regarding cat ownershipJune 30 2002 at 3:47 PM
|Christine (no login)|
TOdd, first and foremost, cats are indeed wonderful pets, and guys I know who weren't cat people at first, are quickly won over by their cats' antics. Cats are a freakin' riot, so it is possible to be a guy with a cat and still be cool. Plus, they're a great chick magnet.
Regarding your other concerns:
Allergies: Very often, you can grow immune. Sometimes it takes a week or two of some sniffling and sneezing before the allergic effects wear off, but it's worth it. Many people have confirmed this.
Pet Shops: For God's sakes, tOdd! Stay outta places that sell dogs and cats! Those animals are bred strictly for profit, are terribly over-priced, and often unhealthy, defective, and psychologially scarred.
Pet stores use the sales tactic of keeping dogs/cats in cramped cages so that people go, "OH, I simply MUST buy that dog for $600 in order to free him from that cage!!"
The Petco at Union Square (next to Barnes & Noble) has a section of cats for adoption, but if you buy a cat from some pet store, I will never, ever say anything good about you anymore. Never ever ever.
Litterbox: I have a covered one that I keep in my room, under a side table. The colors match the room, and it's discreet. I change it every 10 days or so. The smell is non-existent except for 1) right after the cat poops and 2) if you haven't changed it for quite some time.
So simple to keep clean, just a basic scoop to remove some of the poop every now and then. I use plastic litterpan liners, so you just pick it up and toss it like regular trash. Replace liner, throw in a few pages of newspaper, pour in some more litter, and voila. Takes five minutes, if that.
Cats that are lemons: My own cat came right off the street (I found her the same week my old cat died, so instead of bringing her to the shelter I kept her.) She was 3 months old and not used to humans, so she tends to play rough with me. That's okay, I'm a cat person, and I can relate to her dysfunctional kittenhood. We both have a few anger issues.
BUT, she also plays fetch with my ponytail elastics, drinks from the bathroom sink, and is determined to flush the toilet by herself someday (she loves watching the water in the toilet, and jiggles the handle in an effort to do it herself.) I sleep in a loft bed, and she taught herself to climb the ladder. We had a small problem with roaches once, which we didn't even know about until she captured one, killed it, and left it as a gift next to my bicycle. She's a fabulous exterminator, and will eat the bugs she can catch.
I'm lucky that my roommate has old couches that are already shredded by the previous roommate's cat, so I just let mine go to town. However, you can buy amazing "cat trees" (carpeted perches and poles) that are like cat scratching magnets. Cats are easily trainable, I've never had a problem with cats up on the kitchen table or counters.
If you get an older cat, say 1 year and up, you'll have an idea what their personality is like already, and at that age, they're still very playful (my cat is about 2 years old and is still like a wacky kitten.) Kittens are adorable, but they grow up VERY fast, and you're not sure what they're like exactly.
If you adopt through a shelter like the one where I work, we'll be very helpful through the initial stages of ownership, and if we don't think you're a good candidate, we won't let you adopt! The $75 fee pays for the "fixing," shots, worming, and tests- which would cost you twice as much on your own.
Cats are fun, self-cleaning, independent, and faithful companions that keep an eye on things while you're sleeping. I really hope you consider adopting one of the poor souls that some sucky family dumped off at a shelter b/c they got "tired" of it.
here's the website for my shelter.....
|June 30 2002, 4:01 PM |
I'm not too thrilled with the way it's set up (they could choose more helpful information to put up), but it should give you an idea what it's like at our shelter, Grateful Paw.
It's strictly non-profit, run completely by volunteers and donations. The cats (except the new ones and the sick ones) are not kept in cages; they're free to roam in three seperate rooms with cat doors leading to outside runs. We maintain a policy of never euthanizing cats, unless they're terminally ill. So if a cat doesn't get adopted, it'll live out its life at the shelter. We get tons of compliments from people who visit other shelters.
I don't expect you to go all the way out to Long Island to look for a cat (though it's a nice train ride!) but I'm rather proud of this shelter, and it's a way for you to get familiar with the process of adoption.
Okay I'll shut up now.
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