Open Thread

For Friday night chit-chat.

Also, your mission, should you choose to accept it:

Spread the word about the mass kitty adoption event in Gainesville, FL this weekend. Most of the east coast is worrying over Hurricane Irene but FL is not expected to be impacted. If you are an east coaster and have to evacuate, why not head for Gainesville and pack a cat carrier?

66 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Well, as we all wait for Irene, I crossposted the Kitteh Adoptathon. Please everyone (yes, even you, Patience) stay safe and keep your animals safe. Remember to check up on your neighbors, esp. the elderly or disabled too. Blessings for safety and may the Goddess hold each of you in the palm of her hand while the “big blow” blows over. :-)

    1. Stay safe yourself Morgana. Kittehs and I will be thinking of you and everyone in the path this weekend. Take care, all.

  2. Might be too late but that is a good idea. Offer to house some evacuees with their new cat.
    The downside is they are from North Carolina but I say take a chance for a good cause. :)

  3. Prayers coming for all of you in the path of the storm. Stay safe and check in when you can to let us know you are okay.

  4. As for chit-chat. I have a Facebook friend who is trying to get rid of her cat. Normally I am against getting rid of your pet, you made a commitment, but in this case I am not sure. The owner is totally c#%^ing the bed as a pet owner and maybe it’s time this cat got a better home. The owner is thinking of leaving it behind when she moves or dumping it on a door step. There are videos of this cat growling, running around, yowling, and jumping at windows. It attacks people when they enter the appartment. I have never seen a cat so angry and frustrated. I figure that if it’s not wild, maybe it’s got some sort of medical problem. Or it’s being teased. Not sure what to do.

    1. google misdirected aggression and treating aggression in cats. If she can determine the cause, it may be easier to place him, if she really feels she has to. Leaving him behind or on a doorstep is probably the worst thing she can do in this case.,She could be liable if he attacked someone.Good luck to all of you., It sounds like a tough situation.

    2. It certainly sounds like we need to find a GOOD home for a cat that isn’t being appreciated, or possible teased.

      Is the person with the cat much of an ‘animal’ person? Does she like other cats or dogs? Has she lived with cats in the past? Not understanding cats, to a person who doesn’t like cats in the first place, will generally cause teasing & other forms of passive abuse, which exasterbates the problems.

      Find that cat a home.

      1. We live in British Columbia Mikken.

        She just went and BOUGHT a puppy, this pissed the cat off even more. It seems live she is having trouble keeping the cat from attacking the puppy. I explained that the cat felt like it was an intruder, a second wife, and how to safely introduce the two. She didn’t listen. Now she is struggling with crate training and says the cay needs to go. Another person has offered to bring it to her horse farm. This girl is not nice to her pets and her barn cats die horrible deaths. They get stepped on, drown in pools, hit by cars, fall of trailers and eaten by wild animals. I have emailed a no-kill rescue but no one has answered yet. They have a fenced feral cat colony. If it’s wild it may be happiest there. Being aggressive I don’t feel comfortable bringing it to my apartment with my two cats. Plus that’s pushing the strata rules.

      2. i agree – that cat needs to be out of there ASAP, but the farm doesn’t sound like a good option, either. Thanks for making contacts – is there any way you could take this one and keep in a separate room until you find a place to take him? it does sound as if he’s not been very well treated or socialized, or is sick. Poor cat – life has not been kind.
        Keep us posted, okay?

      3. I don’t think I can take it. We can lock a cat in the bathroom and I’ll do that if I find a rescue to take it to but were already over strata’s pet limit. My boyfriend who owns the apartment doesn’t want to risk having three cats and getting fined. There is another rescue in town I will try, they are crazy. But they are no-kill, and they specialize in cats. I have suggested all the rational good pet owner plans of attacks to her and she ignores my advice.

        When I contacted the first rescue I offered to get it checked by a vet. Flair has an appointment on Wednesday, I plan on asking my vet what he thinks from the video.

  5. So awesome about gainesville! I just wanted to let everyone know about another adoption event going on in Orlando, FL. Starting Sept 9th and every friday thereafter in september from 11am-4pm–OCAS (orange cty animal services) will be at Martin Federal Credit Union for off site adoptions (along with me or other vet techs from my clinic, we are giving out goodies and vouches for free first exams). This is to try to get more wonderful pets adopted and we will be there to help get them free goodies for adopting. I’m not affiliated with OCAS or the credit union, I’m a vet tech who will be there representing my clinic.

