Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Altered Cat returns!

Do you remember that my second cat, Striper, went missing on April 2? Since it had been so long with no sighting and no neighbors having seen him, we expected he had been eaten and would not be back. Well, I know, but that IS usually what happens when they disappear. I don't have a real street close enough to think he might have become road kill. Anyway, he returned yesterday afternoon, but he is not the same. And, he is missing again today.

Here he is from last fall when I got him to pose:See that he has on a red collar AND a purple collar. Well, I had decided that two was a little too much, so I had removed the red collar and left just the purple. The collar was on him when he disappeared. Here he is yesterday when he arrived back home WITHOUT A COLLAR and WITHOUT testicles.
He has been the victim of a drive-by neutering. Now, I thought at first that it was a catch/neuter/release attempt, but he has been gone 35 days, and this is newer than that. He was obviously not feral! And, he has obviously been kept away, so now I really think somebody had decided to make him their cat. He is different now. He lacks the confidence he used to have. He lacks the friendly demeanor he used to have. He is skittish. He shies away when you attempt to reach to pet him. He ran away when I called his name. I know it is him by the distinctive pattern, the sound of his meow, and the way he flops over to lie down. Also, by the collar indentation in his fur. We have been violated, and I am none too happy about that!

I don't know where you stand on the Bob Barker, ASPCA, PETA idea that every cat everywhere ought to be spayed or neutered, but I am on the fence. I have assisted a local animal rescue. I am aware of the need for unwanted pet population control. Our other cat, Seuss, is neutered. I am a responsible pet owner. We are rural, and we wanted a farm cat. We rescued his pregnant mother from a life of cyclical urban reproduction. After the litter, we had her spayed, and we kept her. We found responsible homes for all her kittens except one. Amilia wanted to keep one, and she chose Striper (and she named him).

We have taken a wait and see stance on whether to neuter him because he did not wander, did not fight, was not aggressive, and had a lovely demeanor JUST THE WAY HE WAS. I also believe in farm cats. Unaltered cats make much better farm cats. I know this from experience. Once we got the chickens, we were again having to evaluate whether to neuter him, and it was looking like we might go ahead and do it just for their safety. But we were still in discussion about that.The furthest he went was onto 2 of the neighboring properties because those are on the way to the mailbox, and he has always walked with us to the mailbox. I do not know what to think about one of my neighbors taking my cat and altering him without even attempting to ask around first. We all mostly know each other in passing around here, even though we are separated by an acre or two.

I missed his second birthday in his absence. I do not know if he will come back to stay or not, because he climed onto the roof yesterday, and seemed to disappear as quickly as he arrived. But he now has his red collar back on. If those who have him are decent and don't keep him locked up, I think he will be back. I am stunned by this turn of events, and just don't know what to think!

Gives a whole new meaning to catnap!


Amanda said...

WOW! I'd be SO MAD. How can people do that to other people's cats, that is wrong. It should totally be your choose whether you want to do something like that as the owner. Also, taking the collar off. Who do THESE PEOPLE think they are??? WOW, I think I'm actually mad for you. I have two awesome cats, I would be so sad if I lost one. They are the best.

Duni said...

Oh my. Your story is very unsettling and sad. I did not realize people just 'cat-napped' other people's cats and made them their own, especially since he was wearing a collar! I hope he comes back to you. Perhaps you could scan the neighbourhood with your friends and ask around?
I hope Striper is safe.

Anonymous said...

That is so strange! I couldn't imagine taking in a cat with a collar and not trying to find the owner.

Anonymous said...

Well, I suppose I would be skittish too if so..I was out for a walk minding my own business, then someone catnaps me, takes me to a strange place, put me to sleep, have things removed and take off my cute collar!

We live in a very rural area in a county that doesn't even have an animal shelter. We have packs of wild dogs come through that kill our goats, eat our chickens and are danger to humans.
Right now we have at least 3 very wild cats that we see glimpes of that are constantly stalking our chickens.
I do believe in having cats and dogs spade and neutered. But it is expensive. I also believe there should be more programs available in the Georgia area that helps people with the expense of having their pets "fixed".
Sorry, didn't mean to ramble on so.

Striper is a cutie.
Thanks for the visits and comments.

ClayItAgain / 12MidnightOils said...

OH MY HECK!!! I am outraged that people think they they have the right to do this to someone else's pet! What a difficult position to be in; not knowing who is the culprit. I know I would not handle this situation well at all. My sympathies to Striper and especially to Amilia who must be missing her companion terribly.

Linda said...

All I can say is.....Wow!

Hyla said...

Weird, I would put a note on his collar. Letting themknowhe is yours and not to keep him inside.

Nancy said...

How Shocking! When we lived out in the country, 3 years ago now, people would dump their animals at the end of our driveway, cats and dogs. We took care of what we could but I'm shocked someone would actually take your cat when it had a collar on, then neuter it. There are plenty of cats around, my goodness they could have gotten their own. I hope your Striper gets back to normal and comes home.