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mkdevo 11-09-04 08:39 AM

Opinions wanted - Stray (?) cat.
 
my wife and i live in a relatively small neighborhood - about 20-25 houses. we moved in in may, and soon after that, an adorable cat started coming aound. we have 2 indoor cats of our own. anyways, this cat looked pretty young, was very, VERY skinny, still had his 'boys' (for lack of a better term), no tags, and his stomach looked/felt a little bit like he might have worms. we brought him some food out the first time we saw him, and he ate it up like he hadn't eaten in weeks.

since then, he's pretty much become a regular, and we always feed him. we even gave him a name (Bernie). sometimes we won't see him for a couple days, but sometimes he'll come around every day for a week. we had a big outdoor party a couple months ago, and he just came and hung out with everybody. from day one, my wife and i have talked about the possibility of taking him in, but we weren't/aren't sure if he belongs to someone or not.

about a month ago, my wife got a little upset, because Bernie came around, and he had a flea collar on, so we thought he must belong to someone. but we're not sure because he keeps coming around and is still always very hungry when we see him. so we were thinking maybe someone else is also caring for him like we are, and they put the collar on him...

over the past week or so, he's been around a LOT. came around several times on sunday, and i sat outside and pet him for a while.. was just getting to thinking that he's definitely got a piece of my heart, and i'm getting attached to him.

yesterday when Bernie came to the door, we noticed there was something on his collar - a note was taped there. it read:


this cat is starting to become a nuisance, chasing my cats out of my yard, and constantly meowing at my door for food. either have him neutered, or keep him inside, or i'll be forced to call the pound.
my wife and i were both there when he came with the note, and i decided it was time we take action. we have to take this cat in. the way i look at it, if we don't do anything and he is a stray, whoever wrote the note is going to have him taken away. if he actually does have owners, they're a-holes for not feeding their cat, letting him roam with a set of nuts, etc, etc. either way, i know that we can give this cat a better life.

my wife was a little skeptical at first, taking the 'what if he belongs to a little girl' stance, but agreed that no matter what, this cat was not being taken care of. so we let Bernie back out, without the note, called the vet and got him an appointment for Friday. we're going to get a room ready for him today, and bring him in next time we see him.

i had pondered going house to house to see who wrote the note, and let them know we were taking him in, but if he does have an owner, i wouldn't want to show up there first.

while our minds are pretty much made up on this, i am just looking to hear some opinions as to whether we're doing the right thing or not. it feels right to me, and i just want this cat to live a good life.

thanks for listening.

devilshalo 11-09-04 08:51 AM

Finders keepers...

Canis Firebrand 11-09-04 08:59 AM

It could have been the person that wrote the note that put on the flea collar. If the cat is coming around that persons yard a lot and that person has cats too, maybe the person didn't want their cats to pick up fleas from the stray. Flea collars are pretty cheap.

I'd take it in, if you have the room and ability to get it vet care right away. It will definetly need a checkup, getting fixed, probably shots(though the vet will make that call) and anything else that might be wrong with it.

If you are close to a humane society, they might give the care cheaper since you are helping their job out and the cat wouldn't get into their care, be evaluated and then they have to try to adopt it ou.

Good luck and post some pics.

namrfumot 11-09-04 08:59 AM

if you take him in will he be an indoor cat? if not he still might contitue to bother the neighbors...

keep him though!

Galileo01 11-09-04 09:03 AM

Please keep him! And get him fixed. He may not want to bother the other neighborhood cats after that. I would keep him indoors too, though that might be difficult because he is used to being outside.

Feneant 11-09-04 09:26 AM

I'd keep him, don't take the risk of him being brought to the pound or going back to some deadbeat owner. If they can't take care of him, they don't deserve to keep him in the first place.

mkdevo 11-09-04 09:30 AM

we were also thinking that the 'note person' was the 'flea collar person' as well.

yeah, the plan is to keep him as an indoor cat. had an outdoor cat as a kid, and one day she left and never came home. that alone has convinced me to keep my cats inside from now on..

as soon as we bring him in, he'll be away from our other 2 cats until we have him checked out at the vet on friday. we will also definitely be getting him fixed, as our other 2 males are as well. if we don't, there will almost certainly be some 'tagging' going on, which we definitely don't want to start.

i'll surely post some pics as soon as we bring him in.. i've actually been meaning to take some pics of him over the past few months, but haven't taken any. now that i see that we're putting some weight on him, i wish i had taken some pictures of him when he was a twig..

mkdevo 11-09-04 09:33 AM

by the way, thanks for the support. i wasn't sure what the general reaction would be like, and i'm glad it's been good so far.

Canis Firebrand 11-09-04 09:35 AM

I think the reaction here is positive because its clearly a stray cat or a neglected cat and you are willing to take it in and care for it.

Had you posted that a stray cat keeps coming around, and it clearly had a collar on it with owners tags and you wanted to keep it, then people probably would have been negative.

Anyways, congrats on a new cat and hopefully he will fit in with your othres and not cause problems. :) Its always hard bringing in a new pet into an established home.

mkdevo 11-09-04 10:31 AM

yeah, our other 2 have got some sniffs in when he comes up to the screen door.. he seems to be very friendly with them. our seven year-old (TJ) doesn't seem to care, but i have a feeling our 3 year-old (Kobe) is pretty jealous. definitely puts on a 'mad face' when Bernie's around, which is pretty much the way TJ reacted when we got Kobe. they get along fine now, but i know what you mean, there's always that initial period..

