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Editorial

Casper Critters


Cats Can be the Purr-fect Furry Friend



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06/01/2010 - By Gayle M. Irwin

Summer is nearly here, school is out, and perhaps you're thinking about adding a new friend to the household. June is National Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, and in Casper and throughout Wyoming there are furry, friendly felines just waiting for new homes and loving families!

Check out our local humane societies, animal shelters, and rescue groups as you consider bringing a kitty into your clan. Adopting an animal helps not only the pet, but also the community, and adopting gives you a sense of pleasure, knowing you've helped an animal in need. A cat can be just the furry companion you looking for! Here are a few reasons why:

• A cat will keep you entertained with her playful antics.

• A cat cleans itself – rarely do you have to give it a bath like you do for a dog!

• A cat is more independent than a dog – you can go to work or even on a weekend trip and not worry about how or where the cat is going to the bathroom!

• A cat doesn't have to be housebroken – using the litter box comes naturally (and most mama cats teach their kittens how to use a box very quickly!

• A cat doesn't need a lot of space, therefore, a kitty makes a great pet in small homes and apartments where the landlord allows pets.

• A cat doesn't need to go outside for exercise; 10 or 15 minutes of playtime a day can satisfy your cat.

• A cat needs few very toys with which to be entertained, and those toys cost little money. A catnip mouse, a scratching post, and a few feathers and small rubber balls work wonders for a cat's curiosity and entertainment!

• Many cats love to cuddle yet they also value their alone time – you have the best of both worlds when you get a cat!

• Cats are like people – they have differing personalities, one of the things that makes a cat an intriguing pet.

I own two cats; they are sisters, yet they are as different as night and day. One is a long-haired black and white that needs frequent brushing and who LOVES to sit on my lap and cuddle into my neck. Her sister, on the other hand, is a short-haired tortishell who is quite aloof and skittish, or at least was as a younger cat. Now, more mature and trusting, she will sit on my lap during the evenings a few times a week, and has been known to jump onto the bed and sleep with me for a few hours each night. One likes to lounge on the back deck in the sun while the other hibernates on a shelf in the coat closet. Although sisters, each cat is unique in her temperament and desires. I love them both and enjoy their different characteristics.

So, as you make your summer plans this year, if bringing home a new pet is an idea, consider adopting a cat. In addition to all the thoughts above, remember that a pet can lower your blood pressure and bring you a great deal of joy. Visit the Casper Humane Society, Metro Animal Control, or the other animal welfare groups in our area as you consider adding a cat to your home. Every summer, numerous cats and kittens are brought to these facilities, and they each need a new, loving home. If you're looking for a specific breed of cat that's not always readily available, visit www.petfinder.com; you may have to travel to get that specific type of cat, but different breeds of cats can be found in rescue and shelters in different areas; Petfinder helps bring together pets and potential pet owners who live in different locations.

Also remember – you don't HAVE TO adopt a kitten; young adults, mature adults, and even senior cats make great pets! Kittens are cute, but they need more attention – they need to be entertained more often and can get into mischief, just like kids! So, if your lifestyle would do better with a quieter, less active cat, consider the wonderful, older, more mature cats that are available at our local animal shelters. Both the Casper Humane Society and Metro Animal Control have websites where you can see what cats are available for adoption:

www.chswyo.org

http://www.casperwy.gov/Live/KnowtheCodes/AnimalControl/AnimalControl/tabid/143/Default.aspx

For more information on cat adoption and cat care, visit these websites:

http://www.aspca.org/adoption/adoption-tips/bringing-your-new-cat-home.html

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/

Cats can be purr-fect animal companions – adopt your new friend this month during National Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month!

_____________________________________________________________________________

Gayle Irwin is an author and speaker, writing for a variety of publications and speaking in schools and libraries across the West. She is the author of Sage's Big Adventure (2007) and Sage Learns to Share (2009). Her publication credits include a story in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Lessons Learned from the Dog and in another upcoming Chicken Soup edition to be released this fall. She is also a former journalist and humane and conservation educator and the proud "pet parent" of two adopted dogs and two cats. For more information about her writing and speaking endeavors, visit www.sagestory.com and www.gaylemirwin.com.

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