I Can Haz Furever Home

SNOOPY Has Found a Furever Home!!
Snoopy-ICANHAZ

So, here’s some great news from our home front: Snoopy (aka: BiteyFace) has a furever home!!!!

This cat came to Madam & Dr Bob almost 5 years ago (we really don’t remember, I’m probably just yanking this number out of the air) when he was less than a year old. He must have been abandoned, which I find rather disturbing because he was declawed. How does a family adopt a cat, declaw him, and then dump him? That doesn’t even register with me. Additionally, anyone that knows me knows that I will do my best to talk anyone out of declawing their cat –because that’s just evil.*

So, when we first met Snoopy (Madam named him) he was a very sweet and happy cat. As a mostly white cat with splotches of ginger over his body, he resembled a butterscotch sundae. Thus, I nicknamed him butterscotch -much to Madam’s chagrin.  He galloped behind Madam into the kitchen where she’d dote on him as old ladies do. Tossing a handful of treats onto the floor for him to hoover across the vinyl flooring became a daily occurrence.

DrBob+SnoopyWhen Dr Bob would roll down the hallway in his oversized wheel chair, kicking his feet on the hardwood as basketball players do on a freshly waxed court, the cat happily galloped behind him.  With his tail straight up like a periscope emerges from the squat submarine looking for land, he’d curl it just at the end as his act as safety patrol bringing up the rear.

It was adorable.

Butterscotch gave a few verbal commands to Dr Bob as he negotiated the door frame to get into his office and then returned to Madam. Butterscotch always accompanied each of them to their next task station and then wandered away to secretly do what cats privately do.

Overtime, however, Butterscotch, er, Snoopy, would get very possessive and protective of Madam & Dr Bob. So protective that he’d lunge at you and with a series of punches to the calf, his combination included a few bites to the exposed flesh as well. As a person never fond of her own legs, I was fortunate because I was always wearing jeans or slacks. Because this cat was declawed, his only sense of defense was biting. Hence the new nickname: BiteyFace**.

As time wore on and the household incurred more visitors that included nurses to help Dr Bob in the morning and evenings, Snoopy would not hesitate to lunge at every new set of legs that walked into the home. You had to become part of the family over a series of days (at least 3) to be vetted, by BiteyFace standards. Even then, he was known to bite Madam on occasion without provocation.

Fast forward to the day Madam passed away. As both families descended upon the house to take care of priorities. The number one priority was to square Dr Bob’s care and living arrangements.

The second priority: Snoopy.

“Well, I began,” as 5 of us stood around in an arc formation over the obviously spoiled rotund cat who lay on his back exposing his acreage of fur. “The Egyptians have been known to take their cats with them.”

Nervous laughter erupted. The cat lay motionless as he looked up at us.

“No, really, they did!” I humorously insisted.

A simultaneous deep breath cast over all of us like a wave motion in a football stadium -except no one raised their arms over their heads to accentuate the movement.

Anyone who knew the cat did not want the cat.

While Andrew and his sister were shouldered with the heavy responsibility of getting their mom’s post-life wishes together, arrangements for his dad’s new lifestyle with around-the-clock care with nurses, doctors, therapists, and other assorted care givers, I was given the duty to find BiteyFace a new home.

Over the next several weeks, I began contacting rescue groups to find placement for this ill-tempered feline fiasco. This cat needed to be re-socialized. This cat needed a patient person who has worked with cats as a side profession. Hell, we’d take a full on professional, but  many already seem to have their hands full with special needs pets.

Yah, this cat was special all right.

I felt that transparency was the best course of action. Having worked with a local pet rescue group for several years, I know how people expect their pets to behave. Much of it unrealistic.*** I explained to each of them via email or voicemail that the cat from an elderly home (code for overfed, possessive, and protective) and that he was also declawed, thus his only defenses are his teeth. When he became protective, he’d lunge and bite people who walked into the home. His defense was simply overkill, he could have growled and run away. Instead, he was possessive and strived to remain between visitors and his humans.

It was important that I convey the unvarnished truth.

If we hid any of his maladies, Snoopy could very well become an abused cat simply because of the lack of awareness with his new humans. I didn’t want this for him. Not to mention, this idea is simply unethical and immoral. I couldn’t sleep at night wondering if this cat was being hurt because he was being misunderstood.

Consequently, many of the rescue groups never responded. If they did, they indicated two things:

  1. There was a fee involved
  2. They would do their best to find him a home, despite many disadvantages.

I knew what this meant.

By the end of the week, if Snoopy didn’t get re-homed, they would euthanize him on Saturday. Ghastly, right? I’m not putting this ill adjusted cat on death row. Let’s at least give him a fighting chance. He’d have a better chance at becoming feral in a colony than in the clutches of national organizations who claim they’re ‘no kill’ until they become inconvenienced.

