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Author Topic: Want a cat? Anyone?  (Read 66567 times)
john_proctor
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« on: June 17, 2008, 10:35:41 AM »

Back story:

I live during summer's and breaks on the Carolina outer banks.  The islands out here are bird sanctuaries (particularly for shore-nesting sea-birds).  Stray cats have gotten on the island (probably escapes from/fed by vaction condo-mites.  Yup, that's what we call you guys: condomites).

The ferril cats have gotten to be a problem.  Of couse, they can't be "adopted' as pets (way, way to wild to adapt to domestic life).  So we catch and sterilize them in some areas (catch, sterilize or relocate on the mainland in others).

Somehow, a fertile pair has remained.  We've got one in our neighborhood who's had kitties.

Kidlet and I have seen the kittens a couple of times (but couldn't catch them).

Today we caught all three (this morning).  One has a serious eye infection (blind in one eye, we think.  It's all blue with a glassy film.  The other all goopy) but seems otherwise playful and curious.  Coats are good on all three (though they feel thin).

We've got them in a box.  As kittens, there's a chance they could be adopted (kittens get adopted more than cats; kittens could adapt to domestic life.  Indeed, they seem to already be taken with kidlet).

There is no way we can keep any of them.  My dogs . . .  Then there's Goody's allergies.  Kidlet already has one cat (a 13 year old behemoth that kidlet keeps at her mother's house).  Plus, we leave Thursday for City-o-Wedding (wedding is this coming weekend) and will not be back here to the banks until nearly August.  Can't have kitty on a road trip.

I've called a couple of shelters, but either: a. can't get a response at all; b. am told that if one kitten is sick, they won't take any of the lot; c. am told "we're full on kittens."  The only place that seems a possibility is the humane society on the mainland (about a 45 minute drive).

But we can't just leave them.  The really shouldn't be on this island, in the first place.

Grrrr. I want to slap whoever dumped the momma/poppa cat.
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mzunderstanding
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2008, 10:48:00 AM »

Bummer, JP. I can't help you personally. But would this do you any good?
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john_proctor
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2008, 10:55:50 AM »

Too far.

I'm hanging out here waiting for a call back from some people (names came to me from my vet) who do rescue work with the cats out here (the vast, vast majority of ferril cats here are euthenized.  It's a tough call.  In some areas the cats have so devistated the local sea-bird populations that they may not ever fully recover).

Have I mentioned that I don't really like cats much myself?
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john_proctor
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2008, 11:30:14 AM »



I just called the humane society where I could only talk to a nine year old kid (his mother was apparently off-stage, but wouldn't come to the phone).  He's saying they won't take the kitten.

I called my local vet who gave me the number of some county health department people as well as a shelter that's about an hour drive away (but, she assures me, will take anything).  I'm getting nothing but answering machines and referrals to other numbers/people.

WTF?  Why is this so hard?  I've got these cats; I need someone to come get them or take them when I bring them in.

Why has this become my (solo) problem?  I mean, doesn't anyone else care?

Irresponsible pet owners are very near the top of my current "hatin-on" list.
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spork
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2008, 11:31:23 AM »

If I still lived at your latitude I'd drive out to get them.  One of my two cats was dumped by the side of the road with its momma and siblings when it was a kitten.  She lived in the wild for about 2 months and turned out fine -- a very affectionate cat.  Does kidlet have any suckers, I mean friends, in the neighborhood?

P.S. -- sorry to go Pedant on you, but it's "feral."
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noof_
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2008, 11:42:38 AM »

J_P,

You can take the kitties to whatever shelter is closest to you. If you plead your case, they will take them. It also helps if you make a donation.

I fostered kittens for years, and KNOW that most places will take them and quarantine the litter in a bathroom if they must.

This isn't the best case scenario, and they will tell you they are not accepting more, but if you drop off a box with kittens, I assure you the shelter people won't dump them on the side of the road.

Your situation is what made me a kitten foster home for years.

Remember, a cash donation, food and/or litter will go a long way while making your case.

Good luck.
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reesespeanutbutter
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2008, 11:47:12 AM »

Awwwww!!!!  Poor kitties!  We just had one of ours pass away, and hubby wants to adopt another stray (the one that just died was a stray)... too bad I live a long way from South Carolina or we'd take them. 

