So it was 11 degrees F outside last night, with a wind chill close to zero. My husband noticed a small grey cat begging at our door. We put him into the garage with some food, water, and a litter box. He drank an entire can of water because he was so thirsty, ate a little food, and cried all night to be let in the house.
He has very soft fur and wasn’t very dirty; he also didn’t have a thick winter coat. This was somebody’s cat that they’d let outside during the coldest part of the year.
It makes me so angry that people do this to their animals. Yes, there is the Indianapolis-area law that states in part:
(a) Every owner or keeper of an animal kept in the consolidated city and county shall see that such
(1) Is kept in a clean, sanitary and healthy manner…
(2) Has food that is appropriate for the species in adequate amounts to maintain good health, fresh potable drinking water where appropriate, shelter and ventilation, including quarters that are protected from excessive heat and cold…
But why do we need laws to take care of our companion animals? It is so much better to keep cats indoors…for their health and safety and for your peace of mind.
Carlton and I know this first-hand. Both of our cats were abandoned. Baja (Mr. Kitty) was being tortured by a pack of cats when he was rescued; Mini (pictured at right) was on the brink of starvation when we saved him. He had four different parasitic infections and FIV.
Feeling indignant? How dare I indict you for letting your cats roam? If you think your outdoor cats are OK outdoors, it only takes one cat bite from an infected cat to give your cat a death sentence. Mini is sweet and loveable and doesn’t deserve to be so sick. If his previous owners had kept him indoors, he would not be facing a very painful death. Think I’m being melodramatic? Just look here at what he’s enduring because someone thought it was OK to leave him outside. We have to keep Mini and Mr. Kitty in separate areas of the house so there’s no risk that Mr. Kitty could become infected.
This sweet grey kitty can’t stay with us; we already have lots of animals, and don’t want to dilute our love and attention of our pets by having too many.
I’m begging you. Bring your companion animals into your warm home so they can live long, happy, healthy lives.
Ever since my first cat (which was my consolation prize for my parents divorcing) died because she got a hold of a poisoned mouse, I’ve been a big advocate of keeping cats indoors. I was torn up when Ryoga got out once and was missing for six weeks and I was lucky to find him again.
Amen. I feel very sorry for lost/abandoned animals, especially the friendly ones that want to be inside and around people. I think many people think “my pet wants out so I’ll make them happy and let them out.” But pets are not as smart as most humans and they usually aren’t the boss either (unless they are Catbert, then they can set the rules.)
It’s extremely easy for cats to get FIV and even easier for them to get Feline Leukemia. Feral cats live only about 2 years, while indoor cats live close to two decades. My guess is that abandoned/lost indoor cats don’t even make it 2 years. Although cats are adept at taking care of themselves in the short-term, they don’t fare so well in the long-term.
Obviously, pet owners can do pretty much whatever they want with their pets. But I beg that they keep them inside or behind fences, just so I don’t have to feel sorry for the starving ones that can’t find their way home.
If people insist on letting their pet run free (or if the pet is are skilled at escaping), at least make sure they have collar and ID so they can be returned (hopefully alive) and not sent to the shelter, which is probably where Junior (the extremely friendly collar-less gray kitty) is headed.
Mr. Mittens likes to go out, and he always comes back. Granted, he has gotten in a scrape or two out there, but he is a much happier cat for it. It would be too hard to not let him out at all. He loves it! He is different than soft-haired kitties though.
Contrary to popular belief, my cat is a very lovable creature, just mostly by us. Also, the mice around our house would disagree with me, especially any related to the one lying on my porch right now.
Oh yeah; he also wanted out when it was the same night. We opened the door, and he had a second thought. Indoors probably felt better. But if he HAD gone out, I would have waited and watched him the whole time.
And while we’re at it, get your pet fixed for dirt cheap so we don’t have MORE strays roaming. In Indianapolis, FACE ( http://facespayneuter.org/ ) provides this service to dogs and cats.
I’ve captured stray dogs and domestic rabbits several times and taken them to the shelter. Even the possibility of euthanasia when they are overcrowded is far better than being hit by a car, starvation, or dying of injuries inflicted by another animal.