Early December, Dr Bob was admitted to an assisted living center 200 miles away, leaving Snoopy alone in the house. Filled with ghosts of life passed, Snoopy began his descent into loneliness and separation anxiety. Needless to say, the cat tore up all of his toys, began on the furniture, and of course yakked up his food regularly due to his anxiety. I felt for the cat.

Please note, we (they) had a great neighbor who would make daily visits to see Snoopy, feed him, clean his box, and take some time to play with him. So he was well-cared for in our absence.

When Andrew made his weekly trips to Farmville, he’d make time for Snoopy. The poor damn cat was so angry that he’d begrudgingly take treats from Andrew’s fingers and yet try to bite them and growl at him the same time. He was so emotionally confused. It broke my heart.

Then something amazing happened.

The day Snoopy angrily took treats from Andrew, Andrew had an appointment with the family attorney. When Andrew explained the over arching situation to the attorney and the paralegal about his parents, he continued with, ‘and then there’s the cat.’ He briefly explained the ordeal with the cat and the paralegal stepped up and said, “I’ll take him!”

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip! (Record scratch.)

Andrew did a double take. The paralegal’s exuberant matter of fact demeanor of “I can take him!” surprised Andrew.

“Are you sure?!” Andrew softly gestured

“Yes!”

“Let me explain first.” Andrew continued with, “He’s well loved -a little old lady cat”

“Oh, he’s a big boy!” she responded as though experience was talking.

“Yes.” Andrew replied. After going through all the details about Snoopy’s predilections, the paralegal insisted that Snoopy would be no problem whatsoever on her farm. She explained that in the past, she has taken in a similar cat -an old lady cat that was also declawed and a biter. This cat now resides comfortably in the paralegal’s home with access to the farm yard.

As the paralegal continued to describe her property to Andrew, beginning with her farm house and the back porch that has a cat door (to the farm yard) just for her 2 declawed kitties, she took him on a visual journey outlining the barn, the cats that lived in the barn, horses, cows, chickens, and the tall fence that keeps the animals inside and the predators outside. She also explained that at one time she had a couple of dogs, but one had the penchant for killing her cats. This was ‘a good huntin’ dog’ so she became a matchmaker to a hunter who was looking for the perfect dog.

Now, her farm is one harmonious heaven on Earth for her menagerie.

Just two days before Christmas, Snoopy was gleefully re-homed into the perfect environment. Because he lived on his own for months prior to finding a home with Madam and Dr Bob, he adjusted to the outdoors. Every now and then, he’d make an escape, much to Madam’s objection. Summarily, she’d end up heels over head on the ground because she slipped on wet grass as she tottered around the dark yard, yelling his name in vain. Makes me wonder if he needed to go out and visit with his furry friends on occasion?

Today, Snoopy is now settled in at his new home on the farm. He has the best of both worlds, coming and going as he pleases, and lives on the back porch with other 2 declawed cat companions.

I even receive weekly status updates on his acclimation.

Her:

He (the cat) is adjusting just fine ~ I haven’t let him out of the screened in porch.  He has been very sweet some hissing but no biting . . .yet   🙂

Her:

It seems like Mr Biteyface has a couple of girlfriends keeping him warm on these chilly nights ~ lol He has not even wanted to stay in so . . . So be it! He is really sweet,has not bitten anyone (yet)

Me:

Whoddathunk that he would be such a Casanova!! Meeeeow!

Her:

I know, right!  He looks happy and that makes me happy.

Me:

Yay!!  This makes me extremely happy too.

Thank you for the updates. I didn’t want to inundate you with weekly status questions, but this is very helpful.

Her:

Yeah ~ he has settled right on in and is no trouble whatsoever. It surprised me he made friends with the “barn” cats. Even invited a couple onto his porch…

This is a window of relief. Amongst the thousands of thoughts, errands, projects, repairs, planning, and other odds and ends that we’re besieged with, we can check this off our list.

Now that Dr. Bob and Snoopy both have homes, Andrew and I continue to look for our new home in Seattle.

Wish us luck!

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*Evil in the basic sense that you’re cutting off the toes up to the first knuckle evil. So, if you’re into evil, please unfriend me. Actually, please declaw yourself first, then consider declawing your cat. That would make me very happy. Delighted, in fact.

**A FB friend posted a terrific closeup photo of her two dogs playing in the backyard; both of their mouths intertwined over each long snout. She titled the photo, “BiteyFace.” Obviously, I loved it as the image is now burned into my memory.

***Unless people respect the fact that any animal brought into the house still has a wild primal side, they insist the furry beast’s behavior be better than their screaming toddler. This flippant expectations always ends badly. People have been known to surrender their pets because, and I quote, “they didn’t match the furniture.”

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