If you hate cats, just move on, pard.
March 9, 2008 11:10 PM   Subscribe

Catfilter: be my conscience, be my muse...

So about a month ago a lovely Bombay (female) shows up, quite literally, at my door. I did gently shoo her away once, but her unusual beauty captivated me, she was friendly (very) and hungry (obviously) so I began feeding her. Before long she had moved in, obviously she used a litter box I bought, and besides the dry food has a fondness for quality brand wet food. It was when my mother noted that the cat had been barbarically de-clawed that I decided to temporally adopt her.So I named her Bichu and fixed her a bed.
Problems: I already own a wonderful dog, Gaberillie, the sexy black lab/greyhound mix that my brother keeps for me. My lifestyle (traveling ESL teacher) prohibits my pet keeping. And as I feel badly about Gabby every day, I vowed to not have another pet.
Bichu is unique. She walks on hind legs, she knocks on the door to go on and out. She has been in some fights (no claws!) and her voice is ruined, but she is just a cool damn cat.
I have tried almost everything to find an owner (though an owner who has a cats claws ripped out is probably unworthy of having a cat) and so far no luck.
The cat loves the outdoors but must be supervised.
I have a dear friend who has 30 cats already, I suppose I could offer her to the friend.
Bottom line, I'm not a big cat person but this one won my heart. I want to do the right thing.
What is the right thing?
posted by dawson to Pets & Animals (18 answers total)
Best answer: You kidding? You just solved all your problems. She'll be great company for your dog, even if there's an adjustment period.

She's yours, and you're hers. Don't fight it.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:21 PM on March 9, 2008 [2 favorites]

If you keep her, will she just live with your brother?
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:30 PM on March 9, 2008

Response by poster: on preview: yes LobsterMitten, more below

Thanks. Obviously I want to keep the cat, but also obviously she belonged to someone (she's been 'fixed') and where do I draw the line on trying to find this owner? Money is not an issue, but already I've spent a few hundred, and it is limited.
Also, the cat would not be with my dog so much (a shame, as the dog adores cats) but my brother, who has 3 cats already, and a second dog, and a new kid, would have to agree to take her and keep her inside at all times. The Bombay is great with people, including kids, and with dogs, but with cats she is dominant, which rarely goes over well with established felines.
Of course it's possible to take animals abroad, but very expensive, and, with quarantining , quite traumatic. That would be, however, ideal.
posted by dawson at 11:40 PM on March 9, 2008

I have a dear friend who has 30 cats already, I suppose I could offer her to the friend.

Do not give an animal hoarder another animal. Your friend will certainly manage to accumulate more cats, but you should not contribute to that.
posted by dersins at 11:41 PM on March 9, 2008 [3 favorites]

Definitely keep her.

However, also call the local animal shelters to say that you found this cat; some of them will let you come in and drop off a description of the cat. I volunteer at an animal shelter, and when people come in that have lost their cats, I refer them to our 'Found Cats!' binder. It's helped some owners.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:42 PM on March 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think you're fine on the ethics of looking for the owner. Call the local shelters and give them your info and just keep your eyes peeled for "lost cat" signs. So - now you have to decide what to do with her.

It sounds like you want to keep her (she sounds like a great cat), which means the only question is whether your brother will take her.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:49 PM on March 9, 2008

Response by poster: yr right dersins, my friend has the best intentions (has all the cats fixed, feeds them, does not keep them in her home) but it does border very closely on 'cat-lady' syndrome, which explains my hesitation of letting her keep the cat. Also, her husband, and my dear friend is not enamored with the cat situation

Thanks spinifex23, perhaps I'll try something like that. A problem I foresee is this is a popular breed, so someone may just lie and if the cat gets a good home, no harm, but if I'm responsible for her ending up in an abusive situation...well, that would suck.
posted by dawson at 11:49 PM on March 9, 2008

