|That's not Toothless. That's Luna.
This time, I think the answer is both. I've definitely been crying, and I'm definitely feeling sorry for myself, but maybe this can be useful to others as well. This could be more than just purging thought. This could be a story about doing the right thing, even if it hurts. Or it could be a story about the importance of microchipping your cat. Up to you.
Last week, my friend Rita texted me for some urgent help, and she sent pictures. A pretty little black cat had taken residence on her deck. What should she do? Here's where I mention that Rita is severely allergic to cats.
When I get there with food and a cat carrier, the little monstrosity is lounging on her deck furniture, and her kids are loving on her. Food, groom and sleep between the children. Lots of purrs and cuddles.
The story is that the kitty has been hanging out across the street. The neighbor shares his house with his mother, who won't let him keep the cat. He's been feeding her leftover ribs and steak, but can't let her in the house. It's his mother's house, and she won't let him. He put up a crappy sign, wrapped in Saran Wrap saying "FOUND small black cat...." and I couldn't make out the rest. He'd done it in ball point pen. Well, at least he tried.
So kitty wanders to Rita's house and bonds with her children. Rita loves the cat, loves how her children are with the cat. They decide on the name Luna. Rita really can't breathe, or even see through her watery, bloodshot eyes, even though she never touches the cat. So awful, because Rita would LOVE to keep Luna, but her allergies won't allow it.
We make Luna as comfortable as possible under the circumstances, but something must be done. She can't go into the house, neighbor can't keep her either. The weather was garbage and there are local cats coming into the yard because they smell Luna's food.
I wasn't really planning on taking Luna. I wasn't sure if our house was big enough for three cats, no matter how much I want another one. I wasn't sure I could trust my furkids to be nice to Luna. What if it didn't work out? Then what? We'd figure it out. There were options. And when I picked Luna up to tell her she was coming home, she kissed my nose.
I PROMISED Rita's kids that no matter what, I would do what was right for Luna. I rarely make promises--you have to be rock solid with your ability and intentions-- but this was one I knew I could absolutely keep. No doubts whatsoever.
Luna slept for three days. She ate lots, groomed even more, explored, sniffed Spartacus Jones in the face, and slept. She slept and slept and slept. She ate everything on her plate, ate Spartacus Jones' leftovers, (he's a big eater, I think he left them for her deliberately) backed off from Freya's hissing, explored, groomed excessively and slept even more. Shouldn't a kitten sized girl like her be getting underfoot and constantly require supervision? No. She slept.
Today, she woke up and charged around the house. Yay! She's healthy!
I planned on getting her a collar, tags, and a harness. I wrote a grocery list for snacks and booze so I could invite my neighbors to meet her. Just one little vet visit--get her checked out for illness, if she's spayed, and get her checked for a microchip and--
She had a microchip. She'd been out and about for a week, but someone cared enough about her to get her a microchip. All my plans changed.
Here's what happens when the veterinarian technician finds a microchip here in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The technician calls the company that monitors the microchips for lost pets, and they get started looking for the owner.
You, the rescuer, have two options
a) You can leave the cat, and they will take care of everything from there...but you'll never see that animal again. OR
b) You take that pet to Animal Care and Control right beside the Humane Society. It's the same process, but you can ask for a Buddy Number. That means that even though you surrender the animal, you can request to adopt the animal in the event that her owner can't be found. They will contact you FIRST. The process will take two weeks.
It should be noted that surrendering an animal in this city costs $25, so really not much for the life of a cat. Do it. If you intend to adopt that animal, that fee will be rolled into your adoption price.
I opted for the second option. If Luna's owners can't be found, we want her back. Here's what it means to me: Luna will win either way. She either goes home to someone who loved her enough to microchip her. If not, WE will love her and she will still have a family who loves her.
I'm telling you, reader, do the right thing, even if it hurts. Why? Because....IT'S THE RIGHT THING. There doesn't need to be a reward. But you will sleep better at night, knowing you did it RIGHT.
If, in a couple of weeks, Luna comes home to us, I'll write you a happier blog. I PROMISE.