Saturday, October 20, 2007

We're All About Our Cats

Well, as always, there's good news and bad news.

The first of the bad news is that Katie's Jeep continues to sit patiently in the front yard waiting for attention. I'm just grateful that it's not one of my kids, or it would be out there honking it's horn and flashing it's lights and backfiring, trying to get me to pursue it's agenda quicker, and with more money.

The good news is that, although I completely blew off the needs of my youngest child, the outdoor cat that we inherited from my ex-husband now has a spacious and comfortable home, complete with a shingled roof and vinyl siding. Although the picture is oddly distorted and makes it look sort of cockeyed, I promise it's both square and true. I think she needs a nice flowering perennial in her flowerpot to provide shade for her flamingo, though.

And yes, I AM aware that this is another step down the ladder to crazy cat-ladyhood, but it's not entirely my fault. That nice boy down at Rusty's Home Center threw in the shingles and the siding for free. What was I going to do, say no?

It's not my best pet housing effort, but it's decent and affordable. I'm thinking of mass-producing them as public housing...but maybe with a door. I actually intend to add a front wall with a door eventually, but first I want her to get used to the idea of entering and exiting without feeling trapped.

The bad news is that we took Carrie's latest rehabilitated stray cat to the vet for a checkup before releasing it from the laundry room into the rest of her house with her other pets, and it had both feline leukemia and feline AIDS, so we had to put her down. Even though she'd only been living in the laundry room for a couple of weeks, we'd gotten pretty attached to her. She was a good natured calico; she spent most of her time sleeping on the dryer. but she'd hop right up for some petting. Her previous home had been the trash cans of the across-the-road neighbors, so it was pretty easy for Carrie to entice her over with some vegan cranberry kibble.

So we're sad about that. We try not to name the strays until we know if they're going to live or not, but she was an exceptionally sweet girl, and it was sad. Also I feel sort of guilty because Carrie nursed her from a scraggly half-starved mess into a pretty, bright-eyed pet. She was too pretty to die, even though I know that we couldn't let her come in with the other cats, and if she'd stayed outside she would have infected a bunch more cats before she died an early death from one or the other of her terminal illnesses.

I'm eternally of two minds on the feral cat rescue question. I'm generally aware that it's a good thing (Carrie rounded up a family group of them last week and bullied her friends and coworkers into taking one apiece), but it sure is heartbreaking when you save one, just so you can have it put down later. That doesn't feel very rescue-ish to me.


Kwach said...

Although my recent mantra has become, "We already have too many cats!!" I'm keenly aware that we're not even making a dent in the problem. Still, a small dent is better than no dent at all.

When I lived in the city I was pretty much unaware of the feral cat overpopulation problem. Since moving here I'm painfully aware of how little regard people have for felines. We're considered more than a bit odd for having cats inside the house. People don't actually own cats here. They allow cats to live in their barns (and make more cats) to eat mice and other vermin, but really they're only a rung or two higher on the vermin ladder.

A trip down a Southern Illinois highway looks something like this:

dead raccoon
dead raccoon
dead cat
possum (maybe dead, maybe not)
dead raccoon
dead cat
dead deer
dead cat
dead raccoon
dead dog

I don't feel happy about putting down Carrie's cat, but I feel better about putting her down than seeing her dead in the road in front of our house.

marl said...

the shelters in our area are full of cats that have been found by the side of the road...or the alternative, in the homes of crazy cat ladies who have 90 cats, all a little scrawny but otherwise in ok health.

nice cat house, ev! i totally trust that a big ol butch like you can build something square and true. ;)