Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hometown Memories: The Abandoned Cat

I’m ashamed to say that my hometown province of Quebec has one of the worst records of animal abandonment in all of North America.  Every year, tens of thousands of pets are deserted, many of them left behind when their owners move. Some of them are dumped outdoors to fend for themselves, others are left at shelters. And in the worst case scenarios, some are abandoned inside empty apartments. Dogs have been found tied to radiators and cats have been found inside boxes; their owners long gone.


I witnessed this cruelty almost twenty years ago when I was a young mom. A seven-year-old child that lived just a few houses down from ours, and who came over regularly to play with my daughter, rang our doorbell one afternoon, and when I opened the door, there she was with a beautiful cat in her arms.

“Can you please take her?” She asked. “She needs a home.”

I told her that the cat was probably just out for the day, and would return to her family eventually.

“No.” She said. “Her family left her.”

“What do you mean ‘left her’?”

“They moved to another house and didn’t take her with them. She lives outside now.”

Oh. Oh no...

I was stunned. And conflicted. I already had two cats, and didn’t want another, so I told this precious child that I couldn’t take her, but I’d help find her a home. She left with the cat still cradled in her arms, heartbroken. And it took me all of 30 seconds to run after that little girl, scoop that cat up in my arms and take her home with me. I named her ‘Hobo’, and eventually she did go to a new home, but not for a few years. And it turned out that ‘Hobo’ was pregnant at the time. She gave birth to a single, white kitten right in front of my eyes, and that kitten, who we named Slushy, is now almost 20 years old. She lives with my ex-husband, and is surprisingly in great shape for her age.


Hobo is a single case of abandonment out of thousands upon thousands of others. And not all of them have a happy ending like hers. It does happen that sometimes circumstances force us into having to give up a pet. In that case, finding them a loving and secure home is the responsible and humane thing to do. Abandoning them on the street or leaving them in an empty apartment is not.

Animals aren’t something you just throw away.

Here’s a video that will break your heart, and then put it back together again. Get the tissues ready...




Have you ever witnessed a case of animal abandonment in your neighbourhood?

31 comments:

  1. It's a terrible problem around here too. I'm very surprised Quebec's the worst, and I wonder why. Very sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know why it's like that, Robyn, but I hope as the generations move forward, things change.

      Delete
  2. I can't believe people will abandon their beloved pets. How sad.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If a person cannot feed and keep an animal here they have places that will keep them until adopted no kill shelters. Some yahoo complained about barking dogs in this teeny tiny town, I bring blankets and cat feed and toys to this shelter for abandoned kitteh cats and lots of dogs that yahoo, was letting off a bullhorn, the police and sheriff were called, he got a huge fine and people donated more to this woman's place to keep animals from being put down at the human society place that raised 2 million to build only to not let citizens know of them euthanizing so many kitteh cats and dogs, my neighbor told me about the programs at the humane society, we found a screaming lovely fat boy on and near Halloween about 3 years ago, mr. miygai we got him fixed and shots and flea stuff our older girl hates him but they are never in the same place in the living, kitchen or any room so they get along..Mr. Miyagi runs outside but usually sleeps his 7-8 hours in the morning and if it rains which it does a lot here he sleeps and guards the patio area snugly in a bed I got for him and wash and clean all the time...the mark of a human being in my opinion is how we treat humans who cannot defend themselves and helpless animals. tiny and big..ciao!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that is the mark of a human being. I agree completely. When you can offer compassion and care for the helpless and defenseless, you are already a better person in my eyes.

      Delete
  4. I cannot fathom how and why people can be so cruel...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hate it that people think they can throw pets away like used kleenex. So terribly cruel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's terribly cruel. These are living beings, not material possessions that can be disposed.

      Delete
  6. The human race never ceases to amaze me. And for all the wrong reasons. To say that it keeps me awake at night, is an understatement. So many animals so desperate for Love. They are voiceless and vulnerable. It positively breaks my heart into tiny pieces.

    There have been 3 cats abandoned in our area (a tiny village by the sea) and we have taken them all in. Sadly one died recently, but the others are going strong. The are safe, warm, feed and loved. As all animals should be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Wendy (sigh), I can't tell you how much I relate to this. I also have sleepless nights because of the cruel things that go on. But you are doing right by these little creatures, so there is so hope in this world. Because of people like you.

      Delete
  7. this is so sad Martha. When I adopted my puppies, I made a promise to them that I would take care of them until they died, even if we were homeless together... I don't want ever to judge people, because we never know about people' situations, but it is so sad...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't like to judge people either, Ana, but there are no-kill shelters if circumstances force you to give up your pet. And sometimes you can find a good home for them if you look hard enough. But abandoning them outdoors, or chaining them up in an empty apartment is abusive and cruel. Then, I will judge...

      Delete
  8. It makes me sick. The whole thing. As you know, our girls are rescues. There's no other
    way we'd get a dog. And the one, Wiggy, no one wanted her because they said that she
    wiggled too much. Wiggled too much?

    Crazy stuff, this world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wiggled too much? What kind of nonsense is that? Thank goodness for you and the loving home you have offered her. And I bet she has returned that kindness ten times over with the joy she brings into your home.

      Delete
    2. Swear, that's what they said after we got her. She had two siblings that went, no
      problem. I dunno. Their lose. We love her. And yes, she does wiggle a lot. When
      we first got her she fell over from it. And, she didn't know how to use stairs.

