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Animal Welfare Issues.
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Lightning Rod
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Post by Lightning Rod » November 22nd, 2005, 1:13 pm

Dear Cat,

As you probably know, we recently lost our cat. It is Alicia's birthday this weekend and we have promised her a new kitten.

Here is the question: Should we get the kitten from the pound or a pet store?

I'm in favor of the pound because I just like the idea of bailing anybody out of jail. Some of my best pets have come from the pound. They loved me for getting them out of there.

But doreen prefers the pet store. She feels better about paying for the merchandise.

What is your advice?
"These words don't make me a poet, these Eyes make me a poet."

The Poet's Eye

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abcrystcats
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you are lying

Post by abcrystcats » November 23rd, 2005, 11:42 pm

There is absolutely no way Doreen prefers the pet store. You must be lying. Pulling my leg in a big way .... something.

How could she prefer to buy an animal whose life is already guaranteed to it, when she can save an animal from certain death? That is not Doreen.

You're bullshitting me.

bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

Lol.

Sorry .... I am completely handicapped when it comes to this kind of kidding. I have no imagination and no ability to humor you back. Mess with me any way you like.

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Post by Doreen Peri » November 24th, 2005, 4:14 am

I got Wink from the pound... he was a pound Kitty.. we rescued him from certain demise. I went with my ex-husband. He was on a mission to rescue a dog. I found Wink and fell in love with him. I took him home.

I had to sign papers which said that I would get him neutered and swear to the state that I would keep him as an indoor cat.

I paid to get him fixed, took him home, but didn't want an indoor cat. So, I lived with him as a family member for 13 years and loved him dearly yet lied to the state. When I signed the papers, I swore I would keep him inside. I didn't want to do that. I lied. I wanted to rescue him, yes, but I wanted him to run free.

You and I have talked about this before, Laurie.

This is not my post, obviously. It's Clay's. He has his reasons for asking you. I vote for a pet store because you don't have to swear upon god almighty in writing that you will agree to make your cat an indoor pet.

sighhhhhhh.....

Thank you for seeing me.. I didn' t see that he posted this until now... I just want to get Alicia a kitty for her birthday and it will happen.. one way or the other...

I loved.. absolutely loved .. rescuing Wink from the pound. I just didn't particularly like having to sign papers swearing I would make him an indoor cat.

There's the debate.
sighhhh...

He definitely has a humor bone that doesn't jive with mine, also, but hey, he's really not messing with me or you. He's serious. He just needs to learn how to write it down better so it's easier to decipher. That's my take on it. My critique. Thank you, Laurie.
Thanks Giving.

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Post by abcrystcats » November 25th, 2005, 1:44 am

Yes, Doreen, we did talk about the "indoor cat" thing.

Ask yourself: WHY do you want your cat to go outdoors? You already told me why. I am not sure I understand the value system you are working with here.

Let's not even go into the reason you want a cat to go outside. Let's just go into what you said in your post.

You prefer NOT to save a life at the pound if it means you have to tell a white lie. I don't get that. This is the person that shudders in horror every time there is a world disaster and people die. I would tell a white lie to save a life. It seems to me to be a no-brainer. I understand and acknowledge that you are uncomfortable with lying. So am I. VERY. But not if it's the lesser of two evils.

This part about cats "running free" ....

1) Felis catus is not native to this continent. The animals were brought here by European settlers.

Even though I have argued that cats do not decimate bird populations, they aren't exactly a natural part of our ecostructure.

Read this:

http://www.umd.umich.edu/dept/rouge_river/cats.html


2) Cats that "run free" are free to drink antifreeze, free to get run over by cars, free to contract diseases from other cats and the rodents that they like to catch, free to suffer from human cruelty, free to get lost and never find their way home, and so on and so forth.

We don't let our children go and run out in traffic. Why not? Wouldn't they be happier "running free"?

We don't let our dogs "run free" either. Why not?

It just seems to me that it's in the cat's best interest, and in the best interest of the environment in general to keep them indoors.

