Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Found: One Cat. See Below For Details

Let's set the scene:
Last Friday night, John and I went suit shopping at J.C. Penney's, then to Toys R Us for a quick side trip on our way to pick up Angela, who would be spending the night on our couch and then the three of us would be attending a funeral in the morning. FiFi was at my parents' house, and my mom was helping me out by going with her and Daisy to their vet appointment on Saturday morning.

There we were, minding our own beeswax, having just come out of Toys R Us after spending too much money on crap we don't need, when John exclaims, "Look, it's a kitty!"

To which I look down and see this brown furry thing with a poofy tail making a beeline towards me, and as I knelt down to pet it, it meowed and proceeded to almost violently rub against my leg affectionately.

"What happened to you kitty?" I asked rhetorically.
"You know, he may have been abandoned, people turn them loose when they don't want them anymore." John said.

We scooped up the cat and got into the car, and I dialed FiFi's vet to get the 24 hour emergency vet to see what we could do. I explained that we were in the Toys R Us parking lot, we had found a very sweet, docile cat that seemed to be used to people, and we were wondering if we could take it to a shelter or holding place for the night.

"Just page the animal control. They'll meet you there and take the cat." She gave me Henrico County's number.

By this time we were late in picking up Angela, so we decided to just go, pick up Angela, and then take the cat with us home (no harm, remember..FiFi was not at home?) and page Chesterfield Animal Control. It would be simple, just like waiting for a pizza! Or so we thought.

We got home, and I called the non-emergency police line and told the dispatch I wanted animal control paged and explained the situation.

"Animal control is off duty tonight. And they hardly EVER come out for cats." She practically scoffed. Apparently cats are considered "free roamers" by Chesterfield Animal Control, and since there are no leash laws, there is no need to remove and shelter stray cats. (I guess the threat of rabies and feline HIV doesn't matter, so long as a cat doesn't require a leash). By this time it was about eleven, all the shelters, the RAL, and the SPCA were closed. John tried in vain to direct me to what he thought was a 24 hour vet clinic, but it turned out it was just a regular vet, with regular vet hours. I pulled into Walgreens, got a pan, some Whiskas and some Fresh Step, and lock, stock and cat, returned home. By this time it was close to one.

We set up the cat's makeshift litter box, which he immediately took advantage of (no accidents on the floor) and then further impressed John and I by using his paw to sweep up the litter that spilled out. John remarked, "this cat is the best houseguest I've ever had!"

The cat roamed around, checking out the house, but mainly stayed downstairs, and Angela said he'd slept at her feet most of the night. We say "he" simply because we are sexist and assume good kitty= male neutered kitty. Plus, he seemed to be more inclined towards Angela and I, which further tested our theory (male cats tend towards female humans and vice versa...I think). He stayed by himself for about three hours while we attended the funeral, and was pretty good in the car as we headed back towards the West End to drop off Angela and go to drop our new friend off at the SPCA, which we were sure would take him. But just in case, we brought along the almost full box of kitty litter as added bartering.

The two girls we encountered at the SPCA were great, we explained that we had a dog and we weren't sure how safe the two were together, that we had no idea if this cat was vaccinated, or even was male/female, and luckly, they did have room for our cat. They figured his age to be 8-9 months, and since he had a nice shiny and non-matted coat, that he was most likely a pet before he found us. They took him to the back room for us, along with the kitty litter (which the girl claimed, "Oh wow, this is the nice stuff!" Guys, I bought it for $5 at Walgreens. It makes me wonder what kind of cheap handouts they were used to).

I'd like to stress that ours was a special case. The SPCA has a waiting list of several weeks for people wanting to surrender cats/dogs, and not enough people wanting to adopt them. The animals have to go now to the county shelters. I read recently in the county paper that the Chesterfield shelter has reassumed euthanizing unclaimed strays, although I'm not sure about Henrico and other areas. But it doesn't take a genius to figure out what happens to the majority of these unclaimed cats and dogs. Funny, I thought gas chambers went out of style with Hitler's suicide. I guess I was wrong.

John and I talked it over, and we decided to put our names on the list of potential adoptees if this cat ends up unclaimed and unadopted. We kinda bonded with it, and we just wanted to say "FU" to the overpopulation problem by doing something about it. We also wanted to let people know about this problem, and to encourage people to practice responsible pet owning.

So, without further adeux:

FOUND- One cat, brown, long-haired, possible mayncoon (sp?) or tabby breed, approximately 8-9 months old (per the staff at the Richmond SPCA), very sweet, docile, and people friendly. Litterbox trained. Found on 7/29/05 in the parking lot of Toys R Us on Quiocassin Road in West End Henrico County at approximately 21:00.
The cat was surrendered to the Richmond SPCA on 7/30/05 and will reside there indefinely until adopted. Please call Richmond SPCA for further detail.

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