Monday, November 07, 2011

Left behind kitties

Pinky (rear) and Blue (front)
We spent part of this weekend dealing with some cats that one of Yummy's neighbors had left behind when he moved.

Pinky and Blue are a couple of the most clever house cats you're gonna come across. This last month or two we'd often find them wandering around outside and the back door of the house wide open. Blue had taken to jumping up on the kitchen counter and opening the door. Granted, the door handle was one of those designed for disabled or elderly people to use instead of the more usual door knob style, but it was still more than we tend to expect from our cats. It became a real problem with the cops were called to his house because another neighbor called after seeing the door wide open and nobody home.

The owner of the cats was being forced to move. He ranked among the recently unemployed and couldn't afford his own place. And his new roommates didn't want his cats around. His original plan was to release them. He backpedaled a bit when Yummy shot him a look. He changed his answer to "I'll take them to a shelter." So it was with much annoyance that we went to work in the backyard and found Pinky wandering about cold, hungry, and looking for attention. The jerk left them behind after all!!!

Yummy had almost talked herself into keeping Pinky. Her current cat, Seamus, would be displeased. He already throws fits when Pinky comes up on the roof behind Yummy's apartment and peeks in the window. But just before we went inside Blue showed up. No. No no no. Too many cats. We have to find them homes.

We had to be sure that the neighbor was really gone. His apartment was strange. A hallway split the apartment between the front and back of the house. Meaning he had to leave the part of his apartment with the kitchen and bathroom, go into the hallway, and then go back into the part of the apartment with the bedroom. And there was no furniture anywhere to be seen. However, in the kitchen he did have a nice radiator with a compartment in the middle. Presumably, you put your food in there to keep it warm until the rest of dinner is ready. I'd never seen one of those before. Makes me want radiators in my place.

The cats spent the night in Yummy's bathroom. Food, water, rugs to lay on, relative warmth, and a pissed off Seamus on the other side of the door made for a better situation than house cat fur in November weather, no familiar food source, a missing person, and hostile strays.

Pinky (left) and the Brain (right)
Yummy has rescued enough cats now that she has some idea what needs to be done and what services various shelters provide. Unfortunately, most of the shelters are overbooked. The Humane Society said we'd need an appointment to bring the cats in and that there was a 6 to 8 week wait for space. But when they called we were already driving the cats to BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter) [link].

There were tears while dropping them off. It wasn't helped when the woman admitting them asked Yummy why she couldn't keep them longer. After all, we'd asked that if it seemed that the cats were going to be put down instead of adopted if they'd call and let us take the cats back. Why not take them back now? But eventually we were able to explain that Yummy has a cat that doesn't like company and a couple of birds that drew the rapt attention of the new cats.

The cats were renamed. They're not siblings, but they were kittens together and are very close. They could be housed separately, but it would be preferred if they were housed together. We renamed them Pinky and Brain from the cartoon in the hopes that the name would encourage someone to take them together. We've seen in some other shelters that a good name can make the difference between this cat or that cat being adopted, and sometimes if they get adopted at all. A cat named Trogdor went pretty fast compared to a very similar cat named Boots. The last cat we took to a shelter was all black. Instead of Shadow we called him Lamont Cranston after the civilian name of The Shadow in the old radio shows.

That night Yummy found a note downstairs addressed to the lady on the third floor with the birds. It wanted to know if we'd taken his cats to a shelter for him. Yummy called him. It turns out he had called around and got much the same answers that we were getting. There's no room anywhere, and places that have room are likely to put the cats down if they can't turn them out quickly. Only Yummy's history let her know about some places he didn't know. He had left some food with the people in the apartment below his and asked them to feed the cats. But they grew concerned when the cats weren't coming back. He'd come to get them because he was going to try the shelters closer to where he'd moved to. Virginia somewhere, I think. So if BARCS calls and needs us to take the cats back we'll try again with the extra shelters available between Baltimore and somewhere Virginia.

If you're in the general Maryland area and want a couple of healthy, young cats (less than a year old) give BARCS a call. Pinky is a girl and has been spayed. Blue/Brain is a boy and hadn't been neutered. They're very clever and very curious. They like to inspect everything. Blue/Brain is very affectionate and will get right up in your business. Pinky is friendly, but a bit skittish. Once she gets to know you she's friendly enough and it doesn't take her long to decide she knows you.

Update: 2:00 PM - Yummy has been told she needs to get the cats by 6:00 tonight or they're being put to sleep. If you or someone you know wants one please let us know so we can get them a home quickly.

Update: 7:12 PM - Yummy has the cats at her place. A no-kill place will take them, but it'll be a couple of  weeks. They're pissing her cat off. Tonight they'll go in the bathroom. That's where they'll spend most of the time until they go to the shelter. If you know anyone who might want a cat or two, please get them in touch.

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