Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Victims of Drought and a Poor Ecomomy

We are in the middle of a drought here in San Antonio and under water restrictions. The temperature is setting record highs. Right now the most important thing to me is keeping shrubs and trees alive. My backyard St. Augustine lawn doesn't exist. It is dry, straw colored, and crunchy. The bermuda patches in the sunny areas is dormant or dead.

I started the spring with a small vegetable garden built around a baby crape myrtle. After I harvested cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, etc. and put up pickles. I pulled up all the plants, scattered bermuda seed, and each morning hand water it in. It's barely growing, but I hope to have something to protect the soil around the roots of the crape myrtle before winter.

Because in my neighborhood we have possum, raccoon, and other critters running around at night, I keep a bird feeder full of chicken scratch for all of them. (It's the kind that any animal can crawl in and eat) I also keep the two birdbaths full of water, refilled twice a day, and a container on my patio for the smaller animals and cats that roam. Two of my neighbors also do this.

The population of "stray" cats that traveled in herds on certain streets is practically gone. Most of these have no homes, some do, and were being fed by kind people and dined on rodents and doves. Several of the cats were trapped, neutered or spayed, and rereleased. They are just disappearing. None of us really want to know why.

The other morning I got up and found a pitiful little cat had crawled onto the patio. He, I have no idea of gender, was emaciated-dehydrated and starving. Being full grown he should have weighed 10 pounds and just picking it up it felt less than three. He mewed softly and sweetly but was dying and he refused water and food that I offered. No way could he be saved without huge vet bills. Here is where my disappointment in big cities comes in. The Humane Society will not take a sick animal. "If you can afford it, have it treated by a vet first. Then you will be put on a list to bring it in if a place opens up through adoption." This is what they told me when I found a dog, luckily I found the owner through it's microchip.
I put the cat in a carrier, even as weak as it was it resisted, and drove the thirty minutes across town to the new Animal Care Services. (The city pound) Their goal is to be a no kill shelter one day and they are doing great things.
The young man that waited on me took the cat's picture, my I.D., and said, looking down at the floor, "When they come in like this, they are usually euthanized."
"I know and I think it would be a kindness," I said.
He looked relieved, I guess they get a lot of flack. Another young man came out to take over and couldn't be nicer. He asked me about the carrier and I told them to keep it as well as the towel inside for the cat's comfort. "I know you'll want it isolated since it may be ill, feline aids was found in our neighborhood from another stray." He thanked me and took the cat to another building.
I filled out paperwork and felt really bad.
This cat was not a feral. He was too sweet and loving to not be somebody's pet. If he got lost that's one thing, but so many people drop unwanted animals off in neighborhoods thinking that they have children so it will find a good home fast. Problem with that thinking is that if the parents want the children to have pets they already have them. Another reason could be that this cat might have been abandoned. The economy has caused foreclosures in my area and people just leave their pets behind. If they aren't taken in right away, they wind up like this cat.
That sweet little cat didn't deserve this and after all his suffering he at least could have a kind death.When I got home I looked at my gray and white, neutered, pampered, indoor, male 16 pounder. "You are so lucky." He just flicked his tail to let me know I was disturbing his nap.
Then I scrubbed out the water container on the patio to prevent the spread of disease.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. Having taken in my fair share of these poor abandoned sweeties, I just can't imagine being so cruel as to leave a cat(or dog)behind to fend for itself. Some of my best and most loyal pets have been rescues!