The Purrsonals

By on 2-14-2015 in Uncategorized

The Purrsonals

Happy February!

To celebrate Valentine’s I want to talk about purrsuing purrsonal ads to find a kitty cat. Rescues, some shelters, and individuals post ads on sites like Craigslist to re-home animals. Between my partner and myself, we have found one dog and two cats through ads placed in newspapers and Petfinder. These are my ponderings:

* If you want a super duper mellow cat, look for ads that say “great with kids” even if you don’t have nor plan to have kids. Also, “great for first time cat person” even if you’re a highly experienced cat person.

* Cats that are already fixed will save you that expense. Then you can have more money initially to put towards their food and other supplies.

* I purrsonally tend to take more seriously those ads which offer not only the cat(s), but all their supplies as well. It’s likely that the person will not be a cat parent any longer if they’re giving away all their stuff. If not, the cat may have serious problems they can’t or won’t handle and are passing them on to someone else while they get a different cat. Or, the owner is just an ass who decided a mutt cat isn’t worth caring for and they’re going to buy one from a breeder.

* I also avoid ads that say the cat requires daily injections because we’re very squeamish about that sort of thing. God bless those who can do it, because we can’t. If our cats that we already have needed such treatment, we’d hire someone to come over and do it, but we wouldn’t seek that situation.

* Also, if a cat needs daily meds that are mixed into food, we avoid that too, as our cats all eat off each others’ plates and we would have to go to extra trouble to keep one separated. Again, if one of our existing cats needed that (we’ve experienced that many times before) we deal with it, but we wouldn’t actively seek it out. Daily realities have to be considered in the context of family logistics. What may be a great fit for one person may not work out well for someone else. Our kids insist on communal eating; they’ll skip meals if solo.

* On that note, we’d pass over any ad that demands “must be an only cat” because we always have multiple cats.

* Cats that have been primarily outdoors most of their lives may not react well to being kept indoors, so pay close attention to what the advertiser says. Of course it’s safer to keep them indoors, but be aware that he/she may pee all over your house in behavioral reaction for the rest of their lives (we had one that did that).

* Ignore posts featuring declawed cats if you have cats with intact claws. The declawed one won’t be able to properly defend him/herself, and they have to be able to, especially during the potentially stressful integration period. It’s tragic that anyone still does that to cats, but if it’s already done, they really belong in homes where they can be the only cat or be with others for whom that disaster has already occurred (don’t judge the owners without knowing the facts — they very well may have rescued said kitty after he/she was already mutilated).

* If you take a kitten, understand that their personalities as they mature could be different from what you want. If you have your heart set on a cat who wants to be held like a baby all the time and snuggles under the covers with you and doesn’t react fearfully to strangers, it may behoove you to look for an adult cat whose behavior is known to be that way. Foster parents especially sometimes get really detailed in their descriptions. One ad described the cats as not only demanding laps all day, but they stretch out all the way in the laps instead of curling up!

(The biggest complaint I hear from cat parents is that they wanted a huggable, snuggly cat but instead have a skittish, temperamental, don’t-pick-me-up type. Yet for others, un-affectionate is exactly what they want if they want their cats to be mostly window-dressing and not demanding of attention.)

* If you want a very relaxed, quiet, blends-into-the-background kitty, look for ads that say “great for seniors”.

2-cats-1-heart

On the other paw, if you have to re-home a kitty, I suggest:

* Always post a photo! People tend to pass over posts without photos unless your written description matches exactly what they are picturing in their own head for their next family member. It’s especially important to show a picture if you’re in a hurry. We’ve adopted two cats from purrsonals on the basis of their photo.

* Take responsibility for your situation. Using guilt language like “please prevent us from taking {our 12-year-old cat whom we’ve had since he was a kitten yet he’s disposable} to the pound by giving him/her a new home” makes you look like an ass and then who will want to deal with you? Yes, if someone really wants your pet they may call anyway, esp. to get your cat away from such a loser, but others will avail themselves of other choices before they’ll stoop to meeting you because they just don’t want the association. I read one today that says if they can’t find a new home for their cat, they’re having her put down. They’re moving; are they doing the same with their dogs (they mentioned two)? Their human kids? Spare us.

* If the animal is over four pounds or four months and is not fixed, don’t charge hundreds of dollars for a re-homing fee! You haven’t done your part, so don’t charge someone else. Ask the nominal $5 or whatever the site insists on so you’re not giving your cat away free nor causing a hardship for whomever will pay for the surgery. Yes, some animals are too old and/or in too poor of health to withstand a spay or neuter, but if that’s the case, charging an exorbitant fee is ridiculous anyway.

* Saying things like “we want someone to love him/her as much as we do” is meaningless. How much could you love your cat if you’re getting rid of him/her as soon as you have a baby, get a new apartment, or your date has allergies? God forbid someone should love your creature so temporarily.

* Be careful of your kids going to scumbags. There are freaks out there who will dump the animals right away, just for the sake of dumping them. They’re somehow “righting” their abandonment issues by doing it to defenseless creatures, which they were at a much younger age. Don’t deal with anyone you don’t feel good about, even if you don’t know why you feel that way. Maybe you’d rather not know.

* Revisit your decision altogether. If vet bills are more than you can afford, what about floating some debt for a while? Borrow from a person, if your cards are full? It’s not a crime to pay some interest. Can you find another place to live, that will also accept your kids? It can be challenging but possible. Have you tried Vitamin A and D for allergies? Worked for me. If they’re not getting along, can they be somewhat separated in the same household? After my divorce, I got custody of our cat and moved into a room in a house with a dog with a strong prey drive but kept the door closed so there was never any contact/danger. We simply never combined them. It was worth it; we stayed together, and in a couple of a years said kitty got the run of her own big house!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Thanks for reading; I take it purrsonally!

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