Alegria, a calico cat, was born in La Porte City in 2011. This is her story, as told to the Editor of The Progress Review:

Hi! My name is Alegria, an unusual name to be sure. I’m told it came from the name of some circus outfit and it means “a joyous, magical feeling.” I didn’t get my name until I was about six weeks old. And let me tell you, there was nothing joyous or magical about the first six weeks of my life.
I was born in April and most people think I was the runt of the litter. Now that I’m all grown up, I tip the scales at a whopping six pounds. But what I lack in size, I make up for in cuteness. Cuteness is my specialty, and it’s what got me off the streets of La Porte City. It’s not easy on the streets, living without a collar or a place to call home.
La Porte City is a great place to live, unless you’re a kitten without a home in April. It gets really cold at night. There’s no supper dish or water bowl either! Instead, it’s sneaking around looking for an open trash can, hoping to find leftovers inside. It’s a good thing we didn’t have those big green cans back in 2011. I may be cute, but I’m no match for the heavy lids on those beasties. Believe me when I tell you, water in a clean bowl tastes WAY better than puddles in the street.
When I was about six weeks old, a really scary thing happened. As I was roaming in an alley, looking for a warm spot to hide, a leather glove swooped down and grabbed me! Before I knew it, I was in a box and headed for some place called “City Hall.” I wanted out of the box but the glove held me tight. When it finally released me, I looked up to see what this City Hall was all about. It was hard to see with all the gunk in my eyes, but I gathered myself together and put on my very best “look how adorable I am” look. It worked! A nice lady smiled down at me and said, “What a cute little dirtball!” It was love at first sight.
Instead of a cage and a trip to the animal shelter, I now have a nice home filled with princess pillows to lay on. There’s plenty of food and clean water when I need it. While it doesn’t happen as much as I’d like, it’s really great when I get to go downstairs and meet the people who come to the office just to SEE ME. Sure, they say they’ve come in to take out an ad or buy a newspaper. But I know the real reason they come is to SEE ME. Living upstairs is okay too. Be sure to look up when you walk along Main Street. You might SEE ME sitting in the front window watching the world from my safe perch behind a window on the second story.

Did You Know?

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsĀ® (ASPCA):

  • Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  • Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats).
  • Approximately 2.7 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.4 million dogs and 1.3 million cats).
  • About 649,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. Of those, 542,000 are dogs and only 100,000 are cats.
  • About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.