Every so often, we get rodent invaders in the house. Usually they come alone, but occasionally two at the same time, and on average once or twice a year. Glue traps seem to work best for us, although sometimes it takes a couple days after noticing the infiltrator before we get the trap placement right and capture the fucker.
Earlier this week, we caught three in less than thirty hours. As I do after every invasion, I consider the possibility of getting a Barn Cat to thin out the population of potential invaders in the area. Given the size of this week’s invading force, I gave the idea more than just a passing thought this time.
Now neither Wife nor I can tolerate an indoor pet. We’re not fans of pets in general. However, neither of us are opposed to working animals or livestock. So, after discussing the matter at length with Wife, I located a nearby shelter with a former barn cat listed as up for adoption.
Silly me, I filled out the very thorough and invasively nosy adoption form (which even required references for fuck’s sake) mostly honestly. I indicated that the animal would be outside more than inside. This was accurate, as we had no intention of ever letting it inside at all. I just wasn’t that blunt about it on the form. I got the following response:
Thank you for your application to adopt.
It is CARA’s policy to only adopt to families who plan to keep their kittens and cats indoors at all times. We would like to encourage you to keep looking for the perfect pet for your family as many other organizations have policies less stringent than ours.
Below you will find some of the reasons that CARA feels are important for strictly inside kitties.
Following this was a couple pages worth of babble that basically boiled down to “Cats require bubble-wrapped environments provided by humans in order to survive, and you should be ashamed of yourself for ever considering letting such a delicate creature venture out into the world.”
Cats are predators for fuck’s sake. So much so that their digestive systems require an extremely high percentage of protein. These idiots are probably literally killing their cats with a vegetarian diet. Whatever. I decided to find a different shelter.
Few had many cats at all. Some spelled out their indoor only policy. I believe that all who have such a policy should disclose it so people like me don’t waste our time or share our friends’ contact information needlessly. Others had asinine requirements. Legal contracts regarding how you must care for the animal. Serious background checks. Home visits. Adoption fees in the hundreds of dollars. I don’t get it.
If you believe what they tell you when they are soliciting donations, there are gazillions of homeless pets that nobody wants, and millions have to be euthanized every day because there aren’t enough resources to care for them or safe homes in which to place them. Maybe so, if your definition of a safe home is the equivalent of Bubble Boy’s environment.
Cats, are often working animals. Many prefer this to being petted all day. Sailing vessels almost always had cats to control vermin for as long as there have been such vessels. Granaries usually have several cats around for the same purpose. But animal shelters, in their infinite and condescending omnipotence, deny people like me who want an animal to do what they have been doing naturally for millennia.
I’m not Michael Vick. I don’t abuse or mistreat animals, even if I’m not really an animal person. I felt horrible a couple years ago when a hawk killed all but one of my chickens. I quickly gave the remaining one to a guy with an existing flock because I didn’t have the ability to quickly harden the enclosure against aerial attacks, and I didn’t want it to die too. Same for the cat I tried to get. I would’ve cared for it and given it the safest environment possible within the limitations of the situation. I wasn’t going to just bring it home, turn it loose and tell it to go catch mice or die. But the shelter gods said no.
I’ve since found some working cat programs that find situations for cats that are not suitable for typical pet service, whether due to temperament, inability or refusal to use a litterbox, or due to being semi-feral. I’ll be pursuing these options soon. Fuck the pretentious shelters and their misguided (if well-intentioned) god complexes.