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May 24, 2005

Was this yours?

Sometimes, the mystery of the critters in our house gets to me, kind of like a phantom limb. We're cut off from the histories of these critters because someone lost or dumped them, and for the most part, we're sure they're at least as well off as they were if not better.

Was this yours?


If she was yours, you delivered her to the Clermont County Animal Shelter in the autumn of 1997. She was one of a litter of three, if the shelter employee was right. I don't know what her mother looked like, or her father, or even the male kitten from the litter. I can make a guess that her father was probably also a gray tabby, or else her mother; the other female kitten in the litter looked just like her except she was a medium haired cat. She was just as big, for a two month old kitten (that's how old Tink is, in this picture). This was winter, so there weren't many kittens -- she had a fair shot, especially if her mother was already taken by the time we got her. Another couple took her sister at the same time we took Tink. I imagine they have quite a piece of cat on their hands, if they still have her.

Was this yours?


Probably not, and you probably don't care if she was. She was found at my mother's house in a small town in Clermont County. She was about six months old, not neutered, and didn't appear to have had much (if any) veterinary care. She was eating junk off the compost pile and probably eating mice or birds. If she was yours, I'm glad you don't know where she is, because if you'd kept her, she'd be dead by now, one way or another.

Was this yours?


If Gord belonged to you, you dumped him or let him run loose in Oakwood, Ohio. Someone who fosters animals for SICSA found him. He was around two years old and had never been neutered. I still see kittens around here with the same round belly, golden eyes, tomato soup coat and stubby legs and tail -- he must have fathered hundreds of kittens before he was neutered through the shelter. He's very sweet tempered, though, at least now he's been neutered. He's scared of a lot of stuff, mostly noises, but even if he was yours to begin with, I can't say with any certainty that's your fault. Running loose on the streets in a fairly high-density suburban area can make a cat neurotic, even if the people who lost or dumped him were perfectly decent to him. You lost a sweetheart of a cat, though he does whine for food a lot. He'd look like an ambulatory basketball if he got all the food he wanted, so that's okay, too.

Was this yours?


It's unlikely that you really cared very much what happened to Squeek, but she was a door-darter when we first got her, and before we put in the animal run and she could go outside as she pleased (more or less), so I'm willing to entertain the possibility you might have had her and she might have slipped out the door unnoticed. We ran a week-long ad in the local daily newspaper lost and found section, though, and put her on the registry at SICSA. If you'd looked very hard for her, you could have found her. She's shirty. Real shirty. She also has a white tip on her otherwise mostly black tail, and has a voice that would cause you to name a cat Squeek. She was somewhere around five or six months old in the picture (it was taken the day after we found her), hadn't been neutered and we assume either wandered off or was dumped pretty shortly before we found her, since she wasn't pregnant and didn't have fleas. For her age, she wasn't especially underfed -- she really was in decent condition. If she just wandered off, and you didn't think to call SICSA or look in the lost and found ads in the newspaper, well, I kind of feel sorry for you -- she's a very entertaining little cat.

Was this yours?


This was Max when we first adopted him. He came from a shelter in Brookville, Indiana, but as his foster told us -- he could have come from anywhere. With all the Interstate highways running through this part of the country (I-75, I-70, I-71), he could have started out just about anywhere north, south, east or west of here. He could have bolted at a truck stop, wandered out of the yard, or you could have dumped him 'in the country, because somebody will take him in.' Yeah, people used to do that to friends of mine down in Clermont County. There was one guy who had so many female cats he started having to take them to the county shelter because even the biggest farm only needs so many cats, and after a while, it becomes a burden. But back to the original subject -- if Max belonged to you, you treated him at least relatively well. I say this because with a dog, even more so than with a cat, you can tell a lot about his previous owners by the things that frighten him now. There are many things of which a dog can be frightened: a raised hand, a rolled newspaper or magazine, thunder, loud noises, other dogs, strangers, children. Max is frightened of exactly none of these things. The only thing that seems to scare him is scolding. I definitely feel sorry for you if you simply lost this little guy. He's a little headstrong, but at his size that's kind of tolerable if we don't need him to mind about every little thing. If we wanted to do agility or pet facilitated therapy with him, he could be taught to do what he needed to do -- he's bright enough to learn. I still want to know why he looks at me like I'm saying something when I say certain words. 'Dinky' is one of those words. Don't ask me how it came up, but strangely enough, 'ureter' is another. I don't know if he was named Dinky, or if he was around other animals named Dinky (or something that sounds like it, like Pinky or Winky), and damfino what the response to ureter was about. It wasn't said directly to him, but boy did his head snap around when he heard the word. There aren't many words that even sound like ureter -- and he didn't have that kind of response when we started saying words that sounded simlar. I'm baffled.

But I'm baffled by a lot of things, especially the histories of the critters in the house. Tink's wasn't long before we found her, and having grown up in the house my mother still has, I know what life is like for cats who aren't inside cats in that little town. Gord probably wasn't treated badly, and Squeek seems trusting enough. Max was originally owned by people who couldn't possibly ever have abused him -- nothing that would intimidate a dog who'd been abused bothers him.

I dunno -- sometimes I just wonder.

Posted by Melinda at May 24, 2005 12:25 AM


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