One thing I think I know about cats, and that is that they get lonely. They like to be around members of their own species. They don't have as strong a bond with humans as dogs do and they just feel better if they have a feline pal or two hanging around the house.

My cats are strictly INDOORS. Some of them know all about outside, because they grew UP out there. None of them show any interest in the front door. They run and play and chase and cuddle and socialize with each other and me. They never seem bored or depressed, and they're not fat.

Back to the subject: I think Clay's right. Rescued animals DO seem to know that you saved them and they DO seem to act grateful for it.

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Post by abcrystcats » November 25th, 2005, 2:02 am


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Post by Doreen Peri » November 26th, 2005, 6:51 pm

OK. Well, Alicia and I (and a friend of hers) went to the Animal Shelter today. They don't actually have a rule that states you have to have an indoor cat.

But we chose an indoor cat anyway.

He has to stay inside because he's deaf.

We spent some time with him and fell in love with him.

Here's his picture behind bars. He is one year and 2 months old. Isn't he beautiful?

Image

I put my application in and will be able to go spring him from the joint and bring him home on Monday.

:D

Thanks for all your insight, Laurie, and the links!

We're looking forward to having him in our family. We will play the "Name That Cat" Game soon. Fun game! I'll tell you how it works later.

For now, I've got balloons all over the walls, the pizza man is on the way and in a few minutes, I'll have a houseful of 13-year-olds ..... It's Alicia's birthday!

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Post by Doreen Peri » November 27th, 2005, 9:57 pm

We played "Name That Cat" -

5 people submitted 3-4 names each, then we narrowed them down by voting and a process of elimination which is what the game is about and I'll go into more detail about how the game works if someone's interested but for now, he has a name... his name is Mingus. And I am bringing him home tomorrow. :)

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Post by abcrystcats » November 27th, 2005, 11:26 pm

Is he really deaf? His eyes look green in the picture, not blue. It's the blue-eyed white ones (without Siamese genes) that have the highest prevalence of deafness.

Yes, he's GORGEOUS! A very handsome young gentleman.

Thank you for picking an ADULT. God bless you for that. The adults just die like flies in the shelters. Nobody wants them. And a deaf adult? Forget it. You did him a big favor.

Not only is he gorgeous, but he looks like a sweetie. I bet he 's got a great temperament.

You sure can pick 'em, Doreen!

I have a white cat with blue eyes. Well, he 's not completely white, Marzipan has two large almond-shaped, almond colored spots on his back, and he also has a chocolate colored tail and a bit more chocolate and almond around his ears. He's clearly a Siamese mix, and he's not deaf. He is the most sweet-natured cat, though. He's shy, but he loves to cuddle, and once he's secured his place on my lap, he'll happily bury his nose in the crook of my arm and purr for hours. He adores Monkey and follows him around the house, smooching his nose and rubbing up against him.

Anyways, I LOVE white cats. What a fabulous looking guy you've got!

Happy Birthday to your daughter Alicia, too! :D

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Post by judih » November 28th, 2005, 12:06 am

a deaf beauty named Mingus!
with balloons and birthday cake crumbs to welcome him.

good news, Doreen. Interesting discussion, Laurie.

(and happy birthday to Alicia)

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Post by abcrystcats » November 28th, 2005, 11:00 pm

Heyy ... I just had a great idea. Now it's time to get Mingus a FRIEND. Give him a few weeks to settle in first. I suggest a kitten or an adolescent cat this time, though. Mingus is an adult and he'll expect to be the dominant one. His deafness might make him a little vulnerable too. Definitely a kitten .... go no higher than six months, anyways.

Here's what's weird about cats -- they love to be with other cats, but many seem to have a window of acceptance. In general, if they haven't bonded with at least one other cat by about 5 or 6 years of age, they probably won't learn to like their own species. It's rather sad, because without that socialization opportunity, their personalities usually change for the worse, but they've got to do it in their young years.

This is an ideal time for Mingus. He's quite young and he'll be in totally new surroundings where he hasn't established definite territories yet. Get him a kitten-friend and he'll probably be extremely receptive to it.

