Ritual Confessions

March 1, 2008

Better late than never

Filed under: Uncategorized — elissakaren @ 6:29 am

Okay, let’s talk about people who don’t deserve to have pets. Last week, Jen and her boyfriend Larry went to their local pound in Los Angeles and adopted a cat. That’s the good news and the happy ending for this animal. Its back story is less heartening.

The two of them chose an older, somewhat pudgy, pinkish-white cat whose euthanasia deadline was approaching fast. According to one of the animal handlers at the facility, it had been dropped off at the pound on Christmas Day because the family had bought a new pet. In other words, the former owners had decided to trade up, as they might with a car. Out with the old; in with some shiny replacement.

When I heard this, I felt sick. I was also grateful beyond words that Jen and Larry had taken it home. The most amazing part of this story is that Jen was never a cat person before. In fact, she has always found my passion for the feline persuasion mystifying and annoying. But now she’s fallen and fallen hard. She calls home nearly every hour to check on it and she’s bought it a bunch of toys since she’s been here. She’s been cooing at and cuddling Mac, whereas she has refused to be charmed by my cats in the past. I couldn’t be more delighted by this conversion.

For that matter, Mac’s former people were hardly the gold standard of pet owners either. They had de-clawed him and kicked him out of their house. When we adopted him, he had several dozen little bare patches where he had ripped out his own fur in distress. He was also emaciated, filthy and ridden with fleas. Now, of course, he is quite the pampered prince.

Jen and Larry promised their recent adoptee what we promised Mac two years ago: that this new home would be for the duration. Needless to say, every adopted animal should be promised the same.



  1. Poor kitty. I’m glad Jen’s kitty found a new and wonderful home with loving parents, oops, I meant owners.

    Comment by Scout — March 1, 2008 @ 9:10 am

  2. My friends Mark and Jen volunteered at a no-kill cat shelter in Portland before they moved to the Best Friends Domestic Animal Sanctuary in Utah. Sometimes they would get cats for the best reasons … an owner had died, and had bequeathed the cats along with a “dowry” for their maintenance, until the shelter could find a suitable replacement home.

    But more often than not, they got cats who had been abandoned, abused, set on fire, maimed, starved … by their owners. They adopted several of these cats themselves. One of them, upon arrival at the shelter, was suffering from gunshot wounds, and was also toothless and pregnant. I suggested that they name this particular cat “Tabloid” (luckily Jen’s sense of humor was similarly irreverent, and she found that hilarious). The amazing thing was how many of these cats actually bounced back emotionally after being treated decently for a comparatively short time. Some of them never did recover, but many did. This particular shelter was free roam, except for the cats who were dangerous to the other cats, or so traumatized that they actually preferred the cage space, so the cats had a taste of “normal” life, rather than the usual rescue/shelter experience of always being caged. It was,and is, a remarkable place.

    Comment by davidrochester — March 1, 2008 @ 4:00 pm

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