Thursday, December 02, 2004

Lesser Creatures

I live in a condo. About six weeks ago, I found two kittens and their mom on my doorstep. I took them in until I could find the owner. Then a fourth cat turned up. I worried that it might injure the kittens, so I didn’t let it inside. But the mom seemed to pine for it, meowing every five seconds, so I let her out to visit with it. This has been going on ever since.

One of my neighbors said the mom cat belonged to a renter who, a month prior, had been written up by the Homeowners’ Association for leaving food outside and attracting roaches and rats. He was told that Animal Control would get involved if he didn’t do something. He assured them that, as I understand it, he would take care of the situation immediately. It looks as though his method of “taking care of it” was to abandon the cats. No one has seen him in weeks.

Another neighbor saw both adult cats at this guy’s place. The guy who has a “return to sender” notice on his door. The guy who isn’t there.

In the meantime, I placed a “lost cats” ad in the paper. I called all the local animal shelters, starting with the “no-kill” rescue operations. I asked my friends. No one would take them. I decided I could take the two kittens, but I wasn’t prepared for the other two, and my place isn’t that big. And I didn’t really want any cats to begin with. I have leather furniture. I have artwork. I have stuff.

And now I have two lively little friends. The kittens have since weaned, of course, and are happy and healthy, and busy knocking over things that had been put on top of other things.

Tonight, Animal Control got involved and took away the two outdoor cats. If by magic the owner reappears, he has five days to speak up for them. Until then, they’re on Kitty Death Row. The situation makes me feel a bit guilty and sad, knowing the cats will almost surely die.

But I didn’t create this situation. I wasn’t the one who didn’t get his animals spayed or neutered. I’m not the one who put his cats outside with a big bowl of food and said, “See ya!” I'm not the one who abandoned his pets to the elements, one of whom has such a severe respiratory infection that it goes into some sort of fit or seizure.

So why do I feel like the lesser creature?

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