  6. The American Red Cross doesn’t allow pets into their shelters. That rule must change. Other evacuation teams won’t allow you to take your pets with you. That has to change.

    I would not go anywhere without my “kids” even though I have too many to travel around with. I’ll always be right with them. They won’t be deserted. They’ll go wherever I go, or we won’t go.

    1. The Fed DID pass the No PEt Left Behind act after Katrina…you can insist that your animals at least get taken to an emergency pet rescue/shelter site. To do this, you need to: have each animal’s vet records, with a current photo attached, and crates for them. The emergency responders in these situations for animals are caring, and people who leave their pets there can come every day and walk them and play with them. This is, of course, if you MUST evacuate and cannot take them into a Red Cross or other “human” shelter. AND, If you do this and want to stay with your animals, volunteer with the response team!

  7. Trouble… Cats are very adaptable. There’s never too many cats, almost. But the few you have is no where too many. The new cat will find her position as long as you show her she IS loved & accepted. The other cats will also easily adapt & accept her after a period of adjustment.

    She may just NEED the companionship only your cats could provide. Cats aren’t always aggressive, only when they feel it’s necessary for protection. The new cat will see she IS protected & cared for. Give her special food for a few days to show your acceptance.

    Good luck with her, Trouble, I’m sure she’ll fit right in & reward your compassion.

  8. I’ve brought in so many different new cats to my clan, and always they soon fit right in. There’s always some hissing at first, never any fights and always found they were soon accepted.

    Leaving them in the carrier for an hour or so allows other cats to come & see what’s in there. The new cat will be glad to get out after an hour, then will be as curious about the others as the house. Make no sudden moves or loud noises to keep her off balance & frightened. Feeding everyone at time of introductions may help.

    Don’t show favoritism as jealosy could cause them to make faces at each other.

    Never, never try to force a cat to do ANYTHING. They will always remember that, & can hold grudges/vindictive.

    ALWAYS room for one more, if all you have is cats.

    1. “ALWAYS room for one more, if all you have is cats.”

      Within your abilities to provide appropriate care of course. We’ve already got one mass cat adoption event going on, let’s not encourage additional ones for future, haha.

      1. Spay & neutering all cats is a requirement not a suggestion. They make better cats & could produce more…. oh shucks, everyone who’s seen a colony knows what they can do.

      2. Oh I didn’t think anyone was suggesting that. I just worry that may happen to it if it does go to a no-kill rescue that is willing to take it but doesn’t have the time/funding to properly address it’s issues. Although that is not the current problem. I still need to find a rescue. I can pay for a vet check myself if I find a rescue to take it in.

        The only other thing I can think of is seeing if she’ll keep it if I pay to have it de-clawed. I don’t agree with de-clawing a cat but if it keeps him in a home it may save his life. That then gives me more time to figure out his other issues. No idea what that would cost though.

    2. I disagree – this is not always true. I now live with 4 cats (1 old lady and 3 litter mates who are 8). My only boycat died last year and it was simply not possible to add any more cats. Jess would fight – I mean really fight – with any fosters I had if he could get to them. And I did all the right things – slow, careful introductions, etc.

      I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but there is not always room for one more if they are to have a good quality of life. And we need to be respectful of everyone’s situation and their ability to take care of (both financially and physically) multiple cats.

      Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying, but I do not agree with your response and feel like it could either put people off or encourage them to take on a responsibility they shouldn’t.

      I hope that the reader is able to find a wonderful place for the cat – he deserves much better than being with his current owner. Maybe we need to help her brainstorm options since she can’t take him in.

      1. I have introduced cats to other cars and cats to ferrets successfully. I trust my girls at least Trouble will take in a new friend with only minor problems. But taking this cat will disrespect my boyfriends wishes and cause him discomfort. He has asthma and allergies. Our short hairs cause some issues but he knows from experience that long haired cats cause huge problems. He gets bumps on his arms and neck and starts weezing. If he touches my aunts long hair the bumps will start if he stays to long in her house he’ll start having problems breathing. Her house is spotless it’s not dirty. I can’t expect him to live in the same apartment with a long hair cat.

        I will also be working at a different office for the next few months. After a four hour commute I won’t have much time to spend with a new cat.

