Monday, April 4, 2011

5 Yrs REAL Male

We have signs up all over the neighborhood for a missing cat. It's a beautiful orange tabby cat. The sign reads: 5 Yrs REAL Male. Confused by this, I asked the owner what "REAL" meant. Turns out the male cat is intact. Now we know why he is missing.

It's surprising the number of men who are reluctant to neuter their males because they associate their own masculinity with their pet. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard "I wouldn't want someone to do it to me so I wouldn't do it to them", I could host my own free spay/neuter clinic. In my neighborhood, I hear this frequently when trying to educate people. Does being intact make a cat or dog a REAL male? No.

Growing up, we had an orange tabby named Bubba. Bubba was a neutered male. Bubba was the epitome of a REAL male. He could hold his own with any of the neighborhood toms. He was outdoors during the day - catching lizards, snakes, mice in the field behind our housing development or sunning in the backyard. Bubba never went far. If you stepped outside the door and called his name, it might taken him a minute or two, but he always came running. He returned home each night and stayed in. He kept the dogs in line. That cat was one bad mother...shut your mouth! He lived to the ripe old age of 17.

Our neighbor has two real male cats - both neutered. For eleven years, Jessie and Danny Boy have spent lazy days in the yard, sometimes venturing into ours to take in some sun with Lily, our pit bull mix. They've caught their share of mice, chased off their share of vermin, including a raccoon that made the mistake of coming in the cat door one night. A cat that can run off a raccoon? That's a REAL cat. A neutered cat.

Cats and dogs aren't attached to their private parts. They live longer, healthier lives without them. They are less likely to stray far from home in search of a female in heat. In our neighborhood, with coyotes just a few blocks away, this is especially important. Had the missing tabby been a neutered male, he likely wouldn't be missing. Like Bubba, Jessie and Danny Boy, he would be staying closer to home. Females in heat wouldn't bother him or cause him to stray. He'd still be alive.

For more information on the benefits of spay/neuter, click HERE. To find affordable/free services in your area, go to SpayUSA.

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