This is Kootie – a neutered male cat, age 7. His owner died and someone brought him to NYC ACC on January 4, 2012 so he could be cared for until adopted by a new owner. Reader Daniela brought him to my attention last month.
Kootie’s initial exam at the pound indicated that he had clear eyes and ears, was overweight and was observed to have a “mild appetite”. This means the cat was eating smaller amounts of food than would be expected. To my mind, this sounds not only normal for a cat in a shelter but also possibly beneficial for Kootie since he needs to lose some weight. Mild appetite is not anorexia. Anorexia would be a concern because it could lead to fatty liver disease in any cat and overweight cats may be at an increased risk. However Kootie was not anorexic. Nonetheless, the vet at the pound injected him with famotidine, a drug that is sometimes used to get cats to eat (although it is not an appetite stimulant). A note appears in the record that an appetite stimulant will be considered “if decreased appetite”.
I’m not a vet but this looks bizarre to me. To my layman’s eyes, it looks like the vet is scrounging for possible reasons to justify putting Kootie on the kill list in the near future. He’s fat which may increase his risk of fatty liver disease if he starves himself. But he’s not starving himself, he’s just not eating as much as would be expected, which would eventually result in him being less fat and reduce his risk of health problems. So let’s give him an acid neutralizing drug to see if that gets him to eat more so he can stay fat. If not, we may have to give him an appetite stimulant to keep him fat and at risk for health problems. Whaaa?
There was no need to scrounge for long though because after 11 days at the pound, Kootie caught the cold that all kitties there seem to get.
At Kootie’s next exam on January 15, the vet noted he had discharge from the eyes and nose and was sneezing. He was otherwise bright, alert, responsive, and hydrated with normal sounding heart and lungs. So it was merely a kitty cold that the pound gave to him. He was put on antibiotics and placed on the kill list.
Again, I’m not a vet but this is very puzzling. It looks to me like NYC ACC is prescribing meds for a minor cold with one hand and drawing up a syringe of Fatal Plus with the other. How can this possibly be ok with the shelter, the Mayor’s Alliance and/or Maddie’s Fund? How can anyone make the claim that NYC is progressing toward no kill when a cat like Kootie is at risk of being killed by the pound on trumped up charges (first of being fat and not eating enough and then of catching a minor cold at their disease ridden facility)?
Thankfully a local rescue group called Empty Cages Collective stepped up and pulled Kootie. I don’t see him on their current list of adoptable cats so maybe he has already been adopted, I don’t know. At any rate, I’m thankful there are small, hard-working, cash-strapped rescue groups willing to stop what they can of the senseless killing in NYC. They don’t have top dollar spokesmen or millions in cash but they have the sense to know that killing healthy/treatable pets is plain wrong, no matter how anyone tries to justify it. And for that, I’m grateful.