Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Les Mouserables

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where darkness falls at 4:55 but gloom springs eternal.

This is one of the three foster kittens that I have at home. He's slightly older now than in the photo. In fact, he and his siblings are ready to go to the shelter.

Here in Chateau Johnson they've been cossetted and spoiled. They're allowed the run of the house (because they've learned where their box is). They fight and play, eat, curl up and sleep, wake up, run around, fight and play, eat, curl up and sleep. In the evening they crawl up on me and Mr. Johnson and fall asleep in our arms.

But they have to go to the shelter. If we kept foster kittens, this house would be overrun with cats ... and we'd be off the list as foster parents.

It's always hard to part with kittens that you've bottle-fed, or tamed, or just nurtured through an illness. But right now it's especially hard.

I read in the newspaper today that some people who have lost their jobs or their homes, or both, have been forced to surrender their pets to animal shelters. This has made the over-crowded shelters more crowded than ever.

The shelter I work for is run by a lady who won't put a dog or cat down unless they're:

1. Very old.
2. Terminally ill, or ill with a communicable disease.
3. Wild without hopes of being tamed.
4. Proven to be dangerous.

And so, her shelter is becoming crowded with incoming litters of kittens (typical for this time of year) but also incoming household pets with nice dispositions. And in these hard times, people aren't adopting new pets.

Over the years I have seen several of my bottle babies go to a cat cage in the shelter and grow up there, cooped and wretched. They always get adopted in the end, but sometimes it's a long stay in the cell.

Two of the three kittens I have now are polydactyl, meaning they have six toes on their front paws. This will make them more adoptable because they look silly. But the other one, the little wretch pictured above, is just another run-of-the-mill gray tabby cat.

There are so many.

If you know someone who is having a hard time financially, maybe you might want to leave a big sack of dog or cat food on their doorstep. If you know someone with feral cats living (and breeding) under the porch, you might want to help that person trap and spay them. At least in New Jersey, you can get a coupon from any vet that will spay a feral cat for $40.

Sorry for the downer post, but I feel the weight of all these unwanted pets on my shoulders. May the bored gods of Ancient Egypt help my foster kittens ... and all shelter cats ... find happy homes.


sageweb said...

I wished I lived closer I would take one into my home to be my Dogs buddy. We lost his cat buddy last Feb...we still havent replaced him. My dog use to snuggle up with our cat..it was so cute.

Him said...

Send her here, I'll take her. Just remember I am NOT a cat person and it will irritate me to no end if she insists on playing with me and snuggling on me and all those cat things this cat insists on inflicting me with.........

Terra said...

It always breaks my heart to see these miraculous beasts in cages, and I just have to keep reminding myself that I'm not doing them any favors if I take "just one more" and can't afford to take care of it properly.

Bless you for doing what you can to help them. If you haven't seen this wonderful video yet, check it out - a cageless, no kill shelter:


It's a great spirit-lifter.

BBC said...

It looks like the five cats that were born on my place. I had them all fixed and found new homes for two of them.

The three that are left just come and go as they please. I also trapped the loose neighborhood tom cat that was knocking everything up around here and got him fixed, he's still pissed at me over a year later.

But he looks a lot better now that he isn't tom catting all the time.

Anne Johnson said...

Whoa. Have we found the soft spot in Billy's armor?

mrsb said...

Dang, I could have sworn I commented to this. Where'd it go?