      2. Any luck with the rescues? I feel bad that this cat is stuck in a place where no one is taking care of her.

      3. This is yet another example of why I feel so strongly that our municipal shelter system must be reformed. Private shelters and rescues are wonderful and I very much appreciate what they do. But there will always be a need for local open admission shelters that will help pets in need. It’s not this cat’s fault that she needs help. Nor is it this cat’s fault that the local open admission shelter sees no value in her life. Private rescues and individuals can’t do it all nor should they be expected to. Taxpayers pay for municipal shelters so that their community pets in need have a safe haven.

        Reform required.

      4. No luck with the rescues, so far. Just found out the owner is moving, TODAY. She still has him though. Rescues are frustrating, went thru this when I wanted to adopt too. No one responds to emails or answers the phones. After two weeks I gave up and went to animal protective services. That’s not an option this time unfortunately.

      5. Well the owner is going to take her cat to the SPCA in 3 days. Once there the stress will surelly bring out it’s aggressive streak and it will be euthanized. I have gotten 2 responses. One no, we’re full take it to the SPCA, and Lauralee at C.A.R.E.S. Langley has been very helpful. They too however are full do to kitten season. I want to cry, but I have three days and then. . .

        Any ideas? Besides take it in myself, pretty sure a cat hiding in the bathroom won’t stay hidden for long.

      6. @Trouble –
        where in BC are you located? I googled animal shelters and there seem to be quite a few. I agree that a good farm home would be better than certain death. Have you put fliers up at vets offices, pet stores, etc? That poor cat needs a chance to find a home where he is wanted and cared for. I know there are a lot out there right now, but there must be someone – a rescue or individual – who would be able to foster him until he can find a home. I hate just turning them in if it’s likely they will be killed (sorry, but it’s not euthanasia, in my opinion).

      7. I am in Chilliwack. I have tried Chilliwack Safe Haven, Katie’s Place in Maple Ridge, C.A.R.E.S in Langley, RAPS in Richmond, Fraser Valley Humane Society, Meow Aids email service is down, Cat’s Cradle doesn’t take surrenders, LAPS will kill pets. Only Safe Haven and CARES has responded. There are a lot of rescues on the island, that’s a $75 fare, 2 hour ferry, and at least a 2 hour drive away (one way). Then Vancouver, that’s another 2 hour plus drive. I am going to try that area and Richmond/Surrey/Burnaby tonight. Everything in the mountains (Hope on) is a 2 to 8+ hour drive. I found out yesterday that she was moving, before that I thought she just wanted it re-homed ASAP. Now I have a two day deadline and I am working out of town. I plan on asking my vet if he has any suggestions.

        I got more info from the girl who has the kitty. I didn’t get a lot of info about the cat before I started trying to help and with her moving she wasn’t able to fill me in. I got a hold of her today, below is what she told me about the kitty. I feel kinda bad for thinking she didn’t love the cat.

        “Well its not my cat “technically” I was suppose to be housesitting for someone who went to the navy and now she’s not coming back. She left us the cat.
        It has been violent since we have moved in. Got scratches and bites and it’s ruined all furniture, carpets, walls, everything… Therefore I’m not giving it to anyone and it’s left me not too many choices.
        I love the cat he’s nice to me but not to anyone else. I’m attached to it but I can’t bring it with me I cannot afford it. Doesn’t help that he has to be put to sleep to be brought to the vet (expensive) and has to eat special food for urinary track problems (also expensive).
        I don’t know what to do!

        Thanks for looking into places for him. He appreciates it and
        so do I.”

        I think it’s destructive behavior was probably caused when his owner left for the navy. This girl agreed to house sit and watch the cat. The owner is now for whatever reason not returning and now that the lease is up the apartments owner is selling. She’s had to find a new place to rent. If she brings the cat with it’ll destroy that rental too, that is an enormous cost along with the medical bills for this cat.

      8. Thanks for trying so hard to find some help for this cat. The first thing that pops into my mind when I read the woman’s description is some kind of medical issue. I wonder if they have looked beyond the “obvious” for some medical reason for his behaviors.
        Perhaps there will be someone who can take him on – but it sounds like he’s not a very happy cat right now. And I do understand why she cannot take him with her.
        I hope for a good outcome for all of them.
        Bless you for trying to help.

      9. If only I had started earlier. If we lived in Toronto there are rescues for service members pets, out here not so much.

