I just would like to share one story with you, because it made me so upset today and I wonder whether we can somehow stop such 'bad habits'. Sorry, it is a bit long, but I want to tell the whole story.
You know that I just got purebred Russian Black babies born this morning. They will sell for $600 each when they are 3 months old. They are more than that valuable to me and will get the best of the best upbringing and go to the best homes only that value them as much as I do.
You may also know that, about one month ago, I brought 4 pure black domestic kittens belonging to other people to my vet in Adelaide, for cheap desexing, and helped to find good homes for the remaining two of them who I could manage to have vaccinated and microchipped, too. Now, those 4 kittens looked just like my purebred black Russians. Seriously. This is one of the two who I found a really good home for:
When I advertised them on the Internet and mentioned in my ad that they looked like black Russians I actually got several calls from Adelaide pet shop owners and wanna-be breeders who wanted them undesexed and unchipped and offered good pay... Of course, I refused such offers and didn't even tell the kittens' previous owners about them.
But the story continues:
At the time, about a month ago, when I picked up the kittens for desexing, their mother was supposed to go for desexing, too, but when I came to that home to pick her up I realised that she was only days away from giving birth to a new litter. So, I refused to take her along and and left her there.
Today, I called the people up to share my good news and to ask how many new kittens they have got, so we can start advertising them soon.
"One", the owner said.
I remembered that huge belly which this cat had, and I said, "No. That can't be true." After some talking, the owners admitted that she had several more kittens which they "got rid of". They left only one to her, because they 'knew that she wouldn't get pregnant again as long as she is nursing' and they 'didn't want to talk to all their family and friends and neighbours again just to get rid of the other kittens'.
I really had to bite my tongue not to say what was on my mind.
When I was visiting them, this family made a really good impression to me. Definitely not poor, a by far bigger and nicer home than I have, and at least three household members working and earning. But obviously the contents of their wallet does not reflect on those people's minds.
Now I also know that it is not the first time they did it, i.e. killed newborn kittens. When I was there they showed me a baby kitten from the second female cat they have. At that time it was about 5 weeks old, and they said, the cat has one kitten only. The other ones she had, 'did not survive'. Today, when I called they told me that this one kitten is 'ready to go' and I shall start advertising it.
I actually have found a new home for this kitten already, here, locally. Despite of the lack of a picture which the owners of the kitten promised but never delivered. The kitten is promised to people who are willing to wait and very happy to pay only $150 for all the vet services needed (desexing, vaccinating, microchipping). And next week, I am picking up the mother of this kitten and will drive her with 3 other cats for desexing to Adelaide. To at least stop this one killer household from causing more harm.
The only question is: How do I talk to these people who are doing such horrible things to their cats and have been doing so obviously on a regular basis for years, and how do I convince them to leave the 7 weeks old baby kitten with mum until it is really ready to move on? I am afraid that they will give it to some stupid family friend instead who drops in by accident and finds the kitten 'cute' and gets it 'for the kids' ... you know that story...
The owner actually told me on the phone today that they are not too keen about keeping the mother either, as those $65 for her desexing 'are really a big sacrifice' for them, and I could advertise her for rehoming, too, if that would give them their money back. Of course, I was considering immediately to take her and her one kitten in foster care straight away, but I would have to keep them in a cage to protect my purebreds, which is not the kindest solution either for a cat used to run free outdoors, I think.
What would you do?
This cat-owning family really 'annoys the hell out of me' - but I am sure there are thousands more of them out there, and they probably consider their acting to be 'just normal and reasonable'.