I'm not one to schill for charities, but I think having cats has made me more mushy than I was before. I really do feel for sick and mistreated animals and I didn't before.
Anyhow, I read about charity eBay auction via the blog on cats.about.com and I thought it was worth a mention. To quote the description:
What you are bidding on is a ceramic cat painted by my daughter. We are selling hand painted cats to raise money for my daughter's real cat who has skin cancer on his nose. The vet assures us it is no where eles (SIC) in his body, but the surgery to remove it will cost $1,100.00 by a local cancer specialist. My daughter is 7 years old and her cat is 4 years old. Rather than put the cat to sleep, she wanted to try to raise the money so I said I would help her.
If you want to help save a real cat's life by bidding on a ceramic cat, here's the auction.
I remember a few weeks ago when I took Arthur to an emergency vet. There was one woman we spoke to in the waiting room whose cat needed expensive treatments that she could not afford. I was so tempted to whip out my credit card and pay for her cat, but I can't afford to be giving hundreds of dollars away. Eventually, the woman signed up for a credit plan and her cat got treatment.
It amazes me that, if a human needed surgery, even if that person were poor, there would be some kind of social safety net, albeit a weak one. There are government programs like medicare and medicaid. They don't work very well, but they exist. If you have a cat and your guardian can't pony up $1000, you're just plain outta luck. Where's the low-cost health care for cats?