web analytics

It shouldn’t be this hard!

Kitten shopping. Nobody has them in stock.

I’m taking two weeks off work, so I thought it was the perfect time to add a cat, while I had time to fuss over it and help it adjust.

Yes, we started with the local shelters, of which there are many. Brits like their cats and dogs and all of their shelters are private and no-kill.

Two problems there. First, they nearly always try to home them in pairs. It makes sense if the two are very attached, but I don’t think that’s always the case. We definitely don’t want two.

Second, most of the shelters do home inspections. Do they do this in the States now? I think it’s completely mad. There’s even advice online for passing your inspection (like hiding the wine bottles). I am not inclined to put up with that for the privilege of taking in an old stray moggie.

So now I’m burning up the classified ads. Most of those, as you can see, are purebred animals with eye-watering prices. But check out that first little sweetie — an ordinary tabby-and-white and they’re trying to get £250 for her. There’s a lot of that going on.

So far, everyone I called had gotten rid of the cat ages ago and didn’t bother to take down the ad. Or they simply haven’t returned my call.

How can it be this hard?


Comment from gebrauchshund
Time: December 19, 2019, 9:29 pm

Nothing is ever easy.

If something seemed easy, you probably did it wrong.

Comment from p2
Time: December 19, 2019, 11:01 pm

500 quid for a kitten? That was 2 months rent!! They sure are proud of those little furballs, aren’t they?

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: December 19, 2019, 11:19 pm

What do they inspect for? Rats so the kitty has something to chase? A clean litter tray? What a weird thing.

In SoCal, such inspections would never happen; most of us think it’s a way to scope out your house to see if a burglary is warranted. In general, pet shops here employ lower end workers who can’t get jobs at McDonalds, etc. Not all, of course, but that the trend. Burglary might be their real job.

We have newer social media platform called NextDoor where most of the kitty and puppy trading seems to happen. Free usually.

Comment from OldFert
Time: December 20, 2019, 12:57 am

Just go along the creek and snag the gunny sacks before they sink.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: December 20, 2019, 1:27 am

Brits are crazy. When my wife and I first got together we got a cat as a kitten from some friends as soon as she was weaned. We lived in a log cabin in the mountains and she learned to be a real hunter. Had to go back to Denver for a few years, and then back to the mountains to the neighboring county from before. That cat lived for 18 years before dying in her sleep. Picked up another cat, runt of the litter while delivering Girl Scout cookies and it turned out to be epileptic. Kept her for a couple of years until she was killed by a dog belonging to a Benedictine monk while the cat was having a seizure.

Got another cat, as a kitten from a friend whose cat had a litter. Raised her, and she had a litter of which we kept one. Mama cat did not take well to a move to a new house and went all the way across town [including crossing a major highway]. She was seen a few times in the fields near there, but had gone feral, last seen when she was about 15. Her baby lived with us for a couple of weeks shy of 20 years and died. Almost immediately we were given [dumped on us] an elderly cat who had been locked in the house with her dead owner for several days. That one was never “right” and died in a week. Then we were claimed by our current cat, a male Maine Coon the vet says is about 5 years old and weighs about 16 pounds. He just moved in, and I was outvoted.

In any case, the point is that in decades of keeping cats [and having those not killed by external trauma living long lives] we have never had to deal with paying for a cat, or having our house searched without a warrant.

Do they have an equivalent of a non-erotic “Personals” or “Miscellaneous” section in the classifieds where you can ask if someone has a kitten of whatever type and gender you want? It may be unusual by Brit standards, but that might make it stand out.

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from Amy Clark
Time: December 20, 2019, 1:58 am

Never heard of home inspections for cats / kittens in this part of the U.S. The purebred dog rescues, however, are another matter. Lengthy applications (including requests for your financials!) plus home inspections. After being rejected by a golden retriever rescue, I took the kids to the county kennel and picked up a captured stray for $45. He is with us still and has been a very good boy. We also now have three cats that all arrived via the local stray cat population as kittens. Free save for the vet bills. The shelters here are overflowing with dogs and cats, all of which can be acquired (shots and neutering) for under $75.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: December 20, 2019, 2:26 am

My cat acquisition method usually involves only a can of tuna, a net, and a big sack, but I don’t know; I guess England is different.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: December 20, 2019, 3:59 am

The local Chinese restaurant owner/cook may be able to tell you where to find dogs and cats for less than £2.95/Kg.

