Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


We have decided to get a cat for the family --most especially the kids-- this Christmas.

My wife and I have been cat owners in the past, all of which lived to ripe old ages and died happy. We do not believe that all people are only "cat people" or "dog people." We simply have more means to keep a cat with less investment in new responsibility, now. We don't have a surrounding fence, and don't want one, and don't care to do the full-time indoor dog thing. So a cat it is. It shall be a short-hair, keeping in mind my wife's allergies. It shall be an outdoor cat, mostly, with a pass-door to the garage for inclimate weather. We want a young one, so that it will more quickly acclimate to our household.

I've called around. Pounds. Rescue groups. Crazy cat ladies.

These people are crazy.

Why can't a person just be one of those folks who takes in a few animals on occasion, coordinates foster care for orphaned pets and the like, and then lets it go at that? Why do they all have to be crazy?

Their emails are crazy. Well, crazed, at the least.

Their phone calls are nothing less than manic. They will go on and on and on about aspects of this that you just don't give a damn about. I don't care about your views on how evil shots are, lady-- my cats are getting them. I don't care that your long-haired Maine Coon (tell me that that doesn't sound like a made-up name for a breed) is the brightest, most clever, most loving kitteh in the world, but you wouldn't give her up for the whole wide world ("no I wouldn't, would I?!? No! Mama would NEVER do that, would she...?"). I want to hear three simple questions answered: 1. Do you have a young cat available to adopt? 2. Is it short-haired? 3. When, where, and for how much may I adopt the cat?

Those three questions should not take me an hour --an HOUR!! --to answer.

Kids ain't gettin' their cat until after Christmas. If I talk to this last lady again, I'm pretty sure that my colleagues will be calling on me.



At Wednesday, December 24, 2008 6:12:00 PM, Anonymous TBeck said...

We get our cats through the local Pets Mart. The cost is $75 and the cat is already neutered.

The first cat we adopted this way is a beautiful white Turkish Angora. She was somewhere between five and seven years of age when I found her. She is a very bright animal and likes to manage the household.

I've had both success and failure adopting kittens. The first one would pee on any clothing or rugs left on the floor. She went back to the shelter. Our next attempt is working out much better.

Adopting an adult cat is also a roll of the dice when children are involved. Lily is very patient with both the children and the kitten, which is good because she does not otherwise suffer fools.

At Wednesday, December 24, 2008 7:17:00 PM, Anonymous LabRat said...

I've been involved in cat rescue, and I gotta say you have to be a little nuts to be willing to put up with it long-term.

That said, Petfinder is your friend right now. Yes, this isn't sketchy- smart rescue groups and animal shelters list here. If there are any groups in this state that DON'T, they are very, very covert ones.

Word verification: tapsy. Name suggestion, perhaps?

At Wednesday, December 24, 2008 7:19:00 PM, Blogger Easily Lost said...

Tucks a kitten into Santa's sleigh with instructions to drop it off at Matt's house. No muss, no fuss.
Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas :D

At Wednesday, December 24, 2008 9:26:00 PM, Blogger Sabra said...

We got our kittehs through PetSmart as well. $65 for the kitten; $35 for the adult cat. Both black toms, both neutered, and the grown-up with his rabies shot. (Youngling had only had one, because he wasn't old enough for the second.)

They asked no questions.

I prefer to adopt adult cats, but I learned the hard way not to adopt it unless that little box that says "good with children" is checked yes. We adopted one back in '06 with that left blank...And she wound up biting eldest for no reason. (She was just walking down the hall.)

They also allow for returns at any time; within one week gets a refund.

I usually prefer to adopt an adult cat, but I'm glad I got the kitten. Except for when he plays with the Christmas tree...

At Wednesday, December 24, 2008 10:24:00 PM, Blogger LauraB said...

Look for a feral rescue group locally (my sister is in one in Austin-area but ranges quite widely due to the mania LOL).

