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There are two reasons my wife and I have committed to always having our kitties spayed or neutered.

1. We don't want to contribute to the stray cat population.

2. We want our kitties to live long, happy lives.

The sight of a homeless cat breaks my heart. The life expectancy of a stray cat is a mere two years. Those two years are spent hungry, scared, and sad. There are more cats than cat lovers. Most people won't take in a stray like I will.

So I refuse to be part of the problem instead of part of the solution. Let's say I don't have my cat fixed and it results in one more unspayed female stray. This is rediculous of course: leaving my kittie unfixed will surely result in more than one such female. But let's assume only one more unspayed female stray results. In just 7 years this female (by giving birth to females who give birth to females who give birth to females who give birth to females....) will lead to 420,000 new kittens. No: that's not a typo. I didn't accidently add an extra zero. Unspayed female cats are baby machines. Unspayed female dogs are prolific, too. That's why there are 7 kittens/puppies born for each human baby born. My wife and I don't have 14 pets and I dare say most families don't have 7 pets per human family member. That's why 15,000,000 (that one's not a typo, either) unwanted dogs and cats are euthanized yearly.

Having a male cat neutered is not expensive. Having a female cat spayed is expensive when you make the kind of money my wife and I make. On the other hand, so is paying vet bills after my unspayed female develops cancer, right? To spay or neuter is to add years to my cat's life. The life expectancy of a fixed pet is 2-3 years longer than that of an unfixed pet. Fixed pets are unlikely to get cancer, won't die giving birth, and tend to stay home, out of danger. Unspayed female cats attract unwanted visitors and often stay nervous. Unneutered males roam, fight and spray. When a kitty is fixed it becomes more loving and better tempered and stops biting (if that's been a problem). If I have to, I'll gladly give up eating out for a month, put off buying myself new clothes, work overtime, or make some other sacrifice in order to be able to afford to extend my kittie's life 2-3 years, while making the cat a better pet. When my kittie dies of old age instead of _____ (fill in the blank), I'll be thankful for those extra 2-3 quality years with my cat. By then I won't even be able to remember what it was I gave up so long ago in order to pay for the operation. My wife and I don't have children but if we ever do I'll want to teach them by example to be responsible cat people.

The sermon is over. :-)