The Houston Humane Society on Almeda Road was in full swing this morning in the very special way it honors the St. Valentine's Day season.
On Fix Felix For Free Day, the HHS pledges to neuter 500 male cats for free. No females allowed. There was a limit of five cats per household and appointments were to be made in advance. With the considerable savings it offered -- rabies shots were half-price at $5 -- there were a lot of takers.
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But the lines moved, in fact, they zoomed this morning. It may have helped that people were told to come in at staggered times. Also that other normal wellness clinic operations were shut down and volunteers came in to help handle the traffic. You checked in outside, got your cat's number, and then went inside where there were four lines divided up alphabetically with forms to sign. As any veteran of the HHS clinic would tell you, this was heaven. The vets and technicians there are experts in the spay-neuter field, but sometime the waits can be a bit lengthy.
Naturally, there was a glitch. One woman got to the head of the outside line about 7:30 a.m. with four cartons of cat and no advance sign-up. Rather than stopping everything, the volunteer very sensibly asked her to step aside with her cats and said that they would resolve it as soon as they could. And then she moved on to the next person in line - bottleneck averted!
Next test: this afternoon when everyone comes back to pick up those 500 cats. And yes, the HHS is counting on no one losing the claim check number that goes with his cat. Good luck with that.
- Margaret Downing