stoplights in downtown Roanoke, Texas, Kathleen "Kat"
Chaplin expects stares, finger pointing, even giggles from
driving style doesn't generate all the attention; the multitude
of messages splashed on her 1996 blue Nissan Altima does.
Chaplin will tell you that Nissan stands for "Nifty
Individuals Start Spaying and Neutering."
a creative person working in a technical world, so this
spaying and neutering effort is good for me," says
Chaplin, 56, who works the night shift at a computer help
reigns as president of "Neuter Us, Humor Us,"
a nonprofit campaign for Ahimsa of Texas, a group consisting
of four Texan friends who describe themselves as "a
small but mighty force working on behalf of animals."
conducts spay/neuter and education programs throughout Texas
and over the Internet on her Web site: www.ahimsatx.org.
Flossy the Floozy, Spay West and Sammie Spayed characters
appear on spay/neuter stamps Chaplin puts on newsletters,
bumper stickers and coffee mugs. She works with local veterinarians
and shelters to provide free or low-cost spay and neutering
programs. She awards Kitten Kops (Kids on Patrol) certificates
to children who encourage their parents or their friends
to spay or neuter their pets.
crusades to curb the overpopulation of cats and dogs. You
can tell with one glance at her car. Her personalized license
plate reads, "No Kill." The back bumper sports
whimsical cartoon drawings of a neutered cat and a dog,
both with belly bandages, and the words: "Save Lives!
Spay and Neuter. It's the kindest cut of all." Across
the top of her windshield appears the message: "We
Be Neutered." Her driver's-side door depicts a frustrated
mother cat with kittens piled on top of her and the words:
"Spay and Neuter." A 5-foot plush Sylvester the
Cat rides in the front passenger seat.
doesn't believe in subtlety. "I encourage people to
promote neutering pets with humor to help end the irresponsibility
of pet overpopulation," she says. "Every 60 seconds,
we kill another 350 healthy, homeless animals in America."
Mountain, president of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in
Kanab, Utah, a no-kill center, has no trouble recalling
the first time he met Chaplin. She greeted him in her "We
Be Neutered" van last spring, whimsically wielding
Neuteress is truly one of the outstanding personalities
of the humane community," Mountain says. "Jokes,
gimmicks and slogans aside, her cause is deadly serious.
She certainly gets the work out and the job done."
Robbins, of Garland, Texas, met Chaplin at a national feral-cat
conference in St. Louis, Mo., a couple of years ago and
immediately developed a friendship and admiration.
is waging war on pet overpopulation, and she is charming
and a riot to talk to," Robbins says.
efforts have garnered the respect of national groups such
as Alley Cat Allies, a nonprofit group based in Washington,
"The issue of overpopulation is sad and overwhelming,
but Kat channels her love and energy toward how the problem
can be solved by marketing spay and neuter in every form
possible," says Becky Robinson, national director of
Alley Cat Allies. "Kat proves that individuals can
make a difference every day. Because of people like Kat,
we will win in the end; the animals will win in the end."
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