Friday, October 3, 2008

The Smallest Victims of the Economic Chaos

I live next to one of the counties with the highest foreclosure rate in the United States. There have been news articles all summer about the influx of pets at area shelters and rescue organizations. Those were the responsible pet owners. There have also been horrible stories of abandonment, dogs left chained in backyards without food or water, cats or dogs locked in homes without food or water (Which I think is even worse because no one knows they are there), or just left to fend for themselves. I won't even go where I think these pet owners should go.

Meet Gracie.


She is between 2 and 3 years old and was abandoned by her owners. They lived in a Condo complex not far from my work. One of my co-workers moved there in August. She had noticed Gracie hanging out at the door to one of the buildings. Neighbors told my co-worker how Gracie's humans had moved and just left her. Gracie had sat outside the building door crying for four days. The woman who lived across the hall from Gracie's humans began feeding her but couldn't take her in. Gracie also spent time on the porch of another cat owner in the complex, there she could curl up on a padded bench.

My co-worker, who is a dog owner, at first decided to not insert herself into the neighborhood situation, until Hurricane Hannah blew through.

Co-worker noticed Gracie huddled on the landing to her former building, trying to make herself as small as she could so she wouldn't get pelted by the driving rain. Co-worker put her dog inside and walked over to the building to check Gracie out. Gracie was so excited that a human was showing interest in her. Despite the driving rain, she weaved in and out of Co-worker's legs, cooed and purred, even rolled over to have her belly rubbed. Co-worker's heart broke for this sweet, little cat. She called me at 11 p.m. asking me what to do.

Of course I told her to bring the poor thing inside and to put her in her spare bathroom, that I would come out and get her in the morning.

When Co-worker went back outside, Gracie was no-where to be found.

So, Operation Cat Snatch went into effect. Unfortunately, Co-worker's Scottie doesn't like other animals that are not of the dog persuasion so whenever they were out on a walk, Co-Worker's dog would see Gracie and start barking. Gracie would often appear, watching at a safe distance from under cars or bushes. A week ago, Co-worker had taken her dog to the groomer so when Gracie saw her, she came out of hiding to get petted. Co-worker simply picked Gracie up, brought her inside and popped her into my cat carrier. I got the call at work, met co-worker in the parking lot and we made "the exchange".

Once at my house, the Fuzz welcoming committee wasn't very warm. Scout and Stryker hissed and hid. Ranger looked in the carrier and then up at me as if to say, "What the hell, not another one!"

Up in the safety of the spare bedroom, I opened the carrier. Gracie hid under the bed, initially, but 10 minutes later she came out and loved me all up. I think she may have a shoe fetish, like Ranger.

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Oh! A scratching pad! I haven't seen one of these for a long time!


And a Bed! I think I've died and gone to heaven!

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As you can see from the above photos, she made herself at home pretty quickly. She was not a feral cat, she had clearly been an indoor cat. She has not made any indications that she is interested in going outside.

By day two, Ranger had busted her out of the spare bedroom. I swear that cat knows how to open every door in my house. So much for keeping everyone separate. Without hesitation, she claimed the middle of my bed as "hers". Scout was a little annoyed by that as that is usually her spot.

Gracie has been defending the bed. Whenever Scout or Ranger tries to jump up on it, she growls and hisses. Of course the first night she slept in the bed, between my knees, and Ranger came to take his normal spot over my right shoulder, she hissed and growled and he looked at her as if to say "Uh, ya, whatever, talk to the paw." and he plopped down. Gracie was not happy. She has learned to share the bed with me, Ranger and Scout.


One thing I noticed and couldn't figure out was why the tip of her left ear had been cut off. I asked my co-worker and she asked her neighbors. Gracie had been rounded up with all of the feral cats in the Condo complex and fixed by another cat rescue organization. For future reference, they clip the cats ears so they know the cat has been fixed. She was then brought back and re-released. My co-worker was so upset by this. It is very obvious that Gracie is not a wild cat, so Co-worker was just so upset that the rescue group wouldn't notice and try to help her. All I have to say is the summer of 2008 did not go down as a good summer for Miss Gracie.


She is a sweet, loving cat and could sure use a good home. She has adjusted well and quickly to my home. She was checked out by my veterinarian and found to be in perfect health. I did have her vaccinations done just so she'll be up-to-date for a new home.

I will not be keeping Gracie. I know, how can I give up this sweet little face?


It will be hard because she is very cuddly and playful and photogenic. If I only had Ranger, I would keep her, no hesitation. Since she has such a wonderful personality, I'm sure someone will want to snap her up and add her to their family.

BTW, the men at work did joke with me about being that single lady with 100 cats. That will not happen. I am all about sharing the Fuzz wealth.

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