sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

September 8, 2010

posted by soe 12:35 pm

To update the last post: Washington Area Rescue League won’t take strays. They said we could take him to the Humane Society, but as they’re an overcrowded shelter lacking a no-kill policy, we opted not to partake of that option.

They also said that his behavior toward our three cats might not be one of aggression, but more one of fear and lack of prior exposure.

Their advice was to call the P.G. County Animal Shelter and file a formal lost cat report and ask to foster the cat in our home during the waiting period. They said after that time had elapsed the cat was ours and they could legally accept him as a surrendered pet at that point.

I understand that they don’t want to adopt out an animal that could belong to someone. But the whole, we have to make him ours and then give him up is just a cruel trick designed to make us feel guilty and keep him.

I’m not saying it won’t work, but merely saying it’s a mean-spirited response to what was, essentially, a well-intentioned act.

And in the meantime, the kitten is back in the bathroom…

ETA: The woman from P.G. County just returned my message from yesterday. She’s filed the report, but says their policy says the kitten doesn’t legally change ownership for 30 days. Again, I understand the policy, but c’mon people! Work with us here!

Category: cats. There is/are 1 Comment.

the strangest wedding favor ever
posted by soe 3:07 am

I have to say that they give out the oddest wedding favors these days…

Rudi and I passed a pleasant Sunday night out in Greenbelt at my friend Amani’s wedding to Marcus. The bride and groom both seemed happy, if exhausted. Amani was beautiful in a dress she loved, the toasts had been effusive and loving, and the dancing had pulled most people out onto the floor before the end of the night. It had really been a nice wedding.

It was close to midnight as Rudi and I bid farewell to the happy couple and walked out of Martin’s Crosswinds to the parking lot. As we were strolling across the driveway to the guest carpark, I spied movement in a clump of decorative grass — a cat!

Rudi and I see cats everywhere, but I have to admit that a deserted banquet hall (and, admittedly, a Holiday Inn) amidst an office park behind a shopping center seemed an unusual place for one. We were concerned, but even more so as we got close enough to realize that it was a kitten.

I bent a frond down from the grass to tempt the kitten to play while Rudi pulled up a map on his iPhone to see where the nearest residential area was. It was far enough away that we became anxious. Was it really a good idea just to leave a kitten out in the middle of nowhere overnight?

You can guess the answer. I’m not sure if it would have been your answer, as well, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it, too, would have been to pick the cat up and put it in the car. We checked with the Greenbelt police, who hadn’t received any lost cat reports, before heading home to the District. [Since then we’ve also checked with the Greenbelt PetSmart, who followed up with their pet adoption people, with the one vet in town, and with the county animal shelter. No reports of missing kittens have been filed.] Rudi drove carefully as I held a drowsing kitten tucked into the red plush Nationals blanket I keep in the back seat.

Rudi set up a spare litter box and bowls of water and food in the bathroom when we got home, which is where this little guy has been sequestered since late Sunday night:

A wedding favor

Isn’t he adorable? He’s got very smart brown eyes with a ring of green around the pupil. He has a little brown nose and brown pads. His face has white tiger markings and his belly is the color of a dusting of cocoa powder.

Posing for the camera

Our plan was to find a cat rescue group who would take him, but we also hoped Sarah, who just lost her cat Dingle last week, might be interested in a kitten; we understood completely though when she said it was just too soon. John had just said on Saturday that his allergies seemed to have gotten worse and that he probably wasn’t going to get a cat. Rudi and I started talking about maybe the little guy could stay with us.

But last night he saw Posey through the crack of the door as I opened it and started growling and hissing. That would have been fine and understandable, but the next time we opened the door, he launched himself out of the bathroom and threw himself at her, hissing and yowling. Luckily, Posey is a long-haired cat and we didn’t see that the kitten had made contact through her fur, a relief since we know nothing about his health, other than that he was wearing a flea collar (and doesn’t seem to have fleas) and that it looks like he may have had ear mites at some point.

Tearfully, we reverted back to our original plan of handing the kitten off to a cat rescue organization.

This decision has been reinforced each time we open the bathroom door, when he tries to run out and chase our other cats. He escaped me this morning, chased Posey all the way through the living room, with me yelling bloody murder behind them, until he ran into Jeremiah, who cowed him. Apparently he recognized Jer for the alpha cat he’s always hoped to be. Belly to the ground, he yowled, but stopped advancing. I grabbed him up and locked him back in the bathroom.

Sitting proud

So we spend a lot of time like this — with one or the both of us sitting on the edge of the tub, hanging out with him. He likes to play with glasses and braids and thinks it’s great fun to chew on the handle of my toothbrush. He has the pull tab from a milk jug, a rattly ball, and, now, a toilet paper roll to play with. He likes the little bed we set up in a paper box lid lined with my red Nats blanket and a holey tshirt of mine.

But mostly he likes to do this:

Stripey sides

And so do we.

Tomorrow we’re going to take him up to the Washington Animal Rescue League (a no-kill shelter), where we hope they’ll find him a forever home. It kills us that we cannot be that place, but we have three older cats and a small amount of space, and it’s just unfair to all four of them. The kitten needs to go to a home where he can be the only cat — or where there is the space for him to be able to feel safe in becoming socialized to other cats. Posey, Jeremiah, and Della deserve not to feel stressed and threatened in their own home.

This is one of the most adult decisions Rudi and I have ever made, and we know it’s the right one. I just feel like such a let-down.

Category: cats. There is/are 4 Comments.