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Suggestion Gone Wrong

I talked with a friend and when she heard that I consider getting a second cat (I am not in a hurry) and that there are barely new kittens in our city, she suggested me to take a look at the website of an animal shelter in Eastern Germany, which is where she got her first cat. It’s not around the corner, but also not too far away. I personally would want a young cat, because it would be easier to introduce a kitten to Shyna, and also because I want to have a bit of influence. I don’t trust strangers to properly bring-up a cat, and I also don’t have the money to keep a badly behaving cat in my apartment nor do I have the possibility to let the cat go outside if anything goes wrong. So, a cat that was brought up by someone else is a gamble and I gladly pass. But the friend told me the shelter has kittens too. So, I thought I take a look at their website because taking a look doesn’t cost anything.

So, I checked the site out and was baffled when I saw their requirements. And these requirements would exclude me right away. First of all, they only give them away in pairs, because they say this is more species-appropriate. I do agree, but the idiocy here is that they forgot the scenario that someone might already have a cat. The next thing is, they want you to prove that you either have a garden or a balcony with a cat safety net. These two points don’t just exclude me from giving one of their kittens a new home, it’s also offending me because they basically imply that my cat hasn’t a species-appropriate home.

I’d like to tell the responsible person “Fu** you, just fu** you hypocrite”. My cat Shyna has a better home than any of the cats that got into a shelter in the first place, and my cat has it good since over a decade. She could very well be one of the cats in the shelter, but unlike the consumer society that buys their pets during Christmas time and sells them in January, I never ever considered to give my cat away. And I did explicitly say hypocrite because let’s be honest, before we even take the term species-appropriate into our mouth, we should actually start to think where animals really belong.

I’d love to tell this hypocrite that having a pet is a thing in our society and our ancestors started it, and now it’s normal for us. Being a do-gooder, the person should start talking about this. A hamster shouldn’t be in a cage, nor should birds be. As same as cats and dogs shouldn’t live in an apartment or house. They all should be outside, but we humans did it anyway and now it is as it is, pretty normal. Apart from that, society should stop to breed them. I’d like to tell the person “Get down from your white horse, I could shock you too, you’re actually responsible that kids in Africa starve, and that wars break out, you’re just way too stupid to realize it” and “Stop eating meat you horrible human hypocrite, and don’t even think about eating plants as an alternative it’s equally bad”. You’d need to tell these lunatics things like “Stop going to the toilet, your body is responsible for the climate change” and “Stop living, because in the grand perspective of the universe, the planet is actually like an organ and we humans are cancer cells”.

What is the takeaway here? Just by visiting their website, I feel like being a criminal or suspected to be an animal abuser because I don’t have a balcony. That’s pure idiocy if you consider how much outside cats get killed or hurt by cars in the city, or how much of them fall down the balcony (probably even with protective nets). It’s not just a fact but logic that home cats live a longer life. I wouldn’t even mention it, because I respect both, people with cats at home and those who let them outside. It’s stupid to mention it, but people like this person makes me want to go down to the same level of idiocy. So, the real takeaway is that this animal protection organization isn’t helping the cats to find a home, they actually prevent it with this nonsense.

Ironically, I opened their website with the thought that if my intention to get a second cat would become more serious, I’d write them an email starting with the following sentence and link…

Hello, my name is Dennis, I am from Northern Germany and Shyna is looking for a roommate…

But if the idea becomes serious, I rather look for a private person with kittens for sale. Because this is not the first time I saw these idiotic requirements. As I said, I am not in a hurry, and not even sure. I plan things, I balance the reasons, I take a look. Because getting pets is not like shopping for products. You need to be very sure. But if I see websites like the one of this animal protection organization, I am getting very sure that my second cat would be from a private seller. It’s ironic, because the organization even has an article about this on their website, suggesting not to buy from private breeders. It’s a nice philosophy, as long as you don’t chase people away who really would give a pet a long-term home.

Now that my rant is over, you can imagine what Shyna thought when I told her the story…

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10 Comments »

  1. in this country it is illegal to sell kittens unless they are from a registered breeder. The idea behind this is to keep down kitten mills. I can see why you’re upset with that ‘too nice’ shelter, and I wonder if a cat from a less picky shelter would work as well. All of my cats over the years (and that goes back 22 cats and forty years) have been either gifted to me by friends who can no longer take care of them (and they really are the best kind) or from a local shelter–or strays. The advantage of being offered a previously owned cat, you can see the cat in it’s original environment, and see how it interacts with them and with you.
    And cats are truly amenable to various environments, they usually adapt very quickly.