Good luck!  And good for you taking care of them!
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john_proctor
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2008, 11:58:18 AM »

So: here's the latest.

One of the people who works with cat rescue (foster care) just came by (no call back; just showed up).

She immediately sized up "squinty kitty."  Confirmed that shelters here are: a. full; b. ineptly run; c. awful places in general.

Now, I don't know from cats.  We had them hanging around the barn; they were half wild.  I don't really know anything about their care.

Anyway, Kittyrescuelady is going right to work.  She seems concerned about the infection (and the potential for leukemia or even a kitty form of HIV).  Much more dire in her prognosis than I/we were.

She's going to take them and quarantine them for a while (and then see about making some calls regarding foster placement until a berth opens at the local animal shelter or they can be adopted.  She's also looking into setting some traps out here for mom and pop (who are still fertile) so they can be relocated or fixed, inoculated, tagged and released (has to check on the local nesting shore birds before she'll know if they can be released or need relocation).  Worst case scenario: mom and pop (if caught) might have to be put to sleep (but may also get some preventative medical treatment and get fixed and then adopted or released somewhere more suitable.  Can't say yet).  Squintykitty may be very ill (but certainly would have died if not caught and treated.  She seems to be near total blind).  The other two kitties should be fine (and adopted, in time, to good homes).

Looks like we've saved what we could.

Damnit, people, spread the word about responsible pet ownership.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2008, 12:00:18 PM by john_proctor » Logged

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erictho
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2008, 12:15:09 PM »

I'm glad it all worked out, more or less, with help for you and medical treatment for the kitties and perhaps preventative measures for mom and pop.

My signature OK by you?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2008, 12:15:41 PM by erictho » Logged

Damnit, people, spread the word about responsible pet ownership.
erictho speaks the truth
grasshopper
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2008, 12:15:23 PM »

Irresponsible pet ownership pisses me off to no end. I'm glad you found people with the resources to deal with these cats, and to do what they can to prevent further issues with the adult ferals.
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noof_
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2008, 12:46:27 PM »

What a relief!

I wish more parents would set this kind of example. I think it goes a long way in teaching the next generation about spay/neutering and general pet ownership responsibilities.

Pat yourself on the back, J_P.
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john_proctor
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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2008, 12:50:31 PM »

I'm really struck by this.

I've worked in animal rehabilitation and rescue before, but always for dogs.  Most of what we had were aggressive / abused animals, the occasional unwanted litter of pups, strays (who were most likely runaways or lost pets) and the odd hit-on-the-highway-but-not-killed.

Not anywhere near as many just plain ole dumped (or feral.  Thanks, btw).

I've heard all my life that the situation was different with cats.  Indeed, that the cat population problem was far, far worse (and it could be nearly impossible to get help).

I guess knowing it and experiencing it are very different things.

I can also see why people "give up" or don't do anything at all.  It really sucked up my morning.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2008, 12:50:59 PM by john_proctor » Logged

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mythbuster
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« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2008, 1:00:36 PM »

I suggest you share this story with your students. It drives me nuts the number of students who get cats when they move to an apartment at the uni. Then, come vacation, the parents won't take them or whatever, and they end up as strays. Most student oriented apartment complexes will have a few of these "complex cats". Caring souls like me leave food out for them or outright adopt them. But this can lead to an ugly conversation when Muffy comes back in the fall and sees that you have "her" cat! It's one of the reasons the Humane societies and the like really give prospectives the third degree.

J-P you have done you good deed for the week!
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wild_rose
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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2008, 5:45:22 PM »

I'll probably get a kitteh from the shelter once I'm moved and settled. A friend here offered me a very cute tuxedo rescue kitteh but I don't want to drive 2,000 miles with an animal (been there, done that, got the migraines). All of my cats have been rescues, either from the street (my latest, who passed away a few years ago, was rescued off the streets of St. Louis) or from the shelter.

I've only known a small number of people who absolutely refuse to neuter their pets, and in every case they have this weird (and I would venture, unhealthy) identification with their animals.
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crowie
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« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2008, 5:54:31 PM »

I've only known a small number of people who absolutely refuse to neuter their pets, and in every case they have this weird (and I would venture, unhealthy) identification with their animals.

Unfortunately it only takes a small number of irresponsible owners to produce a large number of unwanted cats :(
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