Wesley and I found the cutest kitten outside of the Maple Street Book Shop this afternoon. We’ve always noticed a gang of cats out there, but today we saw the cat I’ve been dreaming of.
For a few years now, I have been saying that the next cat I get will be a calico. “Kitten” is a tortoise-shell calico, which has the same colors as a calico but they are mixed together instead of in distinct spots. I wanted a calico because it would compliment her and would be kind of the opposite but the same. Get it?
Anyway, we found one. It has a black and orangy-gold face and its new name is Brees. Even Wesley fell in love with it – it is so cute!
It also seemed smarter than the other cats, specially the one whose head was permanently cocked to the side…not sure what was up with that – any way you look at it, that can’t be a good sign.
Anyway, so we proceeded to try to lure this kitten out of the bushes for a good 30 minutes with cooing and melted ice cream. But like I said, Brees is super smart.
He kept trying to come towards us, but then something would scare him and he would back off and just stare at us.
When we got home, I thought about how we would catch him. But he was pretty skittish, so I thought that maybe the animal shelter (not Animal Control) could catch him if we said we wanted to rescue him.
I started looking up animal shelters and remembered the biggest, most well-known shelter in New Orleans – Animal Rescue New Orleans, or ARNO. I had heard that they’ve made huge strides in helping stray animals in the city since Katrina.
I e-mailed someone on their catching/trapping cats committee and was also in the middle of filling out a “pet sighting” form when I decided to just take a second to check out their adoption rules.
And whoa did I have flashback to when my best friend adopted her cat from the Humane Society.
I cannot believe the hoops that these animal shelters make people jump through to adopt a pet!
I mean, I understand the fees. It costs a lot to maintain a shelter and keep the animals looking healthy and nice so that someone will want to adopt them. I think a lot of people don’t understand that and they think it is really over-priced.
But no, my problem is not with that. I think the fact that the shelter does all the work of catching, caring for and testing/treating these animals for you is worth every penny.
What I have a problem with is the five-page adoption application you have to fill out, complete with fill-in-the-blank info for stuff like:
All of your vet information for the past five years.
Where will your cat stay if you leave town?
Will you pet and groom your cat?
Will you de-claw your cat (stay tuned for my issues with this question)?
Tell us your lifestyle (wtf?).
Has anyone you know been cited for cruelty to animals?
And so on and so forth.
They make it clear that they will contact your landlord, your roommate, your next of kin and your current pets’ vet. They will demand vet records for all of your current pets for the past five years, or more. They might as well ask if you have a plan for your pet in the event of your sudden death! Isn’t the fact that your current pets are alive and happy enough? Shouldn’t one or two references be enough?
And they even want to come visit your home before letting you take the animal there. Ridiculous.
And I don’t know about ARNO, but if you are adopting from the Humane Society, you better lie about wanting to de-claw your house cat because you will never take that cat out of the building. My college roommate bought a cat and the Humane Society employee basically told her that she will be equivalent to the devil if she de-claws the cat and the cat will want to die and never be happy. Really? I have six examples of living proof that de-clawed cats are just as happy as ones with claws.
ARNO’s application was similar to the Humane Society’s. When my college roommate got her cat, they called all of the roommates, our landlord, her mother (even though she was over 21 years old!) and my vet. Oh yes – MY cat’s vet! They couldn’t possibly let my roommate have a shelter cat if my cat wasn’t up-to-date on her flea treatments and shots. Not only did they just call my vet and then check up later, they made my roommate wait for hours while I drove home, took my indoor cat on an emergency vet visit to get her rabies shot, and fax them a sheet proving I had done so before they released the new kitten.
I know, I know. They do this extensive process so that the animals at the shelter won’t end up back on the street. But I think they’re really taking this too far. I mean you can justify anything, but is what they’re doing deterring more people from adopting? I know that’s the case for me – I will never adopt from the Humane Society. It’s Animal Control all the way for me. Also, Animal Control pets seem to have more of a sense of urgency since they’re usually in kill shelters. The HS and ARNO clearly have all the time and money in the world if they can be this picky, so why not let them keep their pets a little longer and go save some from dying at the pound?