Happy Mother’s Day to all our readers! We hope you’re all enjoying family time on this day.
Our Mother’s Day story for today comes from a shelter in Rancho Santa Fe, California, where a four-day-old sphynx kitten was brought after her mother rejected her and her litter mates. The others died but little Cleopatra clung to life as staff at the Helen Woodward Animal Center nursed her back to health.
Six days later the shelter welcomed a heavily pregnant stray they called Ballerina, and three days after that, Ballerina gave birth to a litter of three.
Ballerina is an “extremely affectionate” mother, so staff thought there was a good chance she’d look after Cleopatra. Within minutes of meeting, the mom cat “adopted” the orphan kitten. Photos show the little sphynx kitten nursing from her new mom alongside her furry siblings.
Ballerina “didn’t just take to her, she fell in love with her,” shelter foster supervisor Erin Schmitt said.
Shelter staff say Ballerina is “in love with” her new kitten. Credit: Helen Woodward Animal Center
Cleopatra’s making good progress. She’ll need a few more weeks to recover before she’s ready for adoption. Credit: Helen Woodward Animal Center
Cleopatra was only four days old and tiny when she was brought to the shelter. Credit: Helen Woodward Animal Center
“Animals are amazing,” Schmitt said. “It’s as though Ballerina sensed a need in Cleo and decided to not only provide her nourishment but provide her all the love she’d been missing.”
Ballerina and her litter will be available for adoption soon. We hope she gets taken into a new home with at least some her babies. Anyone in the San Diego area interested in adopting can find adoption applications here, or call (858)756-4117.
Bad call, dude
The top law enforcement official in Licking County, Ohio, proposed “a feral cat season” to help control the number of free-running cats in the county of almost 177,000 people.
Bill Hayes, the county prosecutor, offered the “solution” during a forum for county commissioner candidates. Hayes, who was previously a lawmaker in Ohio’s state legislature, is challenging the Republican incumbent for the executive role.
While his opponent recommended trap, neuter, return programs and cooperation with local shelters, Hayes thinks shooting cats is a viable way to deal with the approximately 130 cat colonies spread out over the almost 700-square-mile county in central Ohio.
“This won’t be very popular,” Hayes conceded. “We have a squirrel season, various seasons. It would seem to me if you’ve got an animal that’s not a pet for anybody, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to make the situation better.
“A feral cat season if you need to. You gotta do what you gotta do.”
Staff at the county’s Humane Society pointed out that harming cats is illegal in Ohio.
“We encourage Prosecutor Hayes to review the Ohio Revised Code sections regarding animal cruelty,” the Licking County Humane Society wrote in a statement. “Feral and homeless cats are living beings and they deserve humane solutions to their overpopulation problem.”
The reaction to Hayes’ comments was swift and condemnatory, Licking County Humane Society Director Lori Carlson told the local newspaper, the Newark Advocate.
“I think the community was pretty stunned by his comments,” Carlson said. “People are very passionate about animals in our area and that is not a humane solution.”
Hayes apologized to the community and said his “words were poorly chosen. I know we can’t go around shooting cats.”
“My solution was not a good one,” he said, “not even feasible.”