Friday, January 16, 2009

Some Things Are Worse Than the Shelter

I didn't want to write this post, but I'm getting angrier and angrier. I wrote a similar post this time last year. If you're offended by bad words, please read no further. (Mom, this means you!)

It's fucking cold outside. I'm reading posts about people finding frozen cats and kittens. Last year was even worse for me because I was answering the rescue phone line. I'm sure nothing has changed:

"There's a cat on my front porch that's shivering and I can't bring him inside because I already have 2 cats."

"I've been feeding a stray since July, now it's cold and she's probably pregnant and freezing to death. She's so friendly! What should I do?"

"I keep chasing away this Tom cat that comes around my house. I keep squirting with a hose, but he keeps coming back. Can you come get him?"

I shouldn't be angry about these kind of phone calls. I should be angry at the scum that abandoned the cats in the first place. "Behind every feral cat is a person responsible for their abandonment."

I can't even enjoy my cozy nights with the fireplace because all I do is think about the cats who have no place to go. The frigid air must feel like a death of a thousands cuts with a knife. You can't escape the bone chilling air and nobody gives a shit about you.

A few days ago, I got a voicemail from a friend of mine in rescue. She had heard that someone moved away and left their 5 year old cat in their apartment. Neighbours had been feeding this poor thing that was now living in the ceiling of the empty apartment for the past SIX WEEKS. Six weeks this little calico girl had been living in an empty apartment. According to the neighbours these people had 4 other cats, but left her behind. She lost her whole life - her family - everything in one day.

Here's the e-mail and pictures from my friend who ended up rescuing this poor, sweet cat.:

"...thanks again I attached a couple of pictures of her (under my bed where she is living for now) they aren't great but I think she has a sad look :o( I feel terrible I can't imagine what she's thinking her 4 cat friends just dissapear one day along with her family(they had her since she was a kitten) and everything she has ever known in her house and she's abandoned there alone with nothing for 6 weeks!!!!....I could never...."

She has cuts on her face from hiding in the ceiling of the house. She's a lucky girl. At least they didn't throw her outside.

There are things worse than death at the shelter. Not many things. But some.


Strayer said...

How awful. People suck. For these freezing cats, it is so easy and cheap to build a quick shelter for them, even using a stack of newspapers on the bottom of a plastic storage container, for some insulation. Do they have no empathy, to understand how it feels to lose everything, to be left behind like this calico?

I trapped a kitten, nearly starved to death and dehydrated at the rest area Christmas night. She's been so traumatized, out there alone, no food, no hope, not knowing what to do, where to turn. Her fate would have been a slow horrible freezing unloved death. Who could do this to a little kitten?

You're doing good work, work that reveals the character of human beings, the good and the bad.

Anonymous said...

I used to live near Lake Ontario, on a cul de sac. A family moved out, leaving behind their battlescarred tomcat. (Insert string of expletives here). We genuinely couldn't take him in for a host of reasons (unneutered, earmites, etc) all of which would have cost money we truly didn't have to spend.

The cat did great over the summer, as people fed and watered him, and he hung out in the shade on people's porches. I took him to one of the $7 vaccination clinics. But when winter hit with a sleety vengeance and he asked if perhaps he could come inside, it became clear that nobody would let him - yes, including us.

I called a local rescue, too. We took that big tough ol' fellow, and they neutered him and cleaned him up, and they found him a home within just a couple of weeks.

I hope his abandoners rot in hell. I thank the rescue (and we donated some goods for their fundraiser). I'd love nothing more than for rescues to go out of business due to lack of need.

Anonymous said...

This is SICKENING - absolutely sickening!!!

Everything I think of people that do these sorts of horrible things to these beloved creatures, is completely un-Christian.

If there was no evil, we would know no good........but oh how I pray that someday this evil will be wiped out forever!

Anonymous said...

Hm, while I agree with your post and support all the good that you do, I don't think it's fair to generalize that every feral cat out there is only feral and out there because of a human that abandoned it. It's actually quite a ridiculous statement..

House of the Discarded said...

Actually, it's not a ridiculous statement at all. Because behind EVERY feral cat - someone really is responsible for their abandonment. Think about it: If the cat was born from a Mom who was abandoned... It might go back a generation...but a human being is responsible.

Nancy K said...

Hi Beth,

any advice for helping a feral cat? I have had one hanging around but didn't realize he/she was feral til the neighbour told me this morning that ha ha of course someone left he/she behind. He/she won't come near me of course....It is bloody cold out...

RHz said...

I truly believe what comes around goes around and I hope that however these people treated their cats/animals in this life comes back 100-fold to them.

That poor baby. She's so beautiful, but god, how awful she must feel!!