Comment from catnip
Time: December 20, 2019, 4:59 am

This may not be the very best time of year to adopt, especially if you’d prefer a kitten. In my experience, city shelters usually have a surplus of young kittens from mid- summer to early autumn in areas where winters are fairly cold.
Because the region where we live now is largely agricultural, older cats go like hotcakes year around to work as mousers in outbuildings where farm animals are fed.

That wasn’t the case when we were big-city dwellers and I was a board member at the shelter. Grown cats were very hard to place. That was heart-breaking because, given time to settle in, they’re just as much fun and as lovable as kittens, and over burdened no-kill shelters can’t always operate as advertised.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: December 20, 2019, 6:39 am

That seems like an awful lot for mutt kittens.
Just tell them you have a psychological problem with people coming to your house, but you’d love to rescue ONE cat.
Late spring/early summer is when the kitten glut begins.

Comment from Carl
Time: December 20, 2019, 8:52 am

All the kittens we have had were via postcard ads in newsagents windows. They were from unplanned litters. The owners just wanted to make sure that they went to good homes. We paid just £5 for our current one. Then £40 to get it checked out by the vet.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: December 20, 2019, 2:24 pm

If one comes and sets up camp on our property, it won’t be long till it’s camping in the house.

People would classify us as “dog people”, but we’re really animal people.

Except for the pig, there will be NO pig.
Are you seeing this Mrs Durned?
No Pig.

Comment from Drew458
Time: December 20, 2019, 3:18 pm

Totally off topic, but how are you faring with the Great Flood Disaster?? The Chicken Little weather sites are going mad with the Major Emergency in Kent and other parts of Jolly Old. It seems you got 2″ of rain in a day and a half, so there’s all kinds of flooding, highways and rail lines shut, etc.

Stay dry … soggy kittens are an unhappy bunch.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: December 20, 2019, 5:24 pm

I thought Craigslist would be more popular in your country.

Comment from weasel again
Time: December 20, 2019, 8:43 pm

You talking to me, Bob? I’m not even sure we have Craigslist, and we’re certainly not near enough to a city.

The popular ad sites here are Gumtree and Preloved.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: December 21, 2019, 2:58 am

Well, you *have* craigslist, but it would appear nobody uses it. Two whole listings under London/community/pets.

Comment from NaughtyPine
Time: December 21, 2019, 4:26 pm

No inspections in the US. When an English friend told me about them, I was shocked. And I thought the TV-detecting vans were bizarre… Her family has a stray kitten that moved in, and she told me that their home would probably not pass inspection. The cat is now about ten years old and I’m certain it would move if unsatisfied with its accommodations.

Comment from Oldcat
Time: December 21, 2019, 7:34 pm

Yes, I have been hit with the issue of not being able to adopt a rescue cat due incompetence, indifference of foster groups who seem to forget the goal of getting cats homes. I seem to have it worse since I am male. The home inspection thing is rife around here, too, although it hasn’t hit the state shelters yet.

After the first time, I just went to getting purebreds from a breeder. Then it is business for both of us.

Comment from Oldcat
Time: December 21, 2019, 7:37 pm

You might try calling the 250 pound kitten and see if that is really the price. It might just be to discourage flakes from calling in and the real price might be different.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: December 22, 2019, 2:10 am

God rest ye merry mustelids
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, little Jesus got a kitten
And he didn’t have to pay!
To save ya’all from £five hundred pounds
Find yourselves a stray!

O tidings of lots of cat toys!
And a fat Kitty-Boy
O tidings of kittens and cat toys!

Comment from Little Black Sambo
Time: December 31, 2019, 2:43 pm

I knew somebody who failed a home inspection because the inspector (from the Cats Protection League) saw a photo on the wall of the prospective owner riding to hounds.

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny