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Wildlife whispers...

Mathematical Cats

by Dee Walmsley
Clever's nature writer

They do multiply!

The number of missing cat signs are disappearing from neighbourhood telephone poles and mail boxes indicating perhaps that responsible cat owners are now keeping kitty indoors. Speaking on behalf of those cats I like to say thanks. Not only will they live longer and their lives be healthier but your vet bills will not have you mortgaging the family home.

The local coyotes, freed of an easy meal will now have to contend with eliminating the local rodent population and neighbours with manicured gardens can put away the moth balls etc. that really never did stop that “damn” cat from using the soft soil as its personal toilet. There remains still one tiny problem in the domestic cat kingdom and that is spaying and neutering.

Common myths:

- our fine fancy feline will become fat and lazy
- a litter of kittens will help educate my kids on the facts of life
- my Tom cat will be maimed for life

All not true! In fact ‘ol Sylvester will be more content without natures urges to mate, and your Queen cat won’t be caterwauling through-out the house night and day while in heat. 

Consider the alternative:

If we allow two cats and their surviving kittens to breed for 10 years and each cat has two litters a year with 3 kittens surviving from each litter we end up with;

First year -  12
Second year – 66
Third year – 382
Fourth year – 2,201
Fifth year – 12,680
Sixth year – 73,041
Seventh year – 420,715
Eighth year – 2,423,316
Ninth year – 13,968,290
Tenth year – 80,399,780 
(source: The American Humane Association)

Stray and unwanted cats fill the cages at local animal shelters. A high percentage of them are killed, not adopted. If you are looking for a cat, consider adopting an older cat from an agency. Kittens are cute but require more care than adult cats. Do not purchase any animal without thinking through your decision. Think of it as a long-term investment costing you at least $200 a year in vet bills for shots etc. If you can’t afford food, litter or medical treatment or if you work long hours and don’t have the time to devote to a pet, Don’t adopt!  Instead try visiting your local shelter  and lending a helping hand.

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