I’ve ranted about this in several places, now, but damnit, I’m gonna do it again.
This is Thomas (I don’t care what the site says, he’s totally a Thomas). Thomas has been in our neighborhood at least as long as we have (so 2 years). He’s always been sweet, friendly, ready to greet you when you’re trying to bring in the groceries… Tall, lithe, (apparently) healthy. Talkative and always ready to get some cuddles.
Thomas was at our front door begging when Judy and David came home with groceries yesterday. This was somewhat in the realm of normal, he’s a huge slut-cat. They stopped him from following them inside (which was not normal) and continued about their business.
30 minutes later, we investigate the drama in the living room. Thomas is at our front window, and Boo is going apeshit and punching the window with all her might. Again, not normal, but expected enough, we shoo him off, continue about our business.
Sweeping about an hour or two later, this noise I’ve been hearing really gets to me and I look outside the front door.
Thomas is still there, still begging. NOT normal. I take a closer look; he’s emaciated. You can see his skull, his spine, and his ribs clearly through his fur.
I flip the fuck out (it was kinda a flip the fuck out day for me anyway, but this time I feel at least justified). I yell for David. I yell for Judy. They all take a closer look at him, they all agree that, while he’s always been a pretty skinny cat, this was waaaaaaaaaay beyond normal.
We discuss our options. I don’t want to feed him, we have 4 cats and I don’t want him getting used to always hitting us up for food (it causes our cats to spaz, mainly) but I can’t ignore the fact that he’s fucking starving to death right in front of me. I end up giving him a small handful of kibble (he’s starving, I don’t want to give him too much which will cause him to lose it all anyway) and he just sits there purring, trying to get pets and suck down the food as quickly as he can all at the same time. I’m crying my eyes out because he’s so sweet, and I’m so FUCKING PISSED OFF at whoever caused him to be in this position.
We couldn’t just ignore it, we decided to call the SPCA to see if we could take him in. All the while, the three of us are loving on him. So David calls, explains that we’d totally be all over adopting him, but have FOUR already, but he’s starving.
He walks into the box. He’s so fucking happy to have someone, he fucking walks into the cat carrier. And we take him to the SPCA.
We don’t know who his owner is/was. He’s always just been around, and always generous enough with his affection that you couldn’t point a finger and say “that’s his favorite.” We only know there’ve been about 4 moves out of our neighborhood in the past month. He’s social and people-oriented enough that we know he’s not a stray-stray. We think either whoever owned him moved in this past month, and he’s been trying to fend for himself, or he was abandoned much longer ago, and whoever was feeding him (which, hello, responsibility) moved and he was left on his own.
WHY THE HELL DO PEOPLE FEEL CATS WILL BE OKAY IF THEY’RE ABANDONED TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES?!
“Oh, cats can hunt…” No they can’t, at least not really. Your cat brings in a bird, you can be pretty certain it’s a fledgeling which fell out of the nest as a natural course of learning to fly, or a bird which got dazed after smashing into a window. And because of their environment, most of the time they think anything small and covered with fur or feathers is a TOY, not something you actually eat. Yeah, they’ll kill it (eventually), but they won’t know what to do with it afterwards.
Animals aren’t statues, or stuffed animals, or people. They’re living, breathing, feeling creatures. When you take responsibility for one (feeding/owning), you have a RESPONSIBILITY to ensure it’s continued well-being. If circumstances occur which make you unable to continue meeting that responsibility, it’s FUCKING SELFISH AND STUPID for you to assume you don’t need to do anything to help them. It doesn’t make you a bad person to admit things have changed and you can’t deal with them, as long as you handle it like a fucking adult.
Take your pet to the SPCA/Animal Shelter. Give it a fucking CHANCE. Don’t fucking assume everything will be sunshine and roses and you can just abandon your responsibilities to another fucking living being.
And to whoever abandoned Thomas: a huge fuck you. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. FUCK YOU.
And, randomly, if anyone in the Charlottesville area comes across this through the tag search, as of 7/3/09, the C-ville SPCA has an awesome, sweet, loving black cat who will be up for adoption 7/14.