Friday, November 02, 2007

Cats are not tissue paper

I found a lost or what I thought to be abandoned or dumped cat last week when I got to work. It was solid black, and friendly enough to come up to me, and since it was right before Halloween I was immediately afraid someone might hurt her. Plus, how could I turn my back on a hungry sad critter like that?

Fortunately for me I work a place I was able to keep kitty with me for the duration of my shift. Another co-worker got her food, and we debated if any of us could keep her. Eventually it appeared I was the only one willing to take her home, though my house is small and I already have two cats... so I had some reservations on the matter.

As the night progressed, kitty ate, drank a great deal of water, then complained, wanting to go, until she finally used the litter we'd provided her in the form of a cut down box with soil from outside in it. She settled right down after that and rested, washing a lot and biting on herself like she probably had a good number of fleas. Finally she just slept all out, crashed, sound asleep, even when a number of people came and went from my work space. She was obviously pooped.

I had noticed that one of her eyes was a bit teary, and as she rested her nose got a little snotty/crusty. I began to worry she might have a feline upper respiratory infection or something worse like feline distemper, which in turn made me fear it could be spread to my very healthy kitties should I bring her home.

At any rate, when I went home... kitty still came with, and was isolated in a cat carrier placed in our small spare bedroom now pantry storage, for the rest of the night. At first I discussed the cat with my partner, whether we might be exposing our cats to some illness, if we could afford the vet bills if this cat were very ill, and the time it would take to first isolate her, then eventually introduce her to our animals. I started to think it was more than we were up to, risk wise, energy wise and financially. It was an agonizing night for me as I woke every hour, and that little black cat was always my first thought.

The next morning I talked again with my partner. We decided the safest option for our cats was to take kitty to the shelter. Here she is that morning, dozing, before I took her there.

I felt horrible about the choice, but I took her in, and wept as I left her with the shelter staff.

She was never far from my thoughts for the next 48 hours. Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer, and called the shelter. They said she probably didn't have any illnesses, and had been given her shots. By middle of the next week she'd be out for adoption, if no one claimed her. At this juncture my partner and I had talked extensively, and knew we'd be there to fill out an adoption application for the little black cat... as insane as it was. I just couldn't bear the thought of her being put to sleep should no one else want her.

Then a miracle occurred. Her people came by my work looking for her. My co-worker called me at home, since it was my day off with the news. Apparently as rough as she looked kitty had a home, but perhaps had run off because of heat, since the shelter said she hadn't been spayed yet. At any rate, I provided them all the info about her where abouts, so hopefully there was a happy reunion yesterday afternoon or soon will be today.

I must confess I am stopping by the shelter next Wednesday, when the shelter said she'd be out for adoption, just to be sure they came and claimed her.

Many people think that because cats are independent, then they can survive on their own should they be dumped, left behind in a move, or in some other way abandoned. This is patently false. Just because a cat isn't as obseqious as say a dog, means no such thing. Humans domesticated cats at least 8000 years ago in Mesopotamia and the Egyptians of course revered cats for their hunting abilities, and rodent killing skills as much as their companionship. It was a crime in Egypt to kill a cat, punishable by death, even if it were an accident. People there also shaved their brows to show grief when their household cat died, and the cats were buried as lavishly and honorably as any person.

Temple of Bastet : Egyptian Bast Goddess Statue

By Carrie Hawks

Cats need us to care for them, and depend on us to be good pet parents. Unfortunately these days we've forgotten our reverence for most of nature to include our pet cats. No one knows how many, but there are millions of feral cats in the United States, simply because humans fail to spay or neuter their cats, then abandon them to the streets. Feral cats have short, painful lives and often die from malnutrition, disease, exposure, by car accidents, or predation.

Cats are not tissue paper. Please think before you get a pet cat... can you provide kitty vet care, spay/neuter, keep s/he inside where they are safest, feed, love and honor them, as in their own kitty way they will you? If yes, please, please adopt as many kitties as you can properly care for. Far too many must be euathanized each day for want of a loving home as it is, and they need us!

If you cannot commit to 12 - 15 years of having a cat, which is their average life span, to healthy food, water, shelter, veternarian care, and most of all love of your cat, then do everyone, including yourself a favor, and don't get one. No pet deserves that kind of poor treatment, or abuse, least of all a cat.


My pussycat sings his song to me.

He always sings at half past three.

He sings of tins of tuna fish,

And chicken pieces in a dish,

And when my pussycat's sung to me,

I go to get my pussycat's tea.

Always be kind to your pussycat,

Whatever he may do.

Your pussycat loves you and always will,

Your pussycat's faithful and true.

~ David Harper ~


LGP said...

Okay. Now I'm wondering if I need to shave my eyebrows...

I read somewhere that cats domesticated humans, not the other way around. They sought our company, we didn't seek theirs.

This, I think, explains much of their attitude about us.

Saara said...

Introducing new kitties to existent kitties is also very stressful for both parties. You made the right choice for many reasons, as you well know. :)
We have our indoor/camping/hiking kitty Kale and his feral outdoor girlfriend Ralf. Ralf gets as much care as she will tolerate and we know that her life will be shortened since she has chosen to live outside. Still she always has food, water and a sheltered place to be as well as parasite control applications. She's also spayed, of course. "Free" cats just aren't quite so free!
Igp needs to go adopt another kitty as soon as she's ready. ;)

Dani said...

That may be true, but I think over the > 8K years we have been cohabiting with cats they have come to depend on us, for food, water, shelter, health and well being. Even our love.

Saara I think you're absolutely right about introductions. I'm still swinging by the shelter this coming Weds., just to be sure ;-))

Diana said...

Well guess who I saw at work today?
But seriously though, get those dogs into the store so I can see how big stu's gotten! And to say hi of course. =)
It was good to see you today jo!

Seven Trees said...

Can't wait to bring Stew to his Alma Mater so his teacher can see how huge and well-mannered he is ;-) Well the huge part is correct anyway. He's such a big goof!

lgp said...

Almost the day to go check and see if her humans picked her up or not...

Dani said...

Kitty went home with her parents last week. I stopped by today to be sure. We'll be popping by again Friday, so J can view the two silver tabby babies available for adoption. Look for an update as to whether we came home with 2 kittens, or 10!