Let's face it, covid has turned everyone's world upside down. Covid is unpredictable. It is a new virus and could mutate at any moment without warning. We know that many of the families who get kittens from us have members with breathing issues that could make the virus very dangerous to them. We are equally concerned. We have family members with asthma and other health issues. We also have a farm to run in addition to the cattery so we cannot afford sick days. So let's talk about how we can keep one another safe.
Cats can catch and transmit covid. Just as doctor's offices and hospitals are high risk places for catching the disease so are veterinarians' offices. Normally we are, um, slightly pushy about well kitten visits and vaccinations but the world is a different place right now. It would be all too easy for a sick cat to be brought into a veterinarian's office and contaminate the air and furnishings. If you have ever taken a small child in to their doctor's office for a well baby visit only to come back the following week with a cold, the flu or some other virus making it's way through the house you understand the dilemma. To make matters worse you cannot put a mask or hand sanitizer on a kitten to keep it safe.
Just as a cold or other respiratory virus can quickly race through a nursery school class the same is true with a cattery. Covid has a long incubation period and can be asymptomatic in its early stages. The prospect terrified us so badly we shut down for a number of months early in the pandemic. We were afraid of becoming super spreaders by unknowingly sending out infected kittens who were still asymptomatic and putting their new families at risk.
Here is our solution. After careful thought we decided to postpone vaccinations until the new family feels safe doing them with their own veterinarians. We have dropped our normal kitten price from $1200 to $900 to compensate you for the cost of the vet visits and the time involved.
Is this safe for the kittens? Well, in a perfect world we would rather they had their shots but if kept inside and not exposed to sick cats your kitten is safe even without the vaccinations. Ideally though it is best to do the vaccinations as soon as you feel you can safely do so because of the risk of the kitten getting outside and being exposed to a sick cat.
We would like to delude ourselves that we are fairly safe from covid. We are farmers so we spend lots of time outside in the fresh air and sunshine, get LOTS of exercise and eat tons of homegrown veggies. The thing is, a few years ago, a bad case of Lyme disease taught us the realities of long term illnesses and farm life. Simply put we cannot afford to get sick because rain or shine, 7 days a week we have to be physically able to take care of all the animals depending upon us. Farmers do not get vacations or sick days. Neither do cattery owners. If we sick we have to keep going or our beautiful pets and livestock will die so we are being insanely careful.
We do not go into stores or other public buildings unless it absolutely cannot be avoided. Thankfully Walmart and the feed store both allow us to pick up orders without coming inside the store. Even then we always wear our masks and decontaminate everything we buy. Our social life is, well, nonexistent and our daughter is homeschooled. Our only off farm entertainment is hiking. Be warned if allowed near another person we will probably talk your ear off as a result but our self-imposed hermit status does keep us (and you) safe.
The plan for keeping everyone safe is
I know this might seem like overkill to some people but we need you to remember if we are careless with one family we put all the other families we see after them in danger. We cannot know how high risk the covid situation is in the areas each of our families come from so we have to treat every family as if they are potentially asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
Humanity has survived endless disasters. Plagues, wars, depressions and famines are the reality of human history. This too will eventually pass and life will return to normal. Until then we will all work together and make the best of the situation as it is. If we practice commonsense and look out for one another we will make our way through this as best we can and life will someday finds its way to a new normal.