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A Cat For Christmas?
The original article may be read here
by Charles Thomas
The spirit of Venice is diversity and caring for fellow human beings. Much has been said about homelessness in our little enclave by the sea; said and written by compassionate Venetians concerned for social justice.
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In the holiday season, these issues come more into consciousness, as we see special events helping homeless, such as Thanksgiving “feedings” for the hungry, and other inspired efforts such as “Toys for Tots.” The holidays are when humanity often shines at its best. There’s nothing wrong helping those in need, and it is equally inspiring when that concern is expanded to include not just fellow humans, but also, extended to our animal brothers and sisters. There are homeless animals amongst us. Those homeless numbers are arguably most prevalent with our feline friends . . . cats.
Venice has a stray cat population. For years, one known locale of that populace was our Lincoln Place Apartments. Lincoln Place, as most Venetians know, is the apartment complex just "east of Lincoln" (behind Ralph's). Lincoln Place is operated by a management company called AIMCO.
This summer, AIMCO gave notice of intent to begin trapping the stray cats, and to turn them over to the West L.A. division of the animal shelter. Such a procedure, if carried out, would have probably been a death sentence for the cats. However, the Stray Cat Alliance (SCA) sprang into action and filed suit in L.A. Superior Court to enjoin AIMCO from proceeding with the cat extinction. SCA had been working for almost two years at Lincoln Place, feeding and caring for the cats. SCA had spent thousands of dollars on veterinary services for the cats, and reduced the stray populace from what was believed to have been over one hundred, to less than twenty five. SCA successfully secured a court order to stop AIMCO. However, in the meantime, SCA and AIMCO came to an agreement "out of court" for the Alliance to continue removing the cats from Lincoln Place, without interference. SCA has a “no kill” policy which gives these beautiful creatures a second chance.
SCA has considerable success in safely removing the cats from Lincoln Place. SCA is close to taking in all cats targeted. Only about one cat remains. Now, as stated, SCA needs to find more permanent placement for the cats. These cats are available for adoption. These cats need homes, and in the season’s “spirit of giving” you might fill this need.
Please consider adoption, or, you may also provide “foster homes” for these orphans. If you can provide foster care on a temporary basis, then this would be helpful to the Alliance. The Alliance is currently paying boarding fees on cats they have collected from Lincoln Place, and a worthwhile non-profit like SCA needs to stretch its dollars. Foster care would help alleviate the expense of boarding cats elsewhere. You can contact SCA through the website which is at www.straycatalliance.org. Once you are on the homepage, please click on the “sub-page” for the Lincoln Place cats (seen in the “News” section). You can feast your eyes on photos of these adorable orphans, and get further contact information if you want to help. Besides adoption or fostering, you can also make a donation.
Having said that, there is a “bigger picture” of the cat situation at Lincoln Place warranting attention. SCA has noticed that cats from the general neighborhood will also wander over to the Lincoln Place property. That is, cats belonging to households bordering Lincoln Place will go exploring thereon. Therefore, neighbors are asked to please keep cats inside at this time to the extent possible.
Lincoln Place has just begun construction and fumigation activities, and this could prove perilous to little loved ones who cross the street to Lincoln Place. Some of these Lincoln Place buildings slated for construction activity or fumigation are standing “wide open.” The structures are potential playgrounds for curious cats who want to go exploring. (You know how curious cats are.) There are fences around the buildings, but the fences are circumvented easily by a cat simply slithering underneath. If a cat is inside a building and a work crew shows up, the cat may hide deep within the recesses of a building. If the crew proceeds to “tent” a building for fumigation, then this could be death by gas chamber for your little one. If the crew proceeds with demolition, it could mean death by wrecking ball. Translation: People of Penmar (and adjacent areas), please watch out for your family felines.
Please add to that, the importance of having your cat readily identifiable. Already, at least one neighborhood cat has wandered into the “humane traps” SCA has on the Lincoln Place property. Thanks to speedy identification, that cat was reunited with home. So, please have your cat tagged or micro-chipped if they are in any way “outdoor cats.”
Once again, as we enter this joyous holiday month, please consider sharing that joy with a whiskered orphan who is waiting patiently in a cage somewhere; waiting for a family that he or she can be a part of.
Please consider adopting one of the Stray Cat Alliance's orphans or helping out with foster care.
A cat for Christmas, anyone?