When I got Monkey a kitten, he was about one year and two months old. My parents rescued a kitten from an Arizona shelter and brought her as my birthday present. Monkey was extremely protective of her. He washed her and cuddled her and actually seemed to take responsibility for the rest of her upbringing. It was VERY cute to watch!

Two cats are very active. They chase and play and pal around. There's never a dull moment. One cat is MARVELOUS at first, but indoor cats without cat-friends can get dull. Not their fault. Everybody likes to have a friend.

Just a suggestion.

One cat or two, indoors is best!

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Post by Doreen Peri » November 30th, 2005, 12:58 am

Well, ladies, it's been quite a wonderful experience so far!

Little Mr. Mingus' photo has been removed from this thread because it was linked directly to the Animal Shelter website and I guess they pulled it off the site when I adopted him.

I've never seen anything like this! The handsome boy has made himself quite at home .... very quickly! He snoops and sneaks around looking in every nook and cranny, but no hiding under beds, no nervousness, no skittishness! He was quite at ease right away!

He is affectionate and sweet as can be! He crawls up on the couch and lies down soaking up the rays from the front window. He eases himself onto our laps and settle down and purrs, looking up at you with those big light green eyes with love! He's a charmer alright!

And Laurie, no, I don't think he's deaf. They told me he was deaf, but he sure does respond to my voice and also my hand clapping. Now, I'm not sure whether that could be a response to the vibration, but it doesn't appear to be. It seems like he hears just as well as any other cat I've had.

This cat was surrendered by his original owners at 6 months old, then adopted by a family that had other cats. The family which adopted him returned him to the animal shelter and told the attendants that he didn't adapt well to their other cats, that the cats were fighting. Mingus sure seems like a calm feline and I can't really imagine him fighting with other cats. So, the idea of getting another cat as a companion is not out of the question, despite what the animal shelter told me. They said not to because of the other family's experience. We'll see.

First, I'm taking him to a vet next week to check him over. I believe the vet will verify my observation that he is not deaf. Clay thinks maybe he's a little hard of hearing. I don't even think that. But we'll see what the vet says.

He's an absolutely gorgeous animal and we couldn't be happier to have rescued him and brought him home! It's different for me having an indoor cat. I haven't had an indoor cat since Pandora who was really both, an indoor and an outdoor cat, but I had a box for her and named her because of her box. ;) That was back in the early '80's. Long time ago. So getting used to a cat box is going to be a little bit of a challenge for me, but I can do it!

There's a Mingus among us! I sang to him all the way home. I know he heard me. I made it up as I went along... He meowed... "Meeee Home. Meeee Home" and I sang

"Sing us a song, Mr. Mingus.
Sing us a song and bring us a mouse!
I'm taking you home, Mr. Mingus..
Sing us a song at the house!"

Ha! :D

I'll take some photos soon and post them here. Wish you all could meet him! I downloaded 5 Charlie Mingus' tunes the other night just to welcome him with and ya know what? I truly believe he HEARD them!

I love him.
We all do.

One other good thing is... some cats I'm allergic to. I can't even pet them without getting sneezing attacks and my eyes watering and swelling closed and my throat getting tight and an asthma attack. Some I'm not allergic to at all. I made sure I spent enough time with him at the shelter to be able to tell if I had strong allergic reactions or not. We've had him here now for a day and a half and I've only had one experience of sneezing and itchy eyes. I took a benedryl and it went away. Other than that, I've been playing with him and petting him and have had no other allergic reactions so all this is good.

:D

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Post by abcrystcats » December 1st, 2005, 12:47 am

Dear Doreen:

I'm supposed to be VERY allergic to cats, but I've gotten quite accustomed to them because I've exposed myself to so many. The body can adapt over time.

As for the "deaf" part -- people in shelters and at private rescues like to err on the conservative side. Since MANY white cats are deaf -- particularly the blue eyed whites -- they assume that's the case if there's any question of the cat's hearing. My sister-in-law had a similar experience. She adopted a green-eyed white from the shelter, and was told he was deaf. He wasn't. It's for the cat's protection and also theirs. They'd rather assume the worst.

