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Good News: Happiness CAN Be Bought!


Arriving in Toronto three years ago hardly knowing a soul, I decided to cure my loneliness by adopting a cat from The Toronto Humane Society (THS). So it happened that one fine autumn day in 2002, I walked down through Regent Park (I was new) to the corner of Queen and River streets and adopted Lester, who turned out to be The World's Greatest Cat.

It wasn't long before homesickness overwhelmed me once more. Again, I trooped down to the shelter (this time knowing better than to take any unsavoury shortcuts) and adopted Paris-Marie (she came with the name and, quite frankly, it suits her).

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*Paris-Marie, looking prim and proper, as usual.

When I discovered Paris didn't like other cats, I felt bad for Lester and made a third trip to the THS to pick up a friend for him - Eliot.

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*Lester and Eli loving each other.

Then my mom called and told me not to go back to The Humane Society if I couldn't leave without a cat.

Now, in an attempt to prevent myself from becoming what one psychiatrist who appeared on Oprah the other week referred to as an "animal hoarder" (and, I suppose, in an attempt to prevent my boyfriend, Josh, who adamantly insists, "The only direction the number of cats in this house is going is down!" from leaving), I'm turning to you, faithful blogTO users, to help the THS during a very critical time.

I received an e-mail this morning from the president of the THS, Tim Trow, who says the shelter is currently overflowing with hurt, lost and abandoned animals, and doesn't have space for any new ones needing care. People are desperately needed to go down to the shelter and adopt one of the wonderful animals patiently waiting for their "forever" home.

All cats and kittens are adopted at the cost of $25. This price includes a microchip identification, treatment with the Advantage™ flea product, six weeks of Pet Plan insurance, all vaccinations to date, a sample of Royal Canin™ cat food and a carry-home box. The THS also provides literature on the many aspects of owning and caring for a cat.

All dogs and puppies are adopted at the cost of $50. This price includes a lifetime microchip identification, treatment with the Advantage™ flea product, six weeks of Pet Plan insurance, all vaccinations to date, a behavioural training handbook and a coupon for Royal Canin™ dog food.

Rabbits are adopted at the cost of $20. Vaccines are not required for rabbits. You should bring your own cage for the rabbit, or you can purchase one from The Humane Society.

The cost of mice, birds, gerbils, guinea pigs and ferrets varies between $4 and $65.

So, if you're thinking about getting a pet, please consider adopting one from The Toronto Humane Society, rather than buying from a pet store or breeder.

And, now that I think about it, what was I talking about before? Since I LOVE animals and I LOVE Oprah, I would be crazy not to consider becoming an animal hoarder; it could just mean my big debut on her show! Sorry Mom. And Josh. And Paris-Marie.

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*Lucy (my boyfriend's cat) and Eddie (the new kitten I got when Lester died). All my cats were adopted from the THS.


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