    • I do actually support that idea with the shelter if it’s about kittens. But when you don’t have much shelters around you and some are so picky, they basically shooting themselves in their own foot. They actually don’t help the cats at all.

      I’m still not sold on getting a pre-owned cat. Here in Germany, we have some really nasty human beings. And without a front garden, there is no chance I would risk my apartment. I am saying that because a friend is a good soul and wanted to help a pre-owned cat. It turned out that he couldn’t fix the behavior of the cat. The cat was mentally disturbed, probably because the previous owner was a bad human being. So, the cat piddled all over the place. When he got home, the whole apartment smelled, and he had to search where the stains where. It was on the wallpaper, on the carpet… he eventually had to throw away the whole carpet at some point. Worse, his neighbors did send a complaint to the landlord, and he got a letter. It was now real… helping a cat, or losing the own home. He decided to stick with the home, and the cat got back into the shelter. It was a difficult decision for him, but I do understand why he brought the cat back.

      Lesson… don’t risk the possibility of getting a cat pre-owned by nasty human trash (sorry, but I have no other words for animal abusers). The thing is, it could work if you have a garden. The cat could live outside. But without money (being wealthy enough to be able to afford a house plus garden), it’s no option. I never ever would take the risk. The problem with these cats is not caused by myself, it’s a problem in this society. We sadly have this consumer society, wanting this, wanting that… and the next morning selling this and selling that. Even pets. In between, you have a couple of animal abusers… helping these cats, you need to be sure you can do it. My friend couldn’t he just tried. And I understand how bad his situation was. He didn’t have any advantage, the cat neither. The cat sadly not from the beginning. Yes, it’s sad… I’d help these cats if I could do it. If I win 100k in the lottery, I will probably build my own animal shelter as a private project. So, I personally think the government is responsible to finance shelters. And rich people are too.

      So, there is zero chance that I would get a cat of a stranger. If I find a less picky shelter, I would only go out there with a kitten. Because I will bring the cat up, from the twelfth week on. I don’t want to get into the situation my friend was. Not just that his home smelled… but also emotionally. He felt really bad when he brought the cat back. He was devastated for a couple of weeks, and I had to tell him “You tried, this was not in your hand. Someone else caused this.”.

  2. I have to say that I have noticed that some shelters now have such stringent requirements for adoption that I wonder if I would be allowed to adopt a pet from one and I have had dogs and cats all my adult life. I have never come across this idea of only letting cats go in pairs as a rule. I have seen it where two cats arrived at the shelter together and are close or litter mates but it is the exception rather than the rule. I find it strange because cats can be quite happy on their own too. Shyna has grown up an only cat and she hasn’t suffered from that. Like you I feel that I would be being judged on my circumstances rather than on my ability to care for an animal. It is getting harder to obtain a pet from a private dealer now and that is because there are puppy and kitten farms where the animals are treated as breeding machines and this has to be stamped out. Pet shops no longer sell puppies and kittens as a rule although some do have shelter animals for adoption. Here in Tasmania, there are a couple of shelters for dogs and a couple for cats, some take all kinds of animals. They neuter and vaccinate all the animals but that means the upfront cost of adoption is higher. I know why they do it because they are afraid that owners might not but for someone who has a small budget, it means that the pet costs a lot of money upfront. Of course, I would vaccinate and neuter my pet but I would prefer to space the expense over a few weeks. I feel as if people on low incomes are eventually not going to be able to own a pet because of the costs involved. It seems to me that the shelters would do better to assess potential owners on a case by case basis. Shyna is happy in your apartment without a balcony. People who rent don’t have the option to change the structure of their living places that much but it doesn’t mean they would not be good owners.
    It sounds as if there are not a lot of shelters near you but it might be worth checking others to see what their policies are. Is there a city-run shelter? When kitten season comes around again that may be a place to check. I guess your other options are either to buy a kitten from a registered breeder. It will be more expensive to have a pedigree kitten but at least you will know what you are getting or alternatively to wait until someone you know who has a cat has a litter available and you can choose. Luckily you never mind waiting to get what you want so eventually one will come along. I can tell that you are pretty mad about this shelter and I understand because even though I haven’t looked to adopt a pet in a long time I used to think about what I would do. I now think that I probably won’t have another dog after Cindy, at least not one of my own. Naomi has two dogs younger than Cindy is and once we move in together I think a new dog would not be practical. By the time we would be in a position to have another we might be too old to manage a puppy or at least that’s probably what the shelters would say.Cats are easier to manage but we will have three and they are all around the same age so Polly might be my last cat too.

