Monday, September 28, 2009

End Petlessness

So, remember that stray cat I took to the Humane Society earlier in the week? Er, it turns out he wasn't a stray after all. Oops.

While I was out Friday getting my roots done, a guy came to the door and asked Jim if he'd seen a black and white cat. Jim told him yes: we'd taken him to the Humane Society. To which he responded, angrily, "That was you?" and then accused Jim of "stealing his cat."

Well. It's probably a good thing I wasn't home because I would have loved to tell him that his cat was in worse shape than the ferals that have been out on the street for years! The cat was so skinny, and it wasn't just that: it was filthy and matted! What kind of cat owner lets their cat get like that??? Arg. Anyway, I wasn't home, good thing, so we didn't make an enemy in the neighborhood. Jim was a little more mellow than I would have been and didn't make accusations of neglect. He just said we've found feral cats dying in our driveway (true) and had to take them to Dove Lewis (our awesome animal ER), and that this cat didn't look like it could survive the winter outside; that we were trying to help it. The guy cooled off and that was that.

We didn't see the cat all weekend, but now he's back out on my writing room porch looking cleaner but still scraggly-skinny, which I suppose could just be the way he is. I guess he's old. His name is Einstein, and I'm very glad he has a home, and I'm not feeling at all contrite about having taken him to the Humane Society. If you saw this cat, you'd never have believed he had an owner!!! It was a sobering trip to the Humane Society, too. They have a dry-erase board at intake telling how many cats/dogs/other they took in the previous day, and how many they adopted out. In one day alone they'd gotten 22 cats! Holy smokes! And adopted out 18, which is pretty good, but still leaves a balance of 4 kitties. And then there's the dogs :-(

They have a great ad campaign, "End Petlessness" -- isn't that cute?

Do you have pets?


johanna said...

You guys totally did the right thing, I would have done the same! Arg, I get so mad about neglected animals in our neighborhood as well. We adopted our two new awesome kittens a few months ago from the humane society, and I was so impressed with that place. The kitten rooms are amazing. And irresistible!

Megsie said...

I agree. How were you to know? At least Einstein wasn't hit by a car. We have a dog and he owns US! I don't think I could NOT have a dog.

Shannon Messenger said...

You didn't do anything wrong. I wish people with outside cats would put collars on them (though taking good care of them would be nice too, wouldn't it?) because I'm always struggling with the "is it stray?" conundrum.

I have five cats (I know, insert crazy cat lady jokes here). I rescued 2 from a shelter, then a starved stray wandered into my yard so I took him in, a few months later a starved little girl showed up so I kept her. It turned out she was pregnant (no good deed goes unpunished) and since you have to keep the kittens for 8 weeks before weening them I totally got attached and ended up keeping one.

But I've also fed 6 or 7 other mangy cats (I swear my house is a cat magnet) that disappeared before I could take them to the vet or a shelter. And the reason I waited so long was because I was trying to figure out if they had homes. So I can totally relate to your story. If your neighbor is so protective of his cat (which I highly doubt he is) he should spend 5 dollars and buy it a collar so he won't have this problem. And maybe he should put out a dish of food while he's at it!

tone almhjell said...

You did the right thing. Pims and Balthasar say so, too.

Nerd Goddess said...

Hopefully having someone think his cat was a stray will be a bit of an awakening for him on how he is treating his cat!

Right now we don't have any pets, but that's simply because our apartment complex doesn't allow them. As soon as we're done with school and living somewhere a little more permanent we'll no doubt get at least a dog, because my husband loves them. I'd love to have a cat myself, but I just recently found out I'm pretty allergic to them, which is rather depressing. :(

Laini Taylor said...

Shannon, I should clarify: Einstein did have a collar on, with Humane Society and rabies tags, but when I called the HS to track him, the phone number they gave me was disconnected, so I thought he was abandoned. Since he was so tame, I knew he wasn't a feral, I just thought he'd been left behind. Still, what good is a collar when the tags are out of date?? And again, if he wasn't in such sorry shape, I never have thought he was abandoned!

Laini Taylor said...

And Johanna, your new kitties are beautiful! And so soft!

silly little girl said...

I have two kitties and a puppy at home. Fae is my cat, she's fat and incredibly friendly. She doesn't understand how to distribute her weight so she's very heavy when she walks on you. Kishka is the family cat, she is a warrior queen, and is generally very unfriendly...unless you go to the attic (my sister's room) and sleep in the bed. Then magically you are amazing and she will headbutt you with love.

Sasha is our dog, she's a lab/dachsund mix (as far as we can tell). She looks like a lab on short legs, she's very friendly and pretty quiet. We adopted all our animals, and they've been wonderful matches for my family.

Sarah said...

That's a very cute advertisement.

I have a cat who's about 15 years old now; I remember picking her out at the humane society when I was 4 years old. It's been a beautiful friendship ever since.

