FINDING A HOME IN YOUR HEART…a plea on behalf of abandoned animals

Silver and Solo, abandoned brothers

Silver and Solo, abandoned brothers

The microcosm:  A neighbor at the head of our cul-de-sac, whose two-acre property fronted a busy country road, obviously thought that letting his cats roam free and breed freely was nature’s way. When he lost the place to foreclosure, I was secretly delighted, for the task of picking up the feline roadkill on my morning walk had left me emotionally drained and furious at my inability to change his and others’ ways.

Two fosters who found their forever homes

Two fosters who found their forever homes

Once this neighbor and his family moved out we found sixteen cats, two with kittens, all  abandoned to their own devices, and one by one we captured them and had them spayed or neutered.  Safe and loving homes were found for most of the kittens.  Eight of the deserted felines became the adoptees of our cul-de-sac, and they continue to bring smiles of pleasure with their boisterous play on a daily basis.  Neighbors gather to discuss the cats latest antics.  And if one of the communal cats isn’t seen for a day we gather on the street to search out the missing beastie.

A cat's dream

A cat’s dream

Once a neighbor’s dogs from the five-acre parcel to our east cornered Silver and tossed him violently in the air, and he ran into the brush of our land and was missing overnight, despite hours of searching and calling.

In the morning, as I discussed where we should search next with my neighbor Robin, another of the cats, Mia, wandered down our drive and bent over to stare into the culvert beneath the driveway, alternately looking at me and then into the culvert.  A quick check confirmed that Silver was hiding in the dark tunnel, and soon several neighbors gathered to determine how best to get him out so that he could be checked by the vet.  As we made preparations, with a cat carrier at one end and a soccer ball to push down the tube to encourage him to enter the carrier, out he wandered to check out the fuss and activity.  Happily, he was uninjured in the scrap with the dog pack.

IMG_3348

Every morning I am welcomed on my feeding rounds by racing, tumbling feral cats eager for companionship, now that they know some humans actually can be trusted to share their lives and care for their well-being.  If we didn’t already have a houseful of animal companions we would take each and every one in to give it the kind of home it deserves.  The photos in this post are all of cats we have fostered over the years.  Others have never left our care.

Ivy, a shelter cat who found a permanent, loving home

Ivy, a shelter cat who found a permanent, loving home

The macrocosm:  This is “kitten season,” and in every community hundreds, even thousands of unwanted kittens are being born, most of whom will never know the pleasure of a warm, loving home.   Many will breed again and again if they make it to adulthood, furthering the cycle of pitiful, painful lives of neglect.  Most others will end up abandoned, then ultimately killed in the wild or euthanized in shelters.

Rescue Kittens

Rescue Kittens

Today on Mother’s Day, consider adopting a kitten or puppy, consider giving a loving permanent home to a full-grown cat or dog from the shelter.  Or perhaps you can find room to foster an adult or baby animal?   The adult companions may well have been separated from a once-loving household by death or economic trouble.  Or they may have strayed too far and couldn’t find their way home.  They don’t know what happened to the family they lost.  After all, they did everything to please those families.  Can you find room to put pleasure in their lives?  I guarantee they will return the favor.

Go ahead...take a couple...they will thank you for it!

Go ahead…take a couple…they will thank you for it!

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About Patrick W. O'Bryon

Writer. Traveler. Europhile, especially Italy and France. Real Estate Broker. Former academic in the field of Germanic Studies, Princeton Ph.D., interpreter and community liaison with the US Army in Germany. Hobbies: rescuing animals from abuse, abandonment and mistreatment, and being sous chef around the kitchen to my chef de cuisine wife.
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8 Responses to FINDING A HOME IN YOUR HEART…a plea on behalf of abandoned animals

  1. When we lived in Orangevale, our neighbor had a Mama Kitty that had been having 2-3 litters a year for 13+ years. He’d always been able to find homes for the kittens so never thought it was an issue. But do the math–that’s a mind-boggling amount of kittens (and possible more kittens) just from one source. We got her spayed and she was the sweetest kitty–and was finally able to put on some much-needed weight, since most of her resources went to baby-making.

    • Yes, I grew up in a household of unspayed/unneutered cats, and we thought nothing of it. And the poor Mama cats wore themselves out with litter upon litter. How fortunate that we are becoming more sensitive and enlightened, if only in baby steps.

  2. A great and well-crafted message. I believe abandoned/sheltered animals make superior pets. It’s like you wrote, “They will thank you for it.” My experience says that is true.

  3. lenobryon@comcast.net says:

     

    Nice (but sad) article, Pat. Hopefully it will motivate recipients to spread the word and to adopt and spay. Great pictures.

     

  4. Cynthia Barnett says:

    Wonderful article, Patrick. As a volunteer for Fat Kitty City, and the “mom” to 8 cats and 3 dogs, I’m all too familiar with the plight of the abandoned cats. I answer sanctuary phones, and I hear these stories, day after day. You and your benevolent neighbors have done such a great job to take care of your neighbor’s cats, and are to be commended for stepping in and helping them. Educating people is the key to keeping the feline population down. Now, if people would just pay attention–and do something! Thanks, again for the article.

    • Thank you for your kind words and your compassionate work at Fat Kitty City, Cynthia. I hold my breath every morning when I make my rounds to feed our neighborhood feral brood, counting heads and checking for injuries. Thankfully, we live at the end of a cul-de-sac, so no through traffic. Solo in the first photo, showed up one morning with a broken right foot. The vet bandaged it, of course, and Solo had the bandage off within the first hour in our “cathouse,” a would-be potting shed transformed with insulation, drywall, heating and air to serve as a kitten and injured adult sanctuary while they grow/wean/recover. He stayed in their for almost two months, and we spent every available moment giving him company, and his brothers and sisters came to peer in at him, but wouldn’t enter. He healed just fine, and now is one of my most friendly morning greeters!

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