Editors Note: I was driving to a dental appointment yesterday, planning in my head the new post I was going to write for World Spay Day. When I got to the office, naturally I had to wait, so I opened up my phone to check my emails. It was then I saw the devastating news that a dear cat loving friend of mine, Darlene Arden, had succumbed to her long fight against ovarian cancer. Darlene was a huge advocate for cat care and she and I initially struck up a friendship as fellow members of the Cat Writers’ Association back in 2012.
As time went on, our relationship took a unique turn. She turned me on to my most beloved, guilty pleasure – playing a game called Fairyland on Facebook. She warned me once I started the game that I’d become addicted and she was right! She and I had a ball growing our gardens and sharing conversations with one another that way.
She was also part of my most recent book, Makin’ Biscuits – Weird Cat Habits and the Even Weirder Habits of the Humans Who Love Them. When I reached out to her to let her know I included her book The Complete Cat’s Meow – Everything You Need to Know About Caring for Your Cats as a resource in Makin’ Biscuits, I know that pleased her to no end. She didn’t always love social media but she did love Twitter and I was so honored that she tweeted to her followers that they needed to add Makin’ Biscuits to their library!
That was Darlene. She had a sharp wit and a sharp tongue. She was brutally honest and pulled no punches. She didn’t believe much in competition – her thought was simple – she wanted to help cats, so why not cross-promote the work of others? In her memory, I am sharing a post from last year that I wrote for World Spay Day. I’m just not capable of new words at the moment – I’m going to take a break and go play Fairyland while thinking of the times we shared together.
While every day is a good day to promote the virtues of spay/neuter – not only as a safe and humane means of reducing cat overpopulation – but as a procedure to help ensure your cat live a longer, happier, and healthy life, with today being World Spay Day, it makes it all the more relevant. It’s a concept I like to call “Spay it Forward,” meaning we need to put as much factual and useful information as we can into tiny, digestible sound-bites so it can easily be shared to educate and impact change. To aid in the effort, to follow are some basic 101’s of kittens, cats, conception, cat overpopulation, and how spay/neuter relates to it all. Read more