Honestly, I don’t want to keep writing about these cats!! I’d much rather write about pleasant things like the beautiful birds I saw today. But I’ve got to do this one more time: Remember the stray cats I wrote about? I hadn’t seen the gray one since I wrote about it, but the little black one has been around by itself. And today I finally caught it. I drove it straight to the Michigan Humane Society, where I was told they don’t accept strays. They told me to take it to the Oakland County Animal Control shelter where they would have a better chance of reuniting it with an owner if it had one. I was surprised they’d turn away an easily-adoptable kitten, but whatever. (I took another stray cat to the Humane Society a couple years ago and they took it in gladly…odd.) UPDATE: After I wrote this, I was contacted by a public relations person from the MHS who apologized for this incident and assured me that their policy is to accept any companion animal brought to them regardless of health or temperament. He promised to remind their volunteer staff of this policy and make sure it is communicated properly in the future. I’m reassured by that.
So I drove all the way back to the other end of town to Animal Control and took it inside. Since it was my first time there, I asked them if they’d adopt it out if nobody claimed it. They said, “We’ll do our best, but cats are hard because there are so many of them.” I pointed out that he was young, and most people want to adopt young cats. I was told, “Yeah, but we have so many young ones here.” And indeed, I could see cage after cage of young kittens lined up in a hallway, I can only presume because they don’t have any more room in the main holding areas. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Whenever I’ve gone in the Humane Society cat adoption areas, they usually have mostly older cats; rarely do I see young kittens there.
I knew right then that the odds weren’t good for this little guy ever making it out of that building. But not having any other good options, I left him there and cried all the way home. After a couple hours I had convinced myself that I’d done the only right thing for him. If he had to die, at least it would be a painless death and not one at the jaws of a coyote or raccoon, or under the tires of a speeding car.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when, at 5:00 pm, the big gray cat showed up at the bird feeders. I’d assumed it had already been killed one way or another. I quickly checked and found that Animal Control was open until 5:45 today, so I lured the cat to me with a can of cat food and made the drive back to the shelter. I made it in time, and asked them to try to put it together with the little black cat I’d brought in earlier, because they knew each other and it might be comforting to them. I noticed that this gray cat had rather long hair and it wasn’t tangled or dirty as I’d expect for a stray. I have a feeling it might actually belong to someone. At first it upset me to think that I had “taken” someone’s pet (pets?) to an almost-certain death by euthanasia. Then I got angry. Angry at the person who was responsible for this: For putting these lovely cats in danger, and for making me be the “bad guy”, and for making me cry twice in one day. Then I had thoughts like this toward that person: “I hope you suffer tonight when your cat doesn’t come home. I hope you call for it every night, wondering if it got hit by a car. And I hope you feel guilty for a long time, and I hope you never have another pet. Because you don’t deserve the trust of an innocent animal.”
Not pretty thoughts, I know. But I’m still so angry. Some humans are not very humane. Or maybe they’re just ignorant. And I admit, I was ignorant about some things relating to cat ownership before. Like declawing. When I adopted a cat in 1994 and my apartment complex required all cats to be declawed, I dutifully took my cat to the vet and had it done. A few years later I met someone who explained the real horrors of declawing to me, and none of my cats have been declawed since then. (As evidenced by this.)
I’ve met people who refuse to listen to any of the arguments against allowing cats to roam outdoors. Not knowing something is one thing, but willful ignorance is another. (In case you want to educate yourself about this issue, please read this or this.)
Oh, and less than 30 minutes after I got home from dropping off the second cat, a third cat showed up in our yard. I’ve never seen this one before. Unbelievable!