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Hey, Look! Puppies! Oh. Wait… Crap.

, , , , | Healthy Right | June 19, 2022

I used to work at the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). We had a guy come through and choose a puppy. We started going through the adoption paperwork.

Me: “The pup will need to have her stitches out on [date].”

Man: “Why does she have stitches?”

Me: “She’s been desexed so she can’t have puppies.”

Man: *Annoyed* “I wanted to get a dog that could have puppies! That way all my friends can have my dog’s puppies.”

Me: “That’s not ideal. People can often struggle to find homes for pups.”

He canceled the adoption and said he’d get a dog elsewhere.

A year later, he came in with five puppies that his dog had had, and he couldn’t find homes for them.

Cat Is To Human As Wand Is To Wizard

, , , , , | Friendly | April 12, 2022

A friend of a friend of a friend of a friend had this foster cat who needed a place. He was an old boy who was unlikely to get a real new home without a favour being called in. He was an orange floof called Goldie who was around eleven or so, and he gave me a special year before the rainbow bridge called him.

After two or three months of missing him, I went to my local SPCA to just sit in the cat room and have cat-love around me. They were running a “meet your Valentine” event, so I expected few cats and a busy time. There were quite a few kittens. The adult cat room seemed far emptier than usual but still comforting.

I went with a friend to make sure I didn’t get too caught up in the cuteness so that any decision I made would have someone not tempered by lost-cat feels. We sat, we pet, we played, and I felt better.

Then, a fuzzy monster snuck out from where he’d been watching and came to savage the toy I offered. He played for a few minutes before exhausting himself. I expected him to run back to his hiding place now that he’d defeated his foe, but he didn’t.

Quickly, he scrambled up the couch, and in a fine move of fluid cattidity, he wedged himself between me and the cushions where he promptly fell asleep. Startled, I looked at my friend.

Friend: “You weren’t aiming to get a cat today, right?”

Me: “No.”

We both looked at the sleeping cat.

One of the staff members walked by.

Staff Member: “Awww! That’s adorable. He hasn’t done that with anyone else. He has been playing with people, but no one’s really been allowed to touch him.”

No prizes for guessing who is sleeping nearby as I write this ten years later. How could I not? He just knew he had the right human. Even now, his favourite place to sleep is right near me, as close as he can.

Those Doggone Kids!

, , , , | Right | March 26, 2022

My family and I were foster parents for cats and dogs.

A six-year-old girl saw a dog on the adoption site that she wanted. She filled out the adoption form online without her parents knowing.

The organisation contacted her parents and they ended up adopting the dog!

Giving Cat People A Bad Name

, , , , | Right | March 22, 2022

We foster dogs who have been retired from racing and place them in homes. Greyhounds are bred to chase small furry animals, and at the track, chase a fuzzy lure. Some of them cannot be homed in houses with cats, but many can.

I am at a meet-and-greet event at a local pet store, holding the leash of a hound, near a cat rescue that has also been set up for the day. The hound is ignoring the cats. A woman comes up and addresses me in an accusatory tone.

Woman: “I heard that greyhounds will kill cats! Is that true?!”

Me: “We take steps to determine how a dog reacts to cats, first by exposing them in a kennel while they are in a crate, then by having them on a leash, muzzled, and finally, by carefully observing them in a home, also muzzled. The dogs that are thought to be cat-tolerant are then fostered for a time in homes with cats, just to be sure. At no time is the cat in danger; if a dog shows interest in attacking cats, they are removed immediately from the home.”

As one of the fosters with cats, I even show her a picture of one of my greyhounds, with my kitten snuggled up against his neck, sleeping peacefully. All this time, the hound I am holding is begging for ear scratches and completely ignoring the cats nearby. After I finish, I ask if she has any questions.

Woman: *Screeches* “I’ll just keep my opinion to myself of people who are willing to sacrifice cats to save dogs!*Storms off*

Maybe That’s Their Way Of Saying Hello?

, , , , , | Right | March 3, 2022

I’ve been volunteering at my local animal shelter for years now, working with shelter cats. It’s a very rewarding position where I get to meet all sorts of felines, but some are a bit different from others.

The shelter recently put in a cat lounge, which is a room that people can go into and interact with the cats who are in there. I went into the lounge one day and heard growling. On a shelf over the door was a tortoiseshell cat who was looking bloody murder at me — ears back, teeth bared, and making noises more appropriate for a mountain lion than a house cat.

I decided to give her space. Part of the reason for the cat lounge is to let the cats get into a situation where they can be used to humans being in the same room as them without being right up on them.

I played with the other cats for a while and then sat down in a chair. I heard another growl and looked up to see the “unfriendly” cat approaching, ears still back, teeth still bared, and making enough noise that by this point I was convinced she was going to attack me.

Instead, she headbutted my leg and jumped straight into my lap, smashing her face against my hand. She proceeded to lay in my lap, rolling around happily while making the most godawful frightening noises I’ve heard from any domestic feline. Never met a cat who acted like her before in all the time I’ve spent working there.

And I’m happy to report that several days later, she was adopted.