California's Drought Is Causing More Homeless Kittens, As If We Needed More Motivation To End It ASAP

The drought in California has affected everything from denim retailers to, say, the entire population of California, who now have to deal with unprecedented water restrictions as the state attempts to save water wherever possible. The most important demographic of all however, had remained unaffected... until recently. I'm talking about cats, of course, and according to Jezebel the California drought could be causing more homeless kittens. This is the last straw, people. For whatever reason, you may not care about the effects like potentially dirty drinking water for Californians, or the expected fires and floods, or the millions of dead trees, but surely even the most dedicated of climate change deniers cares about homeless kittens. Nobody is that cold-hearted.Animal shelters in the Bay area are experiencing an unexpected increase in abandoned kittens, SF Gate reports. "We get a lot of kittens every year, but it has started early this year," director of Oakland Animal Services Rebecca Katz said, presumably after the reporter made the requisite "Katz = cats" joke. The shelter claims that an estimated 30 percent more kittens have been dropped off on its doorstep, and they link it to the warm, dry weather putting cats in the mood, so to speak. Cats still haven't grasped the concept of birth control, so all that mating has essentially flooded the streets of San Francisco with baby cats abandoned by their mothers. It sounds like a dream come true, until you remember that the shelters are frequently underfunded and understaffed anyway. Sure enough, the animal shelter has publicly asked for donations in order to keep up with their increased kitten population.

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Not everyone agrees that the drought is the reason for the extra fluff wandering around San Francisco, however. According to wildlife biologist Jason Holley, cats aren't like college students; they don't get frisky in times of stress. "There might be some correlation there, but if the drought is the cause, who knows," he told SF Gate.

He went on to say we should be more worried about animals that can't easily leave their habitats in search of water, like the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander. Unfortunately, reptiles are... significantly less cute than kittens. Sorry, guys, but this:

has nothing on this:

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But just because something is slimy and wriggly, as opposed to fluffy and prone to falling over while chasing its tail, doesn't mean it's not an important part of the Californian ecosystem. Luckily, you can save both kittens and salamanders by reducing your water waste or donating to your local animal shelter. If you're feeling particularly kind to the environment, you could even do both! Who wouldn't want to after looking at this face?

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Images: Giphy, uncomfortableconfusion/Tumblr