Dr. Bill Atwood

Our community will benefit

Three weeks ago my wife and I brought Noelana into our home. She is a wonderful addition to our family and we have seen a great deal of growth in her during this short time. Noelana is a Siamese kitten who had become lost or abandoned in the Parlier area and the fine people at The Cat House on the Kings shelter had taken her in for the purpose of offering another pet adoption.

If I am going to have a cat I happen to prefer Siamese. They don’t shed like other cats and they have short hair. They also have attitude. I know where I stand with Siamese. I wake up in the morning and feed them and they look at me with a “hurry it up” attitude and then I go downhill from there. Seriously - Siamese are a wonderful breed but they are different. Cat people are one thing but people who have Siamese never seem to say they have a cat ... they tell you they have Siamese. The old Disney song, “We are Siamese if you please” says it all. They are Siamese if you don’t please.

A society will be judged by how we care for those who need our help. This community is a loving, caring, and very charitable group of people. We raise millions of dollars each year for youth groups and sports activities. We support scholarships as well as helping to feed the hungry around us. We also take care of gifting to children at Christmas and we give many thousands of hours in donated labor to make this part of the world a better place to live.

Some fine folks in our community are nearing their goal of building a “no kill” animal shelter which will be run through the SPCA. It will be a place for people to take unwanted animals so they are cared for and so that we are not burdened by feral animals in our neighborhoods. While I love having cats and dogs I keep my cats indoors and my dog has a large fenced area to spend time outside. They sleep inside every night so they are not prowling and howling at the neighbor’s house. They are also much safer.

There are wild critters outside in our area and when neighbors allow their cats to roam many of us have to hear the cries of fear and then the scream if you will as the cat is attacked and killed by the predator.

Our community will benefit in many ways from this new shelter as it will give a place for those abandoned animals to live and then be found by a loving person or family. Carol and I have always had pets and they have all been adopted from a rescue shelter over the years we had Bette, Wolfgang, Ermghard, Hildegard, Madam Tuptin, Miss Anna, Cho-Cho San, and now Noelana. Each rescued from a potentially horrible fate to be brought into a home that provides care and safety. The animals provide years of companionship and comfort to us. It is a wonderful tradeoff.

We need to remember that there is the “Pawsitivly Full Pet Food Bank” which is coordinated through Oakhurst Feed in the Enterprise Center. This food bank allows donors to leave food or cash to buy food for animals that are in short term needs.

When there is a fire there are animals displaced and the food bank can help during the short term. If there is a family with short term financial strains the food bank can help out. Collette Goga and her team are there for our little critters. I donate a month’s worth of food for three animals because I have a dog and two cats. It makes sense to me. One month of food to the food bank for each animal in my house.

Back to the shelter. Let’s donate so that the thermometer at the corner of Highways 49 & 41 can hit the top and then disappear. Chase Bank will have their landscaping unadorned and we will have a no-kill animal shelter. The animals will have a safe place until being adopted and we will have a place to find pets for those adoptions.

The nice thing about those shelters and adoptions is that the animals are coming into our homes having had their shots, being spayed or neutered, and are free of diseases.

Let’s write those checks and get this done.

Hildegard gives it five wags of her tail and my two Siamese, Cho-Cho and Noelana, think it is a “purrfectly” pleasing idea. To paraphrase the two of them, “We want you to donate if you please. We want you to donate if you don’t please.”