Wow, am I behind. I am technically on vacation. Vacation implies vacating, which I tend not to do, since my job involves way too much vacating on a regular basis. I had all sorts of plans for things to get done at home, but of course fate intervenes.
First off, the bad news. Bug, one of our sanctuary cats (history: around 8 yoa, trapped at Ithaca College, was adopted even though she was unpettable, got out when a storm blew a door open, took three weeks of trapping in nasty winter weather to get her back again), had a stroke last Thursday. I took her to the vet when I came into the facility and discovered that she had a head tilt and was rolling to the side when she walked. The vet felt it was a brain event (versus the other things it could be) which could mean: will see some improvement, will see no improvement, or could become worse.
So little Bug is in a cage for two weeks to see what happens. Luckily she loooooves her wet food, and she seems to be reacting to being caged as one long dessert. She's scared, but it doesn't stop her from becoming very happy when she hears the pop top on a can of food. The vet wants me to let her out in the cat room now and then so she keeps her bearings there. In two weeks we will reassess.
Perhaps someday this will turn into a post on the "no-kill movement." Little Bug is a dilemma. The only reason I have kept her (she actively dislikes humans) is because she loves the other cats, and seems content in the cat facility. She also gets great joy out of cat treats. Her sulking little body perks up, the tail goes up, and she meows in case you might forget her. I expect when I am not in the facility, she is fairly happy. Nonetheless, she's stuck in this 24x24 place for the whole of her life, and now she is dizzy and confused. And in the time she has been here, she has filled a space that a number of adoptable cats might have used to save their lives.
When people ask if Wildrun is "no-kill" I tell them "no." I don't like being associated with the anger and accusation that has become associated with that movement, although I strongly agree with many of the practices it advocates. Every cat at Wildrun would, 15 years ago, have been euthanized at a traditional shelter, so people assume I am "no-kill." Wildrun originally began taming feral kittens to help lower the euthanasia rate at the local SPCA.
I would say, instead, that I am an advocate of "raising the bar." Another person promoted the idea of "no harm" rather than "no kill" (I wish I'd thought of it). So the bar has been raised for cats like Bug--and perhaps, historically, will continue to be raised--but if she is unhappy, I'm not going to keep her shut up in a cage just to be able to say she's alive.
(this post then began a long ramble into my opposition of Oreo's Law, but I'm in such a hurry it was poorly done, so I'll need to revisit that).