Best answer: What is the right thing?
You've already decided, just accept it. She's yours.
where do I draw the line on trying to find this owner?
Leave a description with the local shelter, do not willfully ignore lost pet posters, and have her checked for a chip at your vet. After that, you're free and clear morally IMHO.
Implied question: is it ok to leave the cat with your brother?
Ask him. He sounds like the kind of guy who would say yes, and mean it. If he already has 3 cats, a 4th will likely not be a burden. The cats will figure out the pecking order - you don't know until you try whether she will turn out to be queen bee or lady in waiting. Don't anticipate problems until you try them all out together.
Not a question, but a suggestion:I have a dear friend who has 30 cats already, I suppose I could offer her to the friend.
Bad suggestion. And consider, if she'll be too much for your brother's cats, she'll be lost at this place. Cat ladies may make good friends, but not good cat sitters.

Karma is a Bichu. Post pics.
posted by dness2 at 11:58 PM on March 9, 2008

Best answer: Keep the cat. She's better off with you.

Only reason to put a note up, IMO, is to arrange to meet the previous owner. A quiet building site somewhere nice and private would be ideal, to enquire in detail as to why they had the cat declawed. Bring pliers.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 12:03 AM on March 10, 2008 [4 favorites]

Upon review, leave a vague description at the shelter, with details (like declawing) omitted. Something that a desperate owner might check out, but wouldn't appear to be attractive to someone looking for a specific breed. After about 3 weeks I would feel no guilt about making sure the listing was off the books. These days, it's really about checking for a chip.
posted by dness2 at 12:04 AM on March 10, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks to all, She has no chip, I should have mentioned. I'll post some photos on flickr in a bit, dness2 :). This is a cool breed, here are a few youtube vids, the cats are omnivores and pretty much entirely black (gums, pads). Bichu loves greens, raw.
Will update this later for any interested. And now I feel justified doing what I wanted to do all along.
posted by dawson at 12:28 AM on March 10, 2008

Just wanted to point out the possibility that the previous owner adopted the cat already declawed. When I've adopted my last two cats, there were just as many cats at the shelter who were declawed as not. So, the whole declawing thing alone is not a reason to think they don't love their cats dearly.
posted by divka at 5:11 AM on March 10, 2008

I don't want to contribute to the derail too much salvia, but I changed my mind about declawing when I learned that they don't just remove the sharp bit... it is the equivalent of amputing your finger at the first knuckle. Doesn't that sounds fairly barbaric to you? Especially since the alternative is simply keeping the nails clipped short.

In direct response, I definitely recommend doing your due diligence but keeping the cat. It's not often that an animal chooses you as this one seems to have done.
posted by utsutsu at 7:44 AM on March 10, 2008

Mod note: comment removed -- ALL declawing derails go straight to metatalk, not here
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:16 AM on March 10, 2008

Response by poster: Ok, I have no desire for a metatalk discussion, so let me just say I could have worded that better, less editorializing and all, though I do have strong and informed opinions.
And divka, of course you are right. I've wondered about having to explain this (her declawing) to others, or not even having an opportunity to and their thinking I was responsible.
I'm no photographer, but I put a heap o snaps of Bichu up at flickr.
posted by dawson at 9:40 AM on March 10, 2008

Not a derail:
Keep in mind that from now on you will be the declawed cat owner that other people will be thinking highly critical thoughts about, and that if Bichu ever goes missing other people will be saying acidic things about. So, you might want to be gentle in your thoughts of Bichu's previous owner since he/she might also be someone who adopted her that way.
posted by dness2 at 9:41 AM on March 10, 2008

On preview, great minds..., and lovely cat.
posted by dness2 at 9:43 AM on March 10, 2008

Best answer: She is lovely. Suggestion: get a tag for her collar, engraved as follows: "I'm Bichu. I was rescued from abuse, which is why my claws are missing. My loving owner Larry cares for me, please phone: XXXXXXXX"

May or may not be strictly true, but close enough.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:22 PM on March 10, 2008 [2 favorites]

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