And for what it's worth I think you did the right thing by Einstein. And how would you know if he "just looks like that"?

myrna said...

That poor kitty.

We have three kitties. We got the first two because we had mice, and everyone said that the best way to get rid of mice was to get a cat. Ben didn't think he'd like them, but he does. I catch him watching them with the same kind of smile he gets when he's watching the kids do something funny. Yep. He's confessed it. He's a cat lover now.

That video was cute.

~Molly~ said...

I befriended an ancient, outside-only, neighbor cat a few years ago and let him sleep in our home as long and as often as he wanted to.

Thirteen months almost to the day after he died I was walking on a city walking trail and found my little feline soulmate, Tibert, I swear its a payback.

We have 3 dogs(lost our dear elderly Puppy-girl last week), 7 cats, and 6 guinea pigs, 3 kids and a Betta. Whew!! Can't imagine life w/o pets!

Lexi said...

Poor kitty! Stray cats always come to our house for some reason, but we can't keep them because we have a crazy, crazy puppy.

I am pretty sure we would do anything for that dog, even though she runs away on a regular basis and is generally hyperactive. I think it's because she's so cute.

And by the way, the $160 is TOTALLY worth it for that beanbag chair! I mean, how could you NOT buy it? It is an imitation of a lively hibernating bear, after all.

Alyssa said...

I have two cats, both of which are my babies. They are both "resuce" pets (meaning we adopted from the shelter). I suppose I might have acted the same way as the owner (though I hope I wouldn't ever be so accusatory), but only because I would pretty much be inconsolable if either got ran away. But considering the cat's condition, it doesn't sound like it's loved all that much at home maybe?

On your side of things, you didn't do anything wrong at all. If nothing else, sometimes the Humane Society can get pets back in touch with thier owners, especially if they have one of those microchips. I would have thought it was a stray to based on your description of poor Einstein's condition. Let's hope he gets some better care this time around.

Wyman Stewart said...

Like the real Einstein, maybe Einstein's condition was due to chasing the Grand Unification Theory too relentlessly for too long. Hopefully, Einstein can get together with Schroedinger's Cat, famous for being dead and alive at the same instant. They would make for a very unusual pair.

Now, let me pay tribute to Human Societies everywhere, who do a tremendous job of taking in poor animals, while finding great homes for most of them. In the animal world, this is nothing less than a minor miracle, given the past.

Unless you wish to count the lizard who moved in with me to molt, making me his/her pet (that's Florida for you), I have no pets. One reason for that is I believe pets should have a good home. One where they are wanted, needed, taken care of, and given proper attention. True pet lovers do these things.

However, because of "all the others", who don't do those things, I would love to make it a law that everyone who owns a pet, have a license to own a pet. To get the license, you would have to go to pet training school/class. I would then make it a 30 automatic jail sentence for any owner who did not properly take care of a pet or who allowed the pet to regularly disturb or attack others. Too many pets are wiser than their owners.

In my area, cats and dogs are regularly dumped by their owners. They think they will be fine, because they dump them in a nearby woods. That's insane. I would hate to apply harsh laws to good pet owners, but there are so many bad ones today, it would be a must. I am glad for now Einstein is okay. Perhaps he has found a home away from home too. I hope someday, there will be no stray animals and little need for shelters. Maybe the Human Society can perform that miracle too. Best wishes for all your pets.

jckandy said...

Aw! Poor kitty. My family are a bunch of animal freaks, and we have NEVER owned a naturally skinny cat. I didn't think it could be done. All of our cats are fat lards. Garfield tabbys.

My house has 2 cats, 2 irish setters, 2 guinea pigs, a rabbit, and 4 fish in my tank. Our dogs are the most lively part of our family. They're even in our family pictures! The guinea pigs live in my mom's classroom during the week, and at home on the weekends. We love animals. I honestly don't think we've ever not had at least one animal in our house. I think they're a lot of work, but so rewarding.

Enna Isilee said...

Right now we have a 150 gallon fish tank (seriously, bigger than the one at dentists and doctors), and 2 bearded dragons. But they live at home. I'm not allowed any pets where I am, but as soon as I graduate from college, or have a schedule open enough to give a dog all the love it needs, I'm rushing out and getting one. I LOVE dogs.

Christine Fletcher said...

I've worked with Humane Societies in 4 different states and I can honestly say that the Oregon H.S. is the best I've ever seen. Kudos to you for taking little Einstein in! It was absolutely the right thing to do. At our practice we see SO many animals with tags that have truly been abandoned.

I'm catching up with posts since I've been out of town--belated congratulations on the starred review! Can't wait to get my hands on both Silksinger and Lips Touch, and dive in!

Heather said...

Sadly I have allergies and would dearly love to have a cat or dog. The best we've done here is hamster, but their lifespans are short.