web analytics

Government kills kittens

mama kitty

I wasn’t going to say anything — who wants to be a harsher of mellows? — but Weasel finds herself with surplus spleen this afternoon. Stand back!

Remember these guys? There’s not much left of this happy family. Last Thursday, I found one of the kittens dead. As she seems to be a good and attentive mother, the Kitteh Man (whose name is Ed, I think) decided it was just one of those things.

Then another died on Friday. And another over the weekend. And another one this morning. They seemed strong and healthy…right up until they didn’t.

It must’ve crossed Ed’s mind that I might be the mad cat poisoner: I’ve been the one to discover all but one of the poor little blighters. (Oh, and let me tell you: if there’s any sight sadder than a dead kitteh, it’s a mama kitteh trying to lick one back to life). But it’s just that I show up first in the morning. I’m a first-shift Crazy Cat Lady.

Mama kitteh became more and more subdued and withdrawn, which I took for grief. But yesterday it was clear that she is ill herself. Kitteh Ed tells me she’s still alive, but very sick “in the back room.” He may be lying.

No clue what’s the matter. I’ve gone from cage to cage, handling every damn cat in the place, so if it’s something infectious…oh, that could be real ugly. But it hasn’t jumped cages yet. Ed, who has surely seen a zillion sick cats in his time, has no idea.

So! One left. The little dark dude on the top of the pile there. He was strong and loud this morning, but Ed said he wasn’t sure the fosterer would get there in time to save him.

So I’m, like, “okay…I’ll foster him.”
And he says, “you can’t. We can’t either. It has to be someone registered to foster.”
And I say, “well, what do I have to do to get registered?”
He shakes his head, “ohhh…you have to put in an application with the DEM and go in for an interview, and then they come out and inspect your place…” he trailed off and flapped his hands. It’s why they’re chronically short of people who can foster.

Oh, I know why the rules are there. Even with the best intentions, mishandling baby animals can be the functional equivalent of torturing them to death. But Ed could’ve worked out in five minutes if I’ve ever hand reared kittens (I have) and whether turning a kitteh over to me was better than the alternative (duh).

This is what happens when people believe that rules work better than judgement. If we trust people to behave professionally, sometimes they’re going to let us down. But pre-empting people with rules will let us down MUCH more often, because crisis is fluid but rules are blind and inflexible.

It’s nuts to think that more rigid rules mean fewer bad things happen. Hey, you know what? Government kills kittens.


Comment from porknbean
Time: June 17, 2008, 3:15 pm

Unless they need a dead body for documentation, why can’t Ed let you foster it or smuggle it out without his ‘knowledge’ and write it off as dead. Then, when it is eating kitten chow, bring it back as a found abandoned kitteh? Surely he can look the other way.
Just think what universal health care will be like.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 17, 2008, 3:43 pm

I thought of something like that, PnB. I don’t blame him for hewing close to the rules, though. He’s a city employee, and he doesn’t really know me. Some guy I think might be his boss got rattled to see me carrying a camera on Friday, because they’ve had problems “from both the right and the left.” I have no idea what that’s about, but I would guess animal rights activists.

What’s surprising to me is that Ed and all his underlings genuinely seem to like the animals and are upset when one gets sick. I suspect it’s a pretty high-kill shelter (it’s the city pound), so I would have expected more desensitization.

Comment from porknbean
Time: June 17, 2008, 4:18 pm

I think a lot of those people really do care for the critters. I doubt they get paid very much.
Can you adopt it outright or is there some fruit rule that it has to be properly weaned? Then, when he is on kitten chow, take him back and give them a few bucks for his care.

The husband had to move his boat from where he was storing it in a little town, and several days later found a passel of kittehs nested under the seat. Seems he didn’t bother checking things over immediately after moving it. Since I’m allergic, he left them and some cash with the local vet.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 17, 2008, 4:37 pm

They have to be weaned to get adopted. I thought of that, too.