      I just heard Tim's alarm go off. I'm headed to make us breakfast and then out
      couponing for me and work for him. Have yourself a great week!

      Delete
  9. Your story sounds too familiar. We have two indoor cats, too, and for the past couple years, a neighbor's cat has kinda adopted us, too. Before we realized he had a home, we started feeding him, so you know how that goes. Now, we're his home away from home. Several other cats started coming by, too, and one of them seems to have been abandoned. She's a really sweet thing, very affectionate, and very small. She sleeps in our yard, and we, of course, feed and water her, but we're just not sure about bringing her into the house. Our "girls" go nuts every time they see one of us petting the "interloper." Still, their going nuts seems to be toning down a bit, so maybe we can adopt this other kitty. After taking her to the vet. As affectionate and sweet as she is, it's hard to believe her family could just take off and leave her behind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know... It's stunning how people will just dump animals outside and move on. Like leaving garbage at the curb after they're packed up. I can't wrap my head around it. At least you are offering some love and safety to this cat, and that is already a huge benefit for her.

      Delete
  10. It's a sad situation. Too many people get pets when they are not able to look after them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is it, Red. And when they realize they can't look after them, many just throw them away. Very sad.

      Delete
  11. This is so sad and I'm going to see it first hand on Saturday. I am a transporter for Cln Potter Cairn Rescue. Saturday, I'm to meet the owners of an 11 year old female that they are surrendering. I'm glad they did the research and surrendering her to CPCR. We do find them new homes, but can you imagine the confusion/hurt this lil girl will go through??? Just breaks my heart. I'll transport from the KC area to Joplin, Mo. which is near the Missouri/Arkansas border. There I hand her off to the next transporter. I'm taking my granddaughter and after the hand off we're going to do a little road trip. I'm glad they called us, but it still breaks my heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohmygosh...yes, that poor thing will be so confused. How saw to have to go through that at that age. Things like that break my heart, too. I hope she ends up in a really happy and loving home.

      Delete
  12. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. People who do this to dogs and cats have no sympathy nor respect from me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you 100% on this, Adam. I feel the same way.

      Delete
  13. That's the way it was for Sam she was so sick, her family abandoned her send her to the SPCA in a box , meant to be tranported to the bigger SPCA stuck in cage while she was violently sick and had asthma, and would have killed her. I'm glad I made the mistake of thinking it was sammi, she was so sick putrid diarrhea and high fever and i brought her to the vet, and she got better I eventually realized that it wasn't sammi at first with me she clawed me so painfully she knew I wasn''t her family, the first few months were scary for her and painful for me...and she wasn't breathing right and of all the time that i brought her to vet at least 14 times, each time they assured me that her lungs were find gave me some kind f medicine a spray that would make every cat happy finally I got mad, Insisted on a cats' Scan or X-ray because she had something and damnit enough is enough, discovered then after paying 400.00 that she had ashtma I got mad, oh so mad, I got the pills and then I called the new Vet I was seeing, and i told all the time that Sam had been suffering the vets kept on insisting she had nothing, she was taking the pills and she was doing fine no more attacks, after the pills came the liquid you put on the ear, and of course, they said bring her in, I told them that they would never see my sam against that i had been a better vet to her than any she visited. that I was going to go there and get her medecine and it better be ready cause i will go and pick it up and i will not put my sam through another frigging vet visit for NOTHING...I was furious, took a year to finally make her breathe better, I was beyond mad...mad at the SPCA that didn't tell me that her parents had brought her in to be killed, mad as hell that she would send a cat in a cage until she was killed and then i asked her questions about previous owner and she said they weren't allowed to say anything about previous owner. So let the cat just suffer and get her asthma attack and no breath and let her suffer for months before the vet even sees her. I've always been a member of PETA you wouldn't believe the good they do and did, and I've renewed my membership and i'd rather go without food than ever see another animal suffer and I will not use any product that doesn't state clearly that they don't test on animals...thank you for showing this it just renews my dedication to help as many animals as I can even if it's just with money...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You love animals as much as I do, Lorraine, and that's one of my favourite things about you. My older daughter is the same way, and she's also a member of PETA. Right now she's fostering cats, but I can see her becoming involved in more and more things as she gets older. The world is full of compassionate and sensitive people that care very much about the wellbeing of animals, and together, we can make it a better world for them. I believe that with all my heart.

      Delete
  14. I was already tearing up before the video! Yes I have seen animal abandonment in my own family. An Aunt and Uncle got a dog for my cousin. It was a cute little Corgi and was darling, but when it grew out of puppyhood, they didn't want it any longer. At least they had the good sense to never get another pet! My grandmother took the Corgi in and it lived a long and happy life with her, she adored it and it was a wonderful companion in her elder years.

    Also, I grew up in the country on a farm, people thought it was OK to dump their unwanted pets out in the ditch next to our house and then speed away. Well let me tell anyone out there that thinks this is a great idea, it is NOT! At least give the animal a chance and take it too the local animal shelter instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I agree! It is never okay to just dump an animal out in the country (or anywhere else for that matter). If circumstances force you to give up a pet, take them to a no-kill shelter, or find a home. Don't just kick them to the curb like garbage. That is so cruel. I'm glad that the little Corgi ended up in a loving home.

      Delete