I’ve been asked why I like to promote Sask Alley Cats to my cat-wishing friends. The answer is simply financial. Even if you paid me minimum wage to work a Bingo or a display or a barbecue, I’d still be ahead of the game. I picked up a cat in the Volunteer for Spay/Neuter program. Well, I had the cat, Dolores had the opportunity to get him neutered, shot and tattooed for 40 hours working for her. (I worked for 2 cats at the time.)
Now, for argument’s (and my weak math skills) sake, let’s say minimum wage is $11/hr. Working 20 hours for Sask Alley Cats means I’ve just “earned” $220 that gets put towards all the good things I got for my cat: neuter, tattoo, shots, deworming, and 3 or 4 tests done. For some vets, that $220 will pay for the neutering OR the tattoo, shots, etc. I can’t think of one vet that will do all that Dolores does for the same price. She’s got some great vets working with her, that’s for sure. Very generous ones, too. Oh? You don’t think they’re generous because Dolores does a lot of the vet tech stuff herself? Aside from the test kits, vaccines and such costing money, too, do you really believe that your vet, any vet, will give shots to a cat or dog? On a regular basis? No, I didn’t think so. You see, vets have these people called “veterinary technicians” that do all manner of things for the vet. Yup. Vets use vet techs, too. Those vet techs need to get paid, too. Dolores, a certified vet tech, doesn’t get paid nearly as much as she’s worth for her time and effort, in my opinion.
The point I’m trying to make is that 20 hours to get a cat fixed isn’t much to pay or to do. (I’ll admit, knowing that there are enough funds in the bank to pay the vets comes in handy. So does having food and medicines for the cats or a comfortable place to live.) Twenty hours works out to 2 days at a fair or display and a bingo or barbecue. Or to put it another way, one weekend and one evening equals 20 hours, give or take a bit. Or one long weekend is 20 hours. That’s not much time, really.
Out of that long weekend, let’s say you have a Bingo and a display. The bingo pays $50 per person to SACA for volunteering. There are 10 volunteers. That’s $500. The display, well, let’s say it was a generous set of days and you got $500 in donations for the weekend. There are 2 volunteers running the display. Let’s have an adoption, too, one of the kittens. That’s another $150 towards food and meds, for a ‘total’ of $1150 for the weekend. That’s on a generous weekend, of course, but it’s been done in the past.
Can’t make it for a bingo or display because you have dependents? Have you considered fostering cats? We have some cats that love kids, love dogs, love other cats (birds, I’m not sure about) and love having a place to stay that isn’t covered in fleas, cold and damp or any other of a multitude of discomforts. We have some cats that prefer to be an ‘only’, so you get companionship without having to pay out a whole lot of money. You just need to buy either Acana or Kirkland cat food and make sure that the cat stays indoors. Well, and clean the litter box and change the water and pet the cat while you’re trying to work and… I’m sure you get the picture. What about fostering some of our older cats? They’re great for people who don’t have time to train a kitten or six. Our Quiet Love cats are all over 7 years of age, pretty much trained in most social graces (using the litter box, staying off the table, staying indoors, etc.). They’d love to have a place to stay that was quiet and peaceful. You might even manage to get a purr or three out of them as you’re napping on the couch or just sitting reading or watching television.
Consider it, won’t you? Fostering, volunteering, donating. Every bit helps.