Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Let's Have a Chat About Adopting a Cat

Today is three years since the death of my cat Cristobel. This will not be a fun post, it's more of a rant. I'll be discussing the travails of pet ownership, namely cat ownership. This post is not for those who have adopted cats who are in their forever homes. This is for all those nameless people you hear about in the news who have dumped or abandoned their cats, or worse. They're the ones who buy a kitten from a pet shop, soon tire of it, and discard him or her like she's just a fluffy stuffed toy. Perhaps If I can discourage one person from thoughtlessly adopting an animal that they don't really want, or even if a lightbulb goes on in their head that yes, this is a lifelong commitment, then I will have done my job. 

Move along if you value your possessions more than fur people. Thinking of adopting a cat? Think again. For every human who has kicked a cat outside or dumped a cat at the SPCA it's a kick in the heart for those of us who have spent hours tending to and cleaning up after a sick kitty, only to have her succumb to cancer. What I wouldn't give for the chance to clean cat vomit off the silk comforter again, or be subjected to a sneezing fit! If you want easy pet ownership, snag-free furniture, a germ-free counter and floors, and asthma-free children then get a damn stuffed animal toy instead. 

Easy is for losers and cat ownership can be a discouraging lifelong term but only if you let it be. I've always spent each day tending to my cat's needs. Never had I had what I would call a problem child. Cats misbehave when they are neglected and ignored just like your neighbour's miscreant child. But would they dump their kid at the dump? Nope they deal with it as a mature responsible adult would do. Most people who end up with a high-maintenance pet just deal with the paw that they were dealt. Most love their cats unconditionally. But a few bad apples in the bunch spoil the pie. Sure I've had my cat get sick but you know what so do humans and human mess is far nastier to clean out of the bedspread than a small pet mess. 

I don't want to hear the stories about you dumping a cat because she scratched your couch. You know what? Spend a few hours training her! She has a tiny brain and doesn't know any better. Yes that's right cats can be trained. Who thunk it. You can even call in an expert if your ass is too lazy to do it. Cats can be surprisingly easy to train. 

What it all comes down to is that if you think you can't do it or maybe the timing isn't quite right for cat ownership then wait. When only you alone is ready for a life sentence then welcome into your arms that furry critter. Now you can brag about your cat, rather than being a donkey's behind.

PS, Yes I did eventually adopt another kitty after Cristobel died. You can read her story here.


  1. oh my gosh, I heart you !!! AND this post! I volunteer (admittedly, I don't do nearly as much as some of the frontline volunteers, but I try to do my part) for a no-kill shelter, and we see heartbreaking stories every day. Some days it's hard to even believe that there are *any* good people in the world (but I know YOU are out there). Thanks for sticking up for the furry ones :D

  2. The world can be an ugly place. It's unfortunate. There are also people that do horrible things to their children. There is horrible everywhere. Change may start with a post like this. Getting out in the public might create even more awareness. Good luck. I have several friends that post on this topic daily on FB. Each new face adds to the reach.

  3. Margaret: I'm glad there are no-kill shelters otherwise I would never have met my two furry companions. Debra: I believe that writers and cats go together!