It’s the most wonderful time …
It is time once again to celebrate Cat Herders Day, the official holiday of Five O’Clock Somewhere, tomorrow, December 15. Those of my followers in Europe are already enjoying the holiday.
The holiday was originally invented by a couple in California who have made up other wacky, offbeat holidays to celebrate. The date for this one, I’m sure, is a reflection on how busy most of us are at this time of year, with shopping, holiday arrangements, parties, entertaining, decorating, cooking, wrapping gifts, shipping gifts, writing and mailing holiday cards, traveling, coping with nasty weather, and sometimes also finishing up an academic semester or term with the accompanying final exams or portfolios and the grading thereof. Even those whose households are devoid of felines may feel like they’re herding cats.
Then there are those who are literally herding cats. Perhaps they have a house full of the critters. Perhaps they’ve taken an interest in a colony of feral cats, possibly even going to the trouble of participating in trap-neuter-release programs to reduce population growth and improve the health of cats in the colony. Perhaps they volunteer for a local animal shelter, fostering cats who need more special care than they can get in a shelter environment or providing kittens with a highly interactive environment to help them learn the socialization skills that will help them to get adopted.
This year, I’ve set up an event on Facebook for Cat Herders Day. You’re invited to come and share the ways you will be celebrating the day. You may post photos of the cats you herd and share your own cat-herding experiences, or if you don’t herd any cats yourself, express your admiration for those who do.
Of course, the Byrnes cat herd is small, consisting of only two cats.
Dulce was adopted in January 1997 from the organization now known as Animal Humane New Mexico. She had been picked up as a starving stray in a blizzard in Edgewood the previous Thanksgiving. She has been living in the lap of luxury ever since, and after all these years, I doubt she has any memory of her deprived early years.
Scratch came last year from the City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department, and his beginnings were happier. Although he and his littermates were turned over to the shelter, they were placed in a foster home where they socialized not only with humans but with many other animals, so he was a totally friendly and outgoing young cat. Gerald hadn’t intended to adopt a cat, but Scratch picked him out at an event in the parking lot of a local sporting-goods store.
So my thanks go out to the cat herders whose efforts led to two wonderful cats ending up in our household.