Kittydreamer 11-09-04 10:48 AM


Originally posted by mkdevo
we were also thinking that the 'note person' was the 'flea collar person' as well.

yeah, the plan is to keep him as an indoor cat. had an outdoor cat as a kid, and one day she left and never came home. that alone has convinced me to keep my cats inside from now on..

as soon as we bring him in, he'll be away from our other 2 cats until we have him checked out at the vet on friday. we will also definitely be getting him fixed, as our other 2 males are as well. if we don't, there will almost certainly be some 'tagging' going on, which we definitely don't want to start.

i'll surely post some pics as soon as we bring him in.. i've actually been meaning to take some pics of him over the past few months, but haven't taken any. now that i see that we're putting some weight on him, i wish i had taken some pictures of him when he was a twig..

Good for you! That's great to hear. Best of luck with your new kitty. :)

Minor Threat 11-09-04 11:22 AM

Have the cat tested for feline leukemia BEFORE you let him around your other cats…..

Gil Jawetz 11-09-04 11:27 AM

You've got it all worked out, so there isn't much left to do except offer up a big, fat :thumbsup:

PrincessT 11-09-04 01:42 PM

...and if you do let him out, even just every now and then afterwards, I'm pretty sure FIV can be transmitted through saliva.

We run a big risk with my neighbor's cat. For months last winter he came to our back door looking all pathetic and I was sure his owner had gone to Croatia for the winter. So we fed him. And fed him. And loved on him.
Found out she was home all winter!

He still came over. We found out he had tapeworms. No wonder he kept wanting food, right? She is retired & on a fixed income. Didn't take him to the vet, so we took him to the vet, got his shots for him (she had him neutered and had his first set of shots a few years back). He started coming in a little for his loving time. Then a lot. Now he is in most nights and sometimes all day. I feel a little bad about it since I know he's Mary's cat, but she keeps saying he has 2 owners. We do care for him when she goes to the Old Country as she calls it.

Anyway, since he really isn't mine, I do let him back out, and he does get in some terrible cat fights. I worry that he will bring FIV to my cats and I know I should do something.

VinVega 11-09-04 01:54 PM

Good job mkdevo. You've got a good heart. :)

crankyman 11-09-04 02:35 PM

it has no tags? what about a chip?

if you want the cat, take the cat. whoever 'had' it didn't want it bad enough to take care of them. screw them.

mkdevo 11-10-04 08:29 AM

Bernie's Home!
 
update:

stopped at petco after work yesterday to get Bernie a bed and his own litter box. got everything ready for him in the mud room, and left food outside for him. went out a few times yesterday and last night, with no signs of Bernie. and it was getting very cold last night.

fell asleep on the couch around 9:30, and woke up at 11. my wife went out the front door and called him, while i was waking up. then she called to me 'look who i got!'.. she was holding him, and he was purring up a storm.

we brought him into the mud room, and he crawled right into his new bed, still purring. he seemed pretty tired - closed his eyes right away. i took a couple pics, but forgot to bring my flash card adapter to work with me, so they'll have to wait.

calling the vet today to let them know we have him, and see if we can get him in any earlier than friday.

:)

Canis Firebrand 11-10-04 08:34 AM

Re: Bernie's Home!
 

Originally posted by mkdevo




we brought him into the mud room, and he crawled right into his new bed, still purring. he seemed pretty tired - closed his eyes right away. i took a couple pics, but forgot to bring my flash card adapter to work with me, so they'll have to wait.

:)

I bet that had to be about the best feeling in the world.

And probably cute as well. :)

Congrats again and :thumbsup: for wanting to save a cat that was being neglected.

crankyman 11-10-04 08:38 AM

wtf is a mud room?

Gil Jawetz 11-10-04 08:45 AM

I'm only aware of the concept of a "mud room" because of Martha Stewart.

Damn you Martha Stewart! How many more lives must you ruin?!?!?

Canis Firebrand 11-10-04 08:57 AM

I'm pretty sure a mud room is a small room that usually is between a garage and the rest of the house. A lot of times washer/dryers go there as well. Its a kind of utility room.

At least thats what I think.

mkdevo 11-10-04 10:16 AM


Originally posted by crankyman
wtf is a mud room?
:lol:

it's where we keep all our mud. ;)

actually, Vryce is pretty much right. there is a small room between the garage and the family room. 3 doors - 1 to the garage, 1 to the family room, 1 going outside. it's pretty much a place where you hang up your coat, take off your shoes, etc. there's also a pretty big storage closet off of the 4th wall.

Lateralus 11-10-04 11:05 AM

I took in a stray about a year ago, and this is the best cat ever. Take him to a vet get him his shots an declawed, get him snipped and give him a good home; do not let him wander outside.

Gil Jawetz 11-10-04 11:08 AM

Do not get him declawed. That's terrible advice to just give someone without knowing their situation. The only time it's really appropriate is as an absolute last measure (like if an infant is in danger of losing its eyes or if the cat is just out-of-control destructive and it's a question of the cat losing its toes or its home.)

The rest of your advice is fine: Spay/neuter is the way to go and I don't think cats should go outdoors in 99% of situations.

Kittydreamer 11-10-04 11:20 AM

Re: Bernie's Home!
 

Originally posted by mkdevo
update:... :)
That's great news! Thanks for the update.


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