I'm SO glad Mingus isn't. In spite of that, he's not a good candidate for outside. In addition to all the other things I mentioned and the links, white cats stick out. White is not a natural camouflage, and they are easily located by predators -- that means dogs, owls, and whatever else you have lurking around. Feral cats left to breed for generations by themselves naturally select for brown tabby, BTW, with gray tabby a close second. The best camouflage colors for cats are similar to the colors of a coyote's natural coat and also a raccoon's. Sadly, even a good camouflage color doesn't necessarily make it. Cars can see a white cat in the headlights and avoid it. They can't see a gray or brown cat so easily. We've damned the wild creatures to a hazardous existence, either way. There ARE no good candidates for outside -- not in the United States. The UK has some slightly different characteristics.

As for Mingus digging music, and recognizing his name in a song -- I'm not surprised. My black and white cat, Mendelssohn, did not get his name because he is black and white like piano keys, nor because Mendelssohn's first name was "Felix" which means "cat." He got it because I turned on a Mendelssohn concerto for his first night at my house, and he sat RIGHT by the speakers and listened to the whole thing!

One of my feral kitties -- Arizona -- gets her name from a song: "Arizona, take off your rainbow shades .... Arizona, won't you go my way?" and you know the rest. When I sing this song for her, she seems to recognize it and responds with attention, even though she doesn't like to be touched, at all. She comes close and watches me and listens. Her name is part of the song, and I think she hears it and wonders what it's all about.

BTW, "What's it all about, Alphy?" I knew a Siamese cat named Alphy for the song when I was little, AND I had a little snowshoe-type Siamese mix when I was in college, originally named Althea for a Pink Floyd association (??) later cut to "Alphie" by me for ease of pronounciation. Cats and music go together, like cheddar cheese and apple pie. They fit.

As for a companion -- get him a kitten. Get him a little tot that's no older than four months (preferably older than 8 weeks, though) and female. He'll probably LOVE it. And wait until he feels secure with you, like I said. Give him at least a month to settle in. Sometimes cats do feel threatened by other adult cats. It's totally natural. And cats do a lot of dramatic posturing when confronted. They yowl and snarl and scream and threaten. They usually don't rip flesh, though. That's the reason they put on such a show -- to avoid actual attack. It's freaky for people who aren't used to cats, and they think they're breaking up a fight by separating them, when in reality, they're usually just postponing the adjustment phase.

My Marzipan? The first night he screamed at everyone. He even tried to bite me. He was terrified. He chased the two girls under the bed, and scared Monkey and Lazslo so much they hardly dared to move. Then he took his post on top of the cat tree and dared any other cat to come near, or he'd bite their heads off. I slept in the living room that night. I was afraid he'd murder someone if I didn't. By the next afternoon, he was as meek as a lamb. He made nice to everyone, dipping his head and mewing submissively, asking to be friends. He is an unusual case, but his dramatic posture was not. Cats can be VERY loud and scary. The thing to remember is that cats can draw blood within seconds and they rarely, or never, do. Cats prefer to AVOID direct confrontation. That's why they scream and yowl so much. It's a way to avoid actual violence.

More than you wanted to know, probably, but what I think is that people give up too quickly on cat friendships. They see the initial difficulties and freak out. With adult cats, you've got to go slowly. With a kitten and an adult, you can go a LOT more quickly, in most cases. Cats can easily go from deadly hate to adoring love. Marzipan hated Monkey the first night; now he just worships him -- follows him around and smooches him.

Who knows what they think?

They're about as weird as we are.

All I know is that I've got a household of cats that love each other and get along. There is no peeing in corners. There's no one who doesn't get to eat, get to play, get to love. There's a balance. And they'd FREAK if they were separated from each other and me. I've moved a few times, and they've adjusted quickly after the initial trauma, but that's because they know they can be together.

Cats are no different than people in wanting to be with their own kind.

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