, their backs scratched or tummies rubbed.

Even independent felines realise that harmony in the family is necessary. Jo remembers, “Fester didn’t take too kindly to Bonnie when I brought her home.” “He now tolerates her,” Jo says of Fester who is now five years old. Bonnie is two.

Jo believes the SPCA is crucial and necessary part of our society because they provide an essential service, not just in sheltering unwanted animals, but in educating the public about animals and their roles in our society. She supports their policy of not adopting out any animals without first having been spayed or neutered is an important step towards public awareness about unwanted litters.

“The staff all work extremely hard, and are always friendly. The centre is a home to those who don’t have one, and the staff go out of their way to make sure each animal is cared for and gets individual attention. Sometimes this can often be hard to do with so many animals to care for, but they always take the time to do it.” Jo observes, indicating the community’s participation is crucial to the shelter’s and the rescued animals’ survival.

Adoption, Jo believes, is the best way to get an animal. No one loses in this arrangement.

“I see it as a three-pronged approach. Firstly, you get the satisfaction from knowing you are giving an unwanted animal a loving home and possibly saving it from being put to sleep. Secondly, you are often getting a better deal with adoption. Breeders can sometimes cost you more. Lastly, animals from shelters are, in my opinion, friendlier, better socialised and have better dispositions,” Jo adds convincingly.

Fester and Bonnie’s independence and temperament suits Jo well, resulting in 3 contented lives, resulting from adopting from the SPCA.