Sheltered

So, yeah, don’t tell my mom, because she thinks I’m crazy enough, but I’ve been going to a few animal shelters recently looking for a girlfriend for Scamp.
He meows all night and throws himself at the door when the landlord cat walks by. Now, I’m no catologist, but I think he’s lonely.
Now, I don’t know how many of you know about shelters and animal fostering and all that business, but it’s rough. Okay, a lot of those people are volunteers, and sure it’s not their fault that there’s pet overpopulation or neglectful owners, but they go about educating in the wrong way.
Let’s take a look at Craigslist alone.
I’ll make up a few scenarios that I have actually seen happen to illustrate my point.
Scenario 1 – Kathy has been a loving pet owner for 5 years. Unfortunately, she just got a job in Uruguay/got pregnant (some studies have proven cats and litter are bad for pregnant people)/got married to someone with a cat allergy/died and has to give up her loving kitty. She is really torn up about it, but she doesn’t want to go to a shelter which might euthanize, so she’s posting it here to find a loving home.
Fast forward 3 milliseconds, when approximately 15 different people have replied to her post calling her a horrible person and saying that she knew the responsibilities when she got the cat, that cats go through terrible trauma at being re-homed, and why would she accept a job where she couldn’t bring a cat/get pregnant, what are you, a slut?/marry someone with a cat allergy — keep the cat, dump the guy!/die? Weren’t you considering the cat’s needs when you decided to die?
Now, sure, there are a lot of irresponsible people out there, and no, it’s not fair to the animals, but this person was just looking out for the cat by bypassing the shelter system. Is criticism necessary?
Scenario 2 – Eduardo has been responsible and loving for her outdoor cat all his life. One sad day in sunny Southern California, a wild coyote swooped in and had a nine course dinner on each of the kitty’s lives. Eduardo (like 98% of the people on Craigslist) doesn’t really have anything to say. He just posts his sad story — not even to warn others, though it might help — but mostly to eulogise the life of his great cat.
Fast forward 2 milliseconds, where hordes of frothy CL users descend upon him, chastising him for letting his cat go outside at all. They also twist the jagged knife by saying awful things like the cat is lucky to be dead for having such a stupid owner, or that they hope every time Eduardo sees the cat’s mangled body in his mind’s eye, he blames it entirely on himself, knowing that it’s completely his fault an innocent cat is dead.
And that’s just Craigslist! Keep in mind that none of these people are PETA, since PETA doesn’t think people should own animals at all. PETA is the Scientology of the animal kingdom. These people are just the…I don’t know, whatever Kirk Cameron is.
Now, pet foster moms are really a wonderful type of person, and I know that personally because Ex-Boyfriend Sean’s mom was one, and she loved those foster dogs more than…well, having a house that didn’t smell like dog urine.
But, as with everything, there are a few bad seeds in the bunch. I’d foster cats myself, but I have such a tiny apartment, and I’m usually busy on Saturdays, when the animals need to be taken to adoption fairs.
But to foster, usually various foundations will foot the bill for vet visits and sometimes even food until the animal is adopted into its “forever home.” But as fosters are looking to give the best home for an animal, they usually require extensive background checks, and sometimes a hefty donation fee. So…what exactly is keeping this foster from throwing every interview?
“Gosh, you make $120,000 a year, you have a mansion, and you only work one day a week, so you can stay home 6 days to play with the kitty. That’s preeetty good. Ooh. Uh-oh. It says here you like tacos. That means you probably like Choco Tacos, and as we know chocolate is lethal to cats. Ooh, sorry about the tacos. Maybe next time.”
And the foster gets to keep a free cat.
And then there are the actual shelters. First, when you walk in, they treat these cats like bizarre sideshow orphans, shoving them in your face, saying, “Isn’t this guy cute? He rescued a baby last week. He needs some major love. You’re getting at least one cat today, right? Promise me you’ll take one.” Now, call me a snob, but I’m picky since I’m going to be living with a cat for its entire life. And I don’t want one of those lame cats that hate to be touched and hides under the couch all day long. I want one with personality like Scamp, who doesn’t mind if you’re just bending over to tie your shoe. He thinks your flattened back is the perfect place to hop up on and take a nap.
Then all these shelters have signs on the cages like, “THIS cat’s owner obviously didn’t think it was cute enough. Will you give it a chance?” I joke a lot for comedic effect, but that was a word-for-word sign on the cage across from the one where I got Scamp.
When I was looking at shelters, too, after a family would come in and test out a few cats, then leave, more often than not, the shelter workers would turn to me and complain about how that family spent so much time looking and had the nerve to not adopt and they were probably horrible people anyway.
These workers are the same people who are shocked that there are hoarders — mentally ill people who take in ridiculous numbers of cats because they think they’re the cats’ only hope. The cats can get diseases in situations like this, but a lot of times, they were the cats’ only hope. And who can blame them? They just cracked under shelter workers’ pressure!
So if I am to find a friend for Scampy, I have to turn a blind eye to these shelters’ sob stories and pressuring and just find a quirky one. Then they can both jump on my back when I’m tying my shoe, and they’ll curl up so cute together that I’ll walk around hunched over all day just so I won’t disturb them.

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