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CHRONICLE HERALD: It’s Time to Celebrate our Furry Feline Friends

Posted on: Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

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Charles Dickens said, “What greater gift than the love of a cat?” Those of us with feline family members would agree.

We know that life just isn’t the same without a cat in it. We have the privilege of enjoying the companionship and unconditional love our kitties bestow upon us all year long.

August has been designated as Cat Appreciation Month to encourage cat lovers to celebrate the kitties in their life, but as well, to draw public attention to the large number of cats that are waiting in shelters and rescues to find their forever homes and that special someone to love them. Whether you’re a cat person or not, there’s a certain appreciation you have to have for cats and their long history within civilizations.

Cats have been a part of our culture and home lives since ancient Egyptian times. There have been many famous cats throughout history — from presidential felines, like Abe Lincoln’s cat Tabby, and Bill Clinton’s cat Socks to internet stars like Grumpy Cat. But it’s the everyday cats that bring magic and joy to our lives. It’s a rare day when I don’t think about how grateful I am for the amazing adopted kitties in our life.

They are more than pets; they are family members. Cat Appreciation Month is a purr-fect opportunity for me to share some of the reasons I value our cats. They make us smile and laugh at their goofy antics. They’re great listeners and love to chat.

They’re always available to cuddle, to warm our laps and our bed, and to donate their services as alarm clocks.

They make a windowsill more beautiful. They’ve taught me important life lessons: the value of opening your heart to nurture others, how to move through fear or hard times and land on your feet, how to appreciate the ordinary and dare to interpret it as extraordinary, as only cats do. They’ve inspired me to do more, to give more and to be more when it comes to animal welfare. And they’ve taught me how to cope with grief and let go.

Why are YOU thankful for the cats in your life? If you have a kitty who brightens your life, makes you laugh and adores you unconditionally, share their story and photo with others on the SPCA’s Facebook page.

Here are some great ways to celebrate Cat Appreciation Month. For your own kitty:

-Spoil her with a new fun toy, bed or treats.

– Make a comfy window perch for her to enjoy the sunshine.

– Give her a soothing brush or massage.

For all the homeless kitties out there:

– Adopt a cat from the SPCA or a registered reputable rescue.

– Donate money, food, toys, blankets or supplies to your favorite shelter or rescue.

– Volunteer at your local shelter or in the SPCA’s Trap-Neuter-Return Project: spcans.ca/how-to-help/volunteer/.

– Host a cat appreciation party. Invite your friends and their cats to bring along a donation for kitties at the NS SPCA or a favourite rescue.

– Please be responsible and spay or neuter your cat. This is the most important thing that you can do to help cat over-population and needless suffering.

The NS SPCA believes that every cat deserves a forever home where they are safe, warm, loved and treated as family — in short, appreciated.

Every year, over 4,000 homeless cats cross the SPCA’s doorway in need of help and looking for love.

Being a cat parent is a precious gift and a responsibility that should never be taken lightly. Please ensure you can properly care for a cat before opening your heart and home.

Judy Layne lives in Hackett’s Cove with her husband and their two adopted pets. A lifelong animal lover, Judy is a volunteer with the NS SPCA.