Man’s Best Friend...is Purring?

There are many rifts in this country, but few run as deep as the one between cats and dogs. It is perhaps only outmatched by the monstrous divide between their human counterparts: cat lovers and dog lovers. Every person must choose a side. There is no middle ground!

I love cat. Let’s be clear, I don’t love cats, just cat. A lot of meaning hinges on that little “s.” As long as I can remember I have been a dog person, but recently my girlfriend and I adopted a kitten from the SF SPCA. It’s changed my life and great god almighty...I really do love this cat.

Her name is Bader. She is a strong, independent cat woman that stands for equality and justice for all in the feline kingdom. She takes after her namesake, the Notorious RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg). She enjoys chasing hair ties across our tiny one bedroom apartment and likes drinking milk out of my cereal bowl when I’m not looking. She rather hates the smell of flea medicine, but she’s not a fan of fleas so she’s learned the value of compromise.

A bit of drama can make for powerful writing. For the sake of this piece, I would love to boldly proclaim, “Bader saved my life,” but that wouldn’t be true. I managed just fine without her. At one point, I actually threatened to throw a cat off of our balcony if my girlfriend brought one home. (I wouldn’t have actually done it, but as I noted, drama is powerful stuff. Plus...I’m a dog person. I had to prove my allegiance.)

What is true is that I am infinitely happier with Bader in my life. I’m probably more pleasant to be around too, but you’ll have to confirm that with my girlfriend. This isn’t baseless though, it’s science. Both cats and dogs are proven to lower stress levels in their human companions. Fun fact: They also lower the risk of allergies in babies.

The SF SPCA has left an indelible mark on my life for the better. One that I can’t imagine my life without. As a small thank you, I thought I’d pen down a few of the ways the SF SPCA has made our community a safer place for our furry friends.

  1. The SF SPCA founded the No-Kill Movement in 1994, guaranteeing every adoptable dog and cat a happy home.

  2. In 2015, 5,141 animals were adopted through the SF SPCA.

  3. San Francisco achieved a 93% live release rate in 2015. This is the highest rate of any major city in the United States. Live release rate refers to the percentage of animals leaving the shelter alive, no matter what their health or behavior status is. This could be through adoption, return to owner, or shelter transfer.

  4. The SF SPCA offers free and discounted spay/neuter surgeries for low-income SF residents. In 2015, the SF SPCA performed over 9,000 spay/neuter surgeries.

  5. Over 100,000 people are visited by therapy animals each year.

In 2012, the SF SPCA outlined Vision 2020, a plan to end animal abandonment in San Francisco by 2020. They are well on their way to achieving that goal but need your help to make it happen. Find out how you can get involved here.


This week, In Lieu Of is proud to fundraise for the SF SPCA to save and protect animals in our community. All it takes is a handful of people (like you!) to donate $5 in lieu of buying ONE cup of coffee. Together we are donating over $100 each week.

If you’d like to earn a scoop of good karma, click here to join the ILO Fund to automatically discover and support a new Bay Area charity each week.