Friday, August 10, 2007

Cat Salvage

The picture to the left is Howard. The only thing that keeps him from being a true albino is the amber color of his eyes. Howard showed up on the porch of my weekday residence. I tried to convince him that he didn't belong to me, that I already had three cats and no more room, but after a day or two, he convinced me that maybe I belonged to him. When I headed to my regular home, a 90-mile car trip, Howie slept in my lap, waking up a time or two to put his forepaws on my chest and nuzzle my nose. His mere presence caused a ruckus at my house--my wife was delighted, my resident cats somewhat less so. The next day, we went to the vet. I was already attached to the little guy, and nearly made myself sick waiting for the results of his feline leukemia and FIV tests. Fortunately for Howard (and my other cats) the tests were negative. It's been a couple of days, and Howie's incredibly friendly demeanor has won over the other cats.

That demeanor has made me pretty angry, too. Howie was obviously not a feral cat. Somebody dumped this kitten. Had he not appeared on my porch, he would have starved, or been run over, or killed by a dog, or a hawk, or another cat. Had he survived, he would have fathered countless unwanted kittens, killed innumerable birds, lizards, and rodents, and spread diseases to other feral cats, pets, and even to people. Dumping unwanted pets is irresponsible--and loathsome.

It's pretty easy to say you're against ditching animals, I guess. But I'm doing my part to solve the problem (and Hipparchia is doing hers). Animal shelters are full of cats and dogs that need homes. Who doesn't have room for one more?


Sona said...

I've adopted two strays off the street and two more from shelters. One of the shelter cats was the sweetest animal I have ever seen. I have no idea how he ended up there, but I'm glad to have saved him.

He lived with me for 14 years and just recently died of a heart condition.

hipparchia said...

i dunno, i seem to be doing my level best to overpopulate the world with cats at the moment.

i think mom cat was a dumped pet also. she hasn't turned into a real true cuddler, but she'll eat from my hand, let me scratch her in all the kitty scratchy spots, and even lets me pick up her latest batch of kittens. briefly.

what a cutioe! more pictures of howie, please.

Catnapping said...

I love kitties. Howard's picture had my oxytocin spilling, and now I'm all squeaky.

I don't know why people assume cats can hunt. Too many generations have been removed from mom long before she would have been able to teach them to survive. (And that's if she was with her mom long enough to learn.)

I'm one of the those people who used to take in strays. But my last landlord wouldn't tolerate me taking any inside, and we have winters here. So I ended up taking them to shelters for adoption/euthanasia, depending on how sick or injured they were.

It should also be noted that small animals cannot stay warm without shelter...the cats that don't starve, or become prey to larger animals, freeze to death. Enless rescued, cats that are dumped are doomed to a painful existence.

And let me say here, that folks with "outdoor/working" dogs should NOT be leaving them outside in the winter. Even doghouses are not enough against below zero temps.

Archaeopteryx said...

Thanks, all. Sona, I remember your post about your cat. Enough time has passed that you should run to the shelter and get three or four more. Hipparchia, I have two cats that don't like to be picked up--one was a stray, and the other a shelter cat who, as far as I know, never spent a day outside. And Cat, if you think Howie's cute in the picture, you should see him in person. How anyone could ditch this little guy is beyond me.

Sona said...

catnapping said: "It should also be noted that small animals cannot stay warm without shelter...the cats that don't starve, or become prey to larger animals, freeze to death."

Little story: one of the street cats we found hated to be indoors. Despite our efforts to make her an indoor cat, she insisted on going outside, even in winter. She refused to use a litter box.

One night, we had a terrible snowstorm. 20+ inches fell and we had no idea where the cat was. Weeks went by and we assumed she had frozen to death.

Then came the thaw and one day she showed up - right out of the sewer. It was warmer, dryer, and full of *ew* food.

She survived for several more years. Tough old cat.

Catnapping said...

hehehe...yep. one really good thing about decomposing ... stuff. it's hot.

Bite said...

My cat came from the Pound 14 years ago. She always hated men, especially when they were wearing shoes. She finally will tolerate being in the same room with them, I guess it is because my son has grown into one who is kind and gentle.

She is so naughty. She jumps on my desk when I am working and knocks my coffee over on my important papers. Or she knocks my rolodex onto the floor. She has destroyed all the carpet and all the couches in the house. She jumps up on the table and knocks over our drinks. She throws up in the living room right before or after company arrives.

Not a day goes by when one of us is not bleeding.

She hisses at my husband--although she has gotten better over the years.

and we love her.

Thy Goddess said...

I love him!

Bite said...

To ThyGoddess

Are you really gone?

rundeep said...

He's so much cuter than that prosecutor! (And are you really moving? Should I send more kitchen pictures?)

Good show all around, arch. I'm a johnny come lately to kitty love, but my vet-rescued feral guy is a total, utter sweetheart. Since my daughter is at sleepaway camp right now (for the first time), the kitty is a good, cuddleable proxy. And he knows it.

As to being outside, yep. But my pooch is a snowgirl. She prefers to sleep outside in the winter, though as she ages, she's a little less reluctant to sleep with us in February. Peace and love, all.

Archaeopteryx said...

Bite, your house sounds like mine looks. Not an intact piece of furniture in the house.

Worth it, though.

Run, don't send kitchen pictures unless you're willing to come to Arkansas and do the decorating, too.