They will come fixed, and ear notched, and be quite happy to remain nearby though never far from the food. Kitteh's avail, all the time...just a thought.

(The Petsmart route is also quite good - saves them from certain death, it does...)

At Thursday, December 25, 2008 8:25:00 AM, Blogger Sevesteen said...

It isn't just cat rescue--I ran into some of the same sort of thing with dog rescue groups. A couple of them had rules that were basically "We will let you feed and care for our dog, but we get to check your home as long as you have our dog, and if we ever decide you aren't doing a good job you have to give our dog back and pay us a fine. Oh, by the way, we need supplies because we can't find homes for all our dogs..."

There is a local Boxer rescue guy who has gotten in trouble for stealing dogs he thinks aren't being treated properly.

At Thursday, December 25, 2008 11:24:00 AM, Anonymous TBeck said...

Sabra, I learned the hard way that the checked boxes may not represent the views of the feline in question.

Before the kitten, there was another adult female adopted, Isabella. Bella is a tabby/siamese mix with big blue, slightly crossed eyes. The tag said she got along well with other cats.

Well, not so much. Bella could not stand Lily. She would hiss and growl constantly. Finally, Lily got tired of it and started opening up cans of whup-ass. Then it became a game to keep Bella hiding under the couch for twenty hours per day.

So Bella went to live with my wife's parents, where she is the queen of all she surveys. It frustrates my wife because of the three cats, Bella is the only lapcat. So now she has to go to her parents' to get a cuddly cat fix. But Bella doesn't shed nearly as much these days.

wv: butin (Another possible kitten name)

At Thursday, December 25, 2008 1:18:00 PM, Blogger Sabra said...

Laura, great point about the feral kittehs. In fact, Matt, I can give ya one from the trailer park here, LOL. Out of a colony of prolly two dozen, we feed a good 8 to 10, and they've already been abused, uh I mean loved on by my kids.

At Friday, December 26, 2008 10:52:00 AM, Anonymous Kristopher said...

Yep ... you can't just grab a kitten out of a "free kittens' box these days.

The nutters troll the internet looking for them, and they grab them all.

And then try to dictate terms to prospective new owners ... at least until the neighbors complain about the smell. Then they get shut down and all of the animals they had glommed onto end up at the county pound.

At Friday, December 26, 2008 10:53:00 AM, Anonymous Kristopher said...

Oh, and a Maine Coon would have been a good choice for a large companion cat ... except for your wife's allergy.

At Friday, December 26, 2008 10:30:00 PM, Blogger TOTWTYTR said...

We got our cats through a rescue service and you're right. The people there, although well meaning and nice, are fanatics.

We had to fill out an application and give references. They checked the references. One of which told the nice, but pretty humorless lady that he wouldn't trust me with a Gorilla, let alone a kitten. He had to explain that he was joking about that.

I had dogs when I was a kid and as much as I still like dogs, I can tell you that cats are much easier.

At Saturday, December 27, 2008 2:33:00 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

Pete's sake, don't you know any farmers? Farmers almost always have cats around, with new one being produced all the time. :)

At Monday, December 29, 2008 10:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Matt-

I'm an old guy, now on my fifth cat. She's my daughter's, a shelter kitten. Big mistake.

You want a kitten who is accustomed to being handled, likes the lap, doesn't scratch or bite when excited or irritated, and is that way with all the members of the family, including Gramps on the one hand and the kids on the other. The only way to maximize the likelihood that your kitten will turn out that way is to find a litter raised by a family tolerant mother in that family- i.e. kittens accustomed to being regularly handled by their people from birth. You want to be able to visit the litter and confirm the mother and kittens are friendly with everyone, you included. A shelter kitten is a pig in a poke (we all have the scars to prove it).

About the Maine Coon: my last cat, gone around 15 years now, was a big one. One of the best companions we ever had (people included). We still miss him. (BTW, I'm not sure hair length has anything to do with allergies in current medical thinking.)




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