Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Quest for Cat News

At the first of the year, I made a pledge to myself that I was going to blog every day. That's been tough to do sometimes, but at least I am blogging more than last year.

Photo:, enhanced with Photoshop.
In sparking ideas for posts, I sometimes do a search for news about cats, and unfortunately, a lot of times I just end up feeling sad. I clicked on a story from ToledoOnTheMove in Ohio, about a cat that had climbed up a power pole and was stuck there for two days in the freezing cold. The headline said the cat was finally down safe. Happy story, right? It is a good ending for the cat, who's being treated at an animal hospital and will have a new home when released. What troubled me was that a woman called rescue centers, the fire department, the power company - and no one would help until the local news ran a story and people got outraged about it. Strike two were some of the hateful comments on the story, about how it's only a cat and should be able to get down by itself, and other animals who ended up dying because no one would help, and about how it wasn't safe for the electric company to help the cat. Hello?! Flip a switch, turn off the power for a few minutes, go up in a bucket, and when you're done, turn the power back on. As I said, the company finally agreed to help and no one was harmed in the rescue.

That was the first story my search turned up. Scanning down the headlines, I found stories about people arrested for killing and/or abusing cats. I found stories about efforts to strengthen laws against animal abuse, which would be a good thing, but it still reminds me that sick people are deliberately hurting defenseless animals all the time. I saw stories about people debating how to handle feral cat populations, about a cat that tested positive for rabies, about a woman sent to jail for animal cruelty. It just breaks my heart.

Finally, I found a nice story, about a brave cat who helps dogs find new homes.

Harley just retired from Animal Humane New Mexico. For the past three years, he has been helping determine which dogs that come through the adoption center can get along with cats. First, the dogs would visit Harley while he was safe in his carrier. If the dogs behaved, Harley stepped out of the safety zone and met the mutt face to face. Dogs who passed both tests were cleared to go to new homes that had cats in the family. The others had a note put in their file that they would not play well with felines. The process helps ensure that adopted dogs and their new families have a good experience. Three human years is over twenty cat years, so Harley has definitely earned his retirement, and he is now joining the ranks of the cats looking for a new forever home to live out his days.