Friday, June 29, 2007

To spay or not to spay?

Seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it? With millions of perfectly fine, healthy and loveable animals literally dying for want of a good home, spaying and neutering only makes sense. But should spaying and neutering be mandatory? That's an argument that's raging in the animal world now -- with groups like the Humane Society of the US facing off against other respected animal advocates. While some say such laws would eliminate or reduce the number of cruel "puppy mills" and "kitten mills," and perhaps allow stronger actions to be taken against hoarders, others see these potential laws as being driven by a hard-core animal extremist agenda that seeks the eventual elimination of all domesticated animals.

Animal rights vs. animal welfare, it's a thorny topic (and the theme of Cries and Whiskers, too, when a feral-cat rescuer meets an untimely death).

Where do you stand on the issue?

The planned extermination of pets?

What follows is a guest blog by Diana Engelbart, a retired breeder of Birmans. She's also a co-founder of Birman Rescue and former treasurer of CFA Purebred Rescue and serves as a state coordinator for the Winn Feline Foundation. Do you think she makes the case? Let me know by posting below!
- Clea

The Planned Extinction of Pets

Way back in 1951 as I was learning to use my legs, Mom and I encountered a black bulldog owned by a neighbor. All of the children in the neighborhood would run in terror from the ugly dog. Not me. As hard as my stubby legs would allow and as hard as his stubby legs would allow we would drag our respective Moms toward each other until we were within a slobbering hugfest of each other.

And so it has been from that time until now. The cats I share my life with provide a wealth of enrichment and love. I hope that I enrich their lives as much as they enrich mine.

If the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, The American Humane Association, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The Animal Liberation Front, et al have their way pets will become extinct.

It is happening now, town by town, city by city and state by state. It is called mandatory spay/neuter. Rhode Island enacted mandatory spay/neuter last year, as did Albuquerque. Bills are on dockets in several states, including Massachusetts and California.

Ostensibly to control the overpopulation of cats that we all know exists; these ordinances do not deliver on their promises. Where these ordinances have been enacted, to a one, they have failed: the populations of unowned cats continues to climb, administrative costs skyrocket, promised revenues never appear and euthanasia rates climb as people “dump” pets they can’t afford to sterilize and/or don’t want to be surveiled by the “Muffy and Fluffy” patrol.

You see, some of these ordinances strip you of your Fourth and Fifth Amendment Rights (Unlawful search and seizure and self incrimination). The jack booted thugs of the Animal Cops can search your home without warning any time of day and they know who you are because you had to register to receive this abuse.

Mandatory spay/neuter does precisely nothing to address the problem of increasing populations of unowned cats, and the attendant problems that such increases bring, while neatly stripping you of your rights,

It is highly unlikely that Fluffy Tomcat will apply to city hall for a license to breed. Equally unlikely is that Muffy Momcat will sashay into the nearest Veterinary Hospital and request to be spayed.

A more effective, non invasive to human civil liberties, and humane approach is that of Trap/Neuter/Return. These programs exist, run by volunteers gasping for funding. Only one TNR program in the country is legislated; that one is in Cape May, NJ. Cape May’s TNR program is at risk after its facilities burned. One has to wonder how that fire happened.

Seattle tried to enact TNR, but was blocked by the HSUS.

My friends, the agenda is NOT the welfare of the animals; it is the elimination of all “uses” of animals, including the ones who purr in your laps or guide you when you can not see.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Six months and counting

Much as it amazes me, Cries and Whiskers, my third Theda Krakow mystery, is actually available for pre-order!

Note that this version has the older cover...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Sopranos finale


I'm trying not to give anything away (that hasn't already been all over the media), but still...


OK, I confess - at first I found it maddening (my first email to a friend and fellow addict read simply: ARGGGHH!!!). But in retrospect, I think it was perfect. The sense of dread kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the show -- and gave me nightmares that night. In brief, I read it as Tony gaining an increased sense of his vulnerability. And considering that he has no innate sense of security to start with (unloved by his mother, who ultimately tried to kill him, how could he?), that' s saying quite a lot. Add in that he has now witnessed the impermanence of everything (Junior's dementia), and that his primary goal has been to protect his family, but that he now realizes that he has made them more vulnerable (AJ's suicide attempt, Bobby Baccala's murder), and the pain becomes excruciating. The little ironic note, that AJ has to remind him of his own good advice ("remember the good times") may sound banal, but it's also the only way to survive.

That said, I found the Phil Leotardo speed bump death extremely satisfying.

Oh yeah - and there was a cat! Maybe that's really why I liked it. Remember, Kit can be a nickname for Christopher....

And you?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The real Musetta

Yes, that is the real Musetta at left on the cover of "Cries and Whiskers," which will pub in December. The cover designer (the lovely and talented Geoffrey Boyarsky) asked for any snaps I had of my cat, the model for my heroine's cat in the Theda Krakow mystery series. I sent him a few and he went searching for high-resolution photos of similar looking cats. One of those cats is on the bound galley (or ARC) at right, which is going out to reviewers. Not a bad looking kitty. But... none of us liked that cover as much as the real Musetta. Could be the shaft of light (she was sitting in a window) that makes the composition more interesting. Could be that she just has a more intelligent face!

And yes, she's the only bit of my reality that crosses over to Theda's reality. I'm the author, I get to take this one little liberty!

Monday, June 11, 2007

oh brave new world!

Seven and a half years late, I've joined the new millennium. I hope to post here fairly often about, well, about the above topics. Why not?