        He needs help but who is going to want to take a cat that will destroy everything? He may have a mental illness and that causes his behavior, it may never be controlled. Then what? He suffers, unhappy for the rest of his days. That’s as bad as letting him walk around with a broken leg. He needs a special person to take him, figure out why he acts like he does. If it’s fixable then fix it if not well is it fair to put him in a cage so he can’t destroy things, unhappy , mentally suffering? That could be a debate question in itself.

      10. I’m surely not suggesting that this cat be put in a cage to languish for the rest of his life. What I’m saying is that there may be a medical issue causing these behaviors (not mental, physical) and without a good work-up (which sounds like it’s not going to happen) no one knows exactly what’s going on. And, there are medications that cats can take for emotional issues. BUT you need to know what’s causing the issues in the first place.
        I’m certainly not criticizing you nor am I suggesting that this cat be caged for his entire life. That would be tragic.

    3. ezbuddy, I always used to believe the same thing, but I found out it isn’t always true. A few years ago I adopted a cat, followed all the guidelines about introduction, and everything seemed to be going well. After a few weeks my other cats began attacking her. The situation escalated despite 3 attempts at re-confining and re-introducing her (as well as placing everyone on Prozac). It got to where she would be trapped in a corner messing herself because she was too afraid to try to get to one of the litter boxes. After 9 months I finally gave up and re-homed her for her own safety. Just last year I added a 7th cat to my house. Vivian shows fear-based aggression toward other cats. It took a $300+ consultation with a veterinary behaviorist (a 2 hour drive away) and a 10-month process of desensitization and counter-conditioning before I could even safely let her out of confinement. She’s out now but there are still occasional fights. It will never be an ideal situation for her, but since she’s 13 years old I don’t think re-homing her as a solo cat is an option. The situation will probably always have to be carefully managed.

  9. Allow me to clairify something from the last post; Once, an ex applied dog flea drops to my cats back, knowing it was for dogs NOT cats. Luckily I came along just as she finished & immediately had to wash the stuff off under the sink faucet with shampoo. Yes, I had to force her to be washed, it could of killed her.

    I don’t reccomend shampooing cats. They generally stay pretty clean, don’t need it & don’t like it.

    Certain circumstanced may require you to force a cat to have things done to it. ONLY if it’s in the cats best interest should it be done. i.e.: medications, emergency shampoos, duct taped to the ceiling fan…. ok, ok, calm down, it’s a joke

    1. Well Trouble (yep I stole my cats name) loves baths. Almost daily she jumps in the shower with my boyfriend. Comes out all wet and lies on the floor to air dry.

      She gets official baths when she has an accident in her carrier. Flair gets one too then because if not she hisses at Trouble for a day after. They both have no problem being bathed.

      1. I believe (although not sure on this) that some postings on FB are available for all the public to see. You can click on the link and see if it works for you, just like any other link to any other site.

  10. Oh No.. I don’t believe the video will post outside of FB… and the photo are really bad… hummm.. let me see if I can down load it and then put it here.. I’ll try.. it may take me awhile to get it back here if it works..

    I just read a news story on this Cat adoption deal and the red flags were flying. It was a private No-kill cat sanctuary sitting on the edge of High Springs Florida that got overwhelmed with the spring cat/kitten season. HSUS is painting it as a “cat hoarding” case. I’ll bet there is a good hearted couple in need of some help right about now. Their web page shows a large group of volunteers so I bet the truth is out there somewhere.

    1. While I agree that from what I’ve read in the news this was probably not a hoarding case, it appears to have been a rescue with longstanding problems – there’d been previous concerns about conditions there, they’d already been asked to downsize, and had a special permit granted for 200 cats. They actually had close to 700, many of whom were in bad shape, and some in truly horrible condition. IMHO, that’s more than kitten season could account for.

      I’ve run into rescues in the past that repeatedly ran aground because they took in more than they could afford or physically care for themselves and weren’t able to get it together to network with fosters and other rescues. This one seems to me like it may be in that category, and while I do understand to some extent … my sympathies are with the cats, not the people. And the cats in this situation were truly suffering.

      On the other hand, I also think that HSUS – and other animal welfare agencies – are awfully quick to slap the hoarding label on anyone with many animals who require rescue. I personally suspect some of this is because hoarding cases always make the news and thus make them look good, and some of it is because it fits neatly with their anti-no kill script.

