The Barney DilemmaPosted: March 18, 2010
Thank you to everyone who made suggestions regarding Barney. I wish I could say we’ve come to some sort of decision or resolution, but we’re still pondering all of the options.
We have contacted the animal rescue groups/people in our area. None are taking cats at this time. That leaves the local dog pound, if all else fails, where Barney will likely be euthanized. The thought of that saddens me. It’s a last-resort option and I hope we don’t have to go down that road.
I posted on craigslist.com. We have also checked with our nearby neighbors and none have claimed the cat so far. At this point I’m fairly certain Barney was dumped/abandoned.
We have not been able to get any closer to Barney. She is just as skittish as the day she showed up. I had hoped that feeding and talking to her would settle her down a little but she still trembles when there is a person around. I had also hoped that Barney would start doing better outdoors with regular feeding. That doesn’t seem to be the case which rules out the possibility of leaving her outside as a barn cat. It seems inhumane to me to leave the poor thing out where she will continue to be attacked by the other animals (included with the usual wildlife are a couple of feral cats that have been here for years). I’m surprised a hawk hasn’t taken her yet, given how small she is and how we lost one cat to a hawk a few years ago.
It’s also possible that Barney’s hair loss is attributable to some type of mange. Since she doesn’t appear to be very healthy and we’ve been finding large clumps of fur on the porch where she sunbathes in the afternoons. She scratches a great deal and what we thought might be injuries could be a result of the scratching.
At any rate, we cannot bring her indoors. I don’t want to expose our other cats to Barney and whatever Barney may be carrying. I also don’t want another indoor cat at this time. I don’t believe Izzy and Bella would be very accepting of her (judging by the way they hiss and claw at the window when Barney comes up to visit with them). I know that eventually they might grudgingly come to accept her, but I suspect there would be more than a few cat fights before that happened.
Up until we adopted Izzy and Bella, all of our cats were strays that adopted us. This is the first time we’ve had to deal with a stray that is afraid of people and neither of us know how to handle it. We’ve both done some reading about how to tame a wild cat. That involves capturing and caging the cat, then isolating it indoors. To do that, we’d have to take Barney to a vet, something we will have to do if we should decide to try to keep her as a barn cat because she needs to be spayed (or neutered, if she turns out to be a he) and given the appropriate vaccinations as well as be treated for whatever ails her.
I have a few more possibilities, a few more phone calls to make, and then I guess we’ll have to come to some conclusion about what to do. If you live in northeast Ohio and are interested in capturing, taming, and adopting Barney, please contact me here at the blog.
This is also a good time to let you all know about a new link on my blog. You may have noticed it over there to the right. Check out Adopt-a-Pet.com, a non-profit pet adoption charity. If you have a pet that is not spayed or neutered, check out their article Why Spay or Neuter Your Dog/Cat. It’s a good way to cut down on the homeless pet population and avoid situations such as the one Barney is currently in.