Marguerite is the director of development at the Humane Society, and she always helps me out at fundraising time and provides stats, information and support while we raise our squillions.
I emailed her last week as I was preparing for Spay and Neuter Day, and she shared this story with me. It's such a perfect example of how what we're raising money for today can make such a huge difference for a cat (and a human, too).
A few years ago an elderly woman brought us a seven month old tabby that she had been feeding since it was tiny. It was the only survivor of a litter that was born under her house. As the kitten got older, the woman grew more and more attached to it, but she realized if it wasn't spayed it would soon have kittens, and she knew that wasn't right. So she brought us the cat in a cardboard box that she carried on the bus. When she saw all the cats waiting for homes, she started to cry. She didn't think her kitten would have much of a chance. I started talking to her, and found out she really wanted to keep the cat, but didn't want her having kittens, and couldn't afford the spay surgery. I told her we could give her a voucher for the spay and vaccines, and you should have seen her face light up. I have rarely seen anyone look so happy. I found her a cat carrier, and the front office staff gave her some donated food and litter. She was crying from happiness, and thanking us over and over. A man in line at the counter overheard us, and paid for a new litter pan and dishes. Someone else bought her a toy and scratch box. She ended up with so much stuff that I offered her a ride. On the way, it became really clear that she was lonely, and really attached to this little cat. Her "home" turned out to be a run-down converted garage behind someone's house. She hadn't named the cat, but as she got out of my car, she grinned like a little kid and said "I'm going to name her Alice! Come on, Alice."
And now, years later, when I'm feeling discouraged, I think of Alice and her owner and it always makes me smile. It reminds me how much a simple $45 surgery can change a life. Two lives. It can mean the difference between being lonely and being loved. It can mean the difference between being a cat who is living on the edge, having litter after litter, and being a happy house pet who lives out her life in comfort.
So, yeah, I really believe in spay/neuter.
So, maybe you have $45 to cover a surgery for a cat like Alice. Or maybe you'll be the man line who buys the litter box and dishes. Every bit helps, and when we pool our funds together, we make changes, and we improve the lives of cats and kittens.
We've got a big match on the table, and with 5 hours left to meet it, there's still $2,641 left to go! If you're in a position to help, please consider making a donation to Spay and Neuter Day! To learn more about what today will fund, please visit HERE.
To make a tax-deductible donation and get your dollars doubled by Cynthia, who offered up this challenge today, please visit our FUNdraising page.
I wish I had a photo of Alice to share, but I don't, so instead I'll share a picture of this adorable tabby.