Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good Deeds

So in our new place, as with our old place, there are cats a-plenty outside, most of which have nearby homes. Since the first week we've been here however, there has been this fluffy black cat camped out on our door step. Every time I step out to shop or get the mail he tries to force his way into our place. This has earned him the name, "Intruder Cat." His fur is matted and he's kind of dirty, but I wasn't sure as to whether or not he was actually homeless... So I avoided letting him in.

Some people just don't take very good care of their pets, or don't know how to. So it was entirely possible they just forget to let him back inside sometimes and do not bathe or brush him. Not that I could blame them on the bathing part. Bathing cats is usually both an exercise in futility and an excuse to buy a whole new box of bandaids.

After a few months and his constant appearances at my door step, I began to truly consider the fact that he may have no place else to go. As the days started getting shorter, the nights colder, and at all times considerably more rainy, I started letting him inside. Just for short whiles. Long enough to make sure he had a warm nap and a full tummy. We had a bag of kitten chow from a year or so back just going to waste on the shelf, so I figured why not?  He didn't seem to get regular meals. He could use the extra calories and vitamins kitten chow provided.

Then the other day a neighbor of mine confirmed my suspicions: Intruder Cat was indeed homeless and had been for a year or more. The neighbor was, strangely enough, about to put out a little plate of food for Intruder himself. He said he often pitied him as well, but with his own cat, could not adopt him since he couldn't be sure as to whether or not Intruder had any of his shots. He did not want to put his current pets at any health risk which is understandable.

That's when I decided I'd start a fund for him, to get him to a Vet and make sure he's got all his vaccinations up-to-date and a clean bill of health. Thus far several friends and family members have made pledges to his cause. So even if we do not end up keeping him, he'll at least be healthy.

He's well mannered enough, so it's unlikely that he is feral (born wild). So the sad fact of the matter was, someone had bought him as a kitten and then when they moved out, simply left him outside to fend for himself.

This has all been going on for some time now. Recently there has been a second stray hanging around. Not on our door step specifically, but under our neighbor's window. So when there was a big commotion out there earlier today while Aaron was at class, I assumed it was just an altercation between my neighbor and the unwelcome feline. To my surprise when I looked outside I saw the commotion was actually animal control putting the new stray into a cage and going for Intruder next! The neighbors had called animal control to come solve the stray problem.

It's fairly common knowledge that if you bring a pet you can no longer care for into the pound, they give it two weeks to be adopted and then euthanize it. What most people don't know is that animals that are picked up after a complaint call are usually only held for twenty-four to forty-eight hours before they are euthanized. Just enough time for anyone who realizes their pet is missing to call and reclaim them. They are considered troublesome animals. They don't get a chance at adoption.

Upon seeing this my first thought was, "I need to put pants on," followed immediately by, "I don't have time to put my pants on!" Instead I ran outside in my bath robe. To save a cat. When Intruder saw me he ran towards me (imagine any cheesy beach scene where the man and woman run at each other from opposite sides of the screen) and I scooped him into my arms. I then gave both my neighbor and animal control a cross look, proclaimed Intruder as mine, and went inside.Probably looking more than a little like some crazy cat-woman.

So now he's sitting here in my armchair snoozing while I consider what to do with him. We go out of town for two weeks tomorrow. He can't stay inside by himself (just yet). I know I'll have to put him back out when we go, but I just want to be sure he isn't taken by animal control while I'm away. The other neighbors put some food out for their own pets, so I know he won't go hungry and I live in a place where it never drops below freezing so he won't be too cold. I guess I'll head over to the market and buy him a collar... Just in case.

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