For the kitties and puppies

With one pair of cats and their offspring potentially able to generate 11,801 kittens in five years, it could seem that advocates of pet birth control are fighting a losing battle. But Sue Evans and Kathy Halloran, who are promoting Spay Day USA, are optimistic that the problem can be addressed on some scale in Chico.

Both also volunteer in the Chico Cat Coalition, which uses donations and city grants to spay or neuter cats left in Bidwell Park. But it’s not a ton of money, and it doesn’t take care of animals found elsewhere or help families who can’t afford to have their pets altered. A fund-raiser going on now will help fill the gap.

Some of the money raised from sales of U.S. Postal Service merchandise will go toward the Spay Day effort. The Feb. 25 event is intended to help raise awareness about the importance of spaying and neutering.

There are sheets of stamps for $10, ceramic mugs for $12.95, magnets for $2.99, two types of tote bags, T-shirts, pins and more (pictured below). Featured on the items are a striped kitty, Samantha, and a dog, Kirby, that were rescued from pounds.

To buy the items, visit In Vogue Resale at 244 Walnut or call Evans at 895-8864. In another promotion, the Chico Cat Coalition has partnered with Chevy’s for a “tax day” event on April 15 in which the restaurant will donate 20 percent of the proceeds from meals purchased by anyone presenting the promotional flier about it.

February also marks the start of “kitten season,” when cats as young as 4 months old go into heat. “They’re really starting to breed right now,” Evans said. “The solution is so easy.”

Glad to be home

I just returned from a journalism convention in San Francisco. I learned a lot and had fun, but the experience in the “big city” made me appreciate a few things about Chico. From now on I’m going to whine a lot less about traffic, inflation and wages. Take note:

1. In San Francisco, the shopkeepers don’t trust you. Many of them make you check your purse and bags at the counter while you’re shopping. In Chico, the only store I can think of that does that is Tower, and only with really big bags.

2. A lot of places don’t take checks and won’t accept a credit card or debit card if you’ve decided not to sign it for security reasons. (Many consumer fraud prevention advisers recommend writing “Ask for ID” on the card instead.)

3. They don’t like you to use their restrooms—even if you buy something. In Chico, even downtown where some stores restrict restroom use, you can always find someplace that will let you “go.”

4. Those dollars for bus fares, taxis, parking and BART really add up. I saw a sign offering a parking space for $250 a month. In Chico, we can get snotty about feeding the meter or facing a $7 parking ticket.

5. No one who lives in the Bay Area, no matter how much you explain the percentage of increase over a short time, will ever feel sorry for you for complaining about house prices in Chico. While you’re trying to wrap your brain around $200,000, they’ve given up on affording the minimum of $400,000 it costs for a so-so house there.