    • The irony is, I personally believe that an apartment isn’t even species-appropriate for humans. We either belong in a villa or outside. I feel sandwiched between the apartment walls, but like many people, I got used to it. And I am pretty sure my cat is used to it too. I think they would help the pets more if the requirement would be to fill out a paper form with some questions… I think you could sort out the bad humans by just going through 10-20 questions. Because like you, I think it’s more about the human and if they really want to take care of the pets for a long time. If they know or research about what they’re getting into. I think they’d need to sort out people who buy pets on impulse, those who want to sell the pet a few months later. If I search the local Ebay ads… and this is no joke, they usually start with the text “I sadly need to sell my cat because I have no time anymore” or “I just got a new boyfriend, I am sad but we have not enough room for the pet anymore”. I could search right now, and I would find like 20 of these ads in my city of idiotic people. I mean, isn’t this the first question before we get pets? When I was jobless back then due to my anxiety and depression, and before I got Shyna, I asked myself “What if I get healthy again, with a job?”. I couldn’t see where the problem would be, the cat would get used to it. And that’s been the case, with the side-effect as I told you some time ago, that she’s now more cuddly in the evening.

      The friend I talked about told me that shelters neuter and vaccinate the pets before you get them and that it would increase the upfront costs. But I have savings, and I would have the costs anyway… so, I’d be fine with the costs. I will definitely check out other shelters in the future. I don’t think all of them have these requirements, but I found some that have. I also would be fine with registered breeders… I always had that in my mind too. For example, I’d like to have a Thai cat (not Siam), I mean those that still look like domestic cats as Shyna does (I don’t like if animals getting breed on a way that certain body features become stronger, like big ears and so, because I find this selective breeding bad as well, and I don’t want to support that). But some Thai cats look very much like the usual short hair cat, like European shorthair cats for example (That’s what the vet wrote into Shyna’s passport, they call it EKH mix).

      Yes, I was a bit annoyed yesterday. But as usual, when I write a rant, there is a bit of spice added to my post 😀 It didn’t affect me too much, but finally, I could write a rant again, because I thought their requirements were stupid. A detailed paper survey about yourself, and why you want a cat, would be a much better option to find out the intentions and what kind of home the cat is getting into.

      When you move together with Naomi, Cindy gets two new friends. That’s cool too. I hope your pets stay healthy for a long time, but since our pets getting older too… I know they will someday go too. When Shyna goes, it will break my heart… but in my age, I would probably still want to get a pet again. If I take the decision, maybe it happens earlier and Shyna gets a roommate some day. It would be good for her, and for me.

      • The hardest thing about owning a pet is that they don’t live as long as we do so we go through the heartbreak of losing a pet several times in a lifetime. It hurts but you get over it, you don’t forget the pet that has gone but a new one does help you heal. I think finding a pet that suits your lifestyle is very important. I’ve always preferred short hair because I know I would not like to do a lot of grooming. I think collie dogs are beautiful but I wouldn’t have one because the long hair would be a lot of work. I think with a pedigree the breeders can also tell you more about the characteristics of the animal too. Is it independent or smoochy, active or a couch potato, aggressive or placid? With the mixed breeds that is a bit less predictable although I’ve always been happy with the ones I’ve had. Polly is probably the least smoochy cat I’ve had but she has her own way of being affectionate.

        • Yeah, I experienced that with our dog Corry back then, when I was still living with my mother as a teenager. That was hard, but I got over it. We also had short hair dogs, and well, Shyna is a short hair cat. I think Shyna wasn’t smoochy either.. she just became it. Although, she is still a typical cat diva with her own mind. You can’t just grab her for cuddling, because she decides. She has her own strong will, but I guess most cats have. That’s what I find interesting about them… they are different compared to dogs.

        • Yes that is what is different about them. I never grab cats, I wait for them to come to me. Polly does now sit on my lap or on the arm of my chair in the evenings but I suspect that is as much because it is the chair nearest the heater as because she loves me. 🙂

  3. Many shelters in this country suffer from the same issue. So many “rules” (and you have to wonder who made UP those rules!) that in the end, they wind up NOT giving the kitty or pup the shelter he or she needs. I can’t deal with them.

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