When I look back from the founding of Alley Cat Allies to today, I’m humbled by the tremendous progress we’ve been able to achieve for the wellbeing of cats over the past 28 years.
Tomorrow, October 16, is Global Cat Day. On this special day, we celebrate the power of this movement—the compassion and hard work at its core—and the wonderful achievements so far. On this day, we not only celebrate how far we’ve come, but we also refuel and reenergize. We celebrate all the animal lovers who work day in and day out to help give cats a better, safer life, and we ask you to share your stories. Without all of you, there would be no movement to save cats and no Global Cat Day.
As the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, once said: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Don’t we know it!
For Alley Cat Allies, that first step occurred in an alley. It was a warm summer evening in 1990 and I caught sight of a handful of gorgeous tuxedo cats. From that moment forward, my life—and theirs—would be forever changed. What I saw were playful cats at home with each other and their feline family. What I knew, deep in my bones, was that their lives should be protected—not ended. I set about with the same determination that many of you have in similar situations. What drove me forward is what drives so many of you: unyielding compassion. When enough of us do this work, we move from being in front of city councils as individual advocates to a movement that becomes a force for positive change in the world.
If you had told me when I walked down that alley on that July night that my quest to help this one small group of cats would lead me to found the only global advocacy organization dedicated to protecting cats, I would not have believed you. But if you had told me that millions of people—if given the chance—would support compassion over cruelty, I would have believed it in a heartbeat. I knew that we humans could—and must—do better by the cats who live among us, both in our homes and in our communities. This belief propelled me forward and served as the cornerstone on which we built a global movement that is radically changing attitudes about cats and transforming harmful practices and laws in communities around the world.
This Global Cat Day, we’d like to share stories with the world about how you, and people like you, advocate for cats. We want to hear from those who know in their hearts that all cats, and especially the most vulnerable cats, need champions. Let’s share stories about compassionate people who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and do what it takes to help cats. We’re going to give the world a glimpse of what champions and trailblazers look like.
We all celebrate the hard-fought progress made in bringing about new laws and programs protecting and improving cats in thousands of communities. But our work is far from done. Dangerous, outdated ways of thinking persist. The lives of cats are at risk because many cities continue to employ cruel lethal cat management programs. These programs do not work, but year after year, they continue to receive funding, resulting in the deaths of countless cats.
We at Alley Cat Allies—and millions of people around the globe—have the audacity to believe that no cat deserves to be rounded up and killed. With this conviction as a guiding principle, we are making non-lethal cat management a reality across the country and around the world.
Global Cat Day is our day. It’s your day. It’s the day of all people who want to see cats treated humanely. Let the storytelling begin.
Share your cat story at GlobalCatDay.org and follow us online with the #GlobalCatDay hashtag. Advocates who are planning special events for Global Cat Day can upload them to a special calendar page at www.alleycat.org/events.