      1. And those poor sad-looking animals send people right to their check books . . . the ASPCA is the worst with their background songs and the pathetic looking puppies and kittens. And then to know how little they actually do for them . . . heartbreaking!

      2. I still think some animal welfare agency should investigate the abnormally high number of pets with one eye that ASPCA has. It’s weird.

  12. Re: Rob says, HSUS is painting it as a “cat hoarding” case.

    And today at CBS News in the right hand column “Animal Hoarding Horrors” brought to the viewer by HSUS.

  13. pet peeve here – could we stop referring to these living, breathing, feeling creatures as “it”? They are either male or female and I believe that our language definitely influences our perceptions and actions – even using “euthanasia” in place of “killing” gives a lot of folks the idea that these precious animals just drift off to sleep, which many of us know is neither necessary nor gentle and kind.

    steps down from soapbox

    1. What I’ve been saying for a long time,”my neighbors treat their dogs like lawn furniture.” They kept “it” chained up, never gave “it” any attention even when in the back yard, never picked up the poo ‘it” was forced to languish around from the chain, wouldn’t use the shovel & little rake I gave them for the poo, drinking water was muddy as they only added to it, wouldn’t wash the water or food bowls I gave them, wouldn’t allow “it” to have any toys I gave, wouldn’t allow “it” to have any treats I tried on many occasions to give but threw some to “it” whenever I could,

      I said ‘lawn furniture’ because they had a chair in the yard that got the same amount of attention, little to none.

      1. I have a similar issue. My neighbor/friend/landlady has a dog that she leaves locked up in a 6x6x4 lot. It’s a beautiful Border Collie. The dog is not social with people or dogs, has bit me three times. I have been documenting, taking photos/videos of the deplorable living conditions. She thinks it’s just fine for “That Dog” to stay in that pen 14-16-18 hours a day. Since I freaked out about the dogs being covered with mats, fleas and ticks, she shaved the dog and put powder on the ground. This poor dog howls and cries for hours. You all know how hot it has been. She says.. “it’s just a dog, IT’S in the shade. I have called animal control, the shelter, reached out to Dogs Deserve Better. They all say.. “As long as the dog has food, water and shelter.. she has the right to force “The Dog” to live like that. Makes me sick..

        I’m still trying to help the dog, but I risk being evicted. I can’t cause too much trouble.. I have 5 dogs IN MY HOUSE, two are deathrow fosters. According to my lease, I’m only supposed to have one dog. Got any ideas?

  14. db: Thank You! I have asked before for the same thing. These are living, sentient beings, they are not pieces of furniture or “it’s”.

    1. I started hearing about this last month. It’s heartbreaking for both the animals and humans concerned. I don’t know what I would do in their case. But right now I’m not sure they’ve been given much choice by the parish.

    2. I don’t know anything about this situation but the first question that comes to mind is: What was the plan? Did they implement the programs of the No Kill Equation and if so, over what period of time, with what community support, etc? This article reads as if there was no plan.

      1. That was my first thought. It sounded like the decision to be No-Kill happened overnight with no plan in place. But then, as patience pointed out, I researched and saw they had this in the works for more than a year. So, I’m confused as to why the shelter would have such an influx in animals in such a short period of time. Were people just holding back their animals waiting to drop them off at a No-Kill facility?

      2. What I’m unclear on – and maybe someone can shed some light on this – is whether they were primarily talking about creating a no kill community for the past year (or two) or if they have actually been implementing the programs needed to create a no kill community. It sounds as if the group that took over the shelter just did so recently. What actions took place prior to that? (Not talk, actions.)

  15. What I don’t understand is why kill the animals? Why not send out a plea to the community (and the larger community)? Zero adoption fee, s/n certificates, etc.?

  16. @mikken
    they have been promoting more adoptions(don’t know about no-fee), but most of their dogs are HW positive so I guess they’re not getting the response they need. They are just starting their s/n program – don’t know if they could get vouchers from city, parish or local vets. Don’t know if money is an issue, but they are under the gun from the parish- reduce the population at the shelter as quickly as possible or maybe lose control.

    @yesbiscuit -they had set up basic infrastructure -groups to deal with foster/outside adoptions, but apparently expected a whole lot to happen on that front after they went no-kill. Apparently, they have not started s/n program big time yet.I don’t know how much general community support they had, but they couldn’t get things going fast enough.

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