Of course, he probably has what they all had, whatever the heck that is. It’s a real mystery. Kitteh Ed keeps them in the back for a week or so when they first arrive, to make sure a bad disease doesn’t rip through the adoptables in the front room. And she was seemingly robust for a week after that. But it sure acts like some sort of poison that they’re getting in her milk.

Comment from iamfelix
Time: June 18, 2008, 12:22 am

Stoaty — I sent you some movies of my sister’s foster infant-kittehs via email.

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: June 18, 2008, 1:00 am

Apropos to nothing on this thread, IT IS PROPOSED that the sane people collectively agree to ignore The Troll.

Comment from iamfelix
Time: June 18, 2008, 1:08 am

Works for me, Musli. I don’t want to offend our lovely hostess, but he bores me to tears. I’m 56, and I’ve been listening to that same old lefty cant for … well, waaaay too long. And I thought it was stupid way back when. 🙂

Comment from porknbean
Time: June 18, 2008, 2:17 am

He sounds just like my brother. I’m done with it.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 18, 2008, 8:24 am

Awwww…Felix sent me home movies of chubby kittens rasslin’ in a laundry basket. Lovely thing to wake up to.

Y’all are arguing with Seth? Heh heh. I haven’t been keeping up on that thread. I know I should, it being my blog and all, but I have an incredibly low boredom threshold and I’m totally not into bannination, if I can help it. Appointing me the moderator of something is effectively not having one (the exceptions being stuff that is legally actionable and outing someone else’s RL info).

Do what amuses you; that is the whole of Weasel’s Law.

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: June 18, 2008, 10:48 am

Do what amuses you; that is the whole of Weasel’s Law.

93 93/93!

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: June 18, 2008, 11:14 am

93 is text/SMS-speak for a tadpole with a butterfly on its back right? Right?

Does anybody else work at this cat shelter? If not, Ed (if that is his real name) is the prime suspect. You should probably – (oh, I don’t know) – shove sharpened bamboo under his fingernails and extract a confession from him! I’ve just planted some Bambusa bambos seeds. I’ll let you know (assuming they even germinate) when they’re big enough to make torturing sticks out of. A few months maybe. Hell, give it a couple of years and we’ll have enough to make a bamboo cage to put ‘Ed’ in. He’ll soon regret the day he decided to start killing little fartcats, I’ll tell you what.

Comment from Gnus
Time: June 18, 2008, 11:16 am

What troll?


WAIT! Sane? Does this mean I should’a’ been paying attention to a troll?

Musli, it’s hardly fair to require sanity. Us minions will be in turmoil.

Comment from Lokki
Time: June 18, 2008, 12:23 pm

Troll? Is Seth still around? I had no idea he was still living under the bridge. In which thread? I don’t usually follow old threads….. but in this case, I’d like to gawk at the geek. I won’t bother to engage him though…. I’d dismissed him as not having anything interesting to say weeks (months?) ago.

It’s not my blog but I’m with Weasel on the general subject of trolls… who cares? Remember that by definition, half of the American public has IQ’s below average. Ergo, there are simply too many idiots out there to ban.

Besides, banning is an idea that makes me nervous. Akismet is bad enough, but it’s reasonable to suspect Weasel might still still be annoyed with me for my last “Does a Weasel sit in the woods? remark. If she hadn’t been too sick to pry the safety cap off the ban button, I’d have been GONE! I don’t want to make it any easier to get banned, or have to count on her being to sick or hung-over to extend a digit.

Comment from Mike
Time: June 18, 2008, 2:48 pm

“…who wants to be a harsher of mellows?”

What, you mean besides me?

Oh, and seriously: fingers crossed for the last little guy.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 18, 2008, 2:56 pm

I didn’t see anybody to ask today, so let’s pretend that he and his mother will be fine.

THREE of the adult cats had “adopted” signs hung on their cages today, including my friend the big orange guy, so hooray! I think they’re all going to the same home.

I was afraid to touch anybody today for fear there was something and I might spread it, so I think I’ll give it a rest for a few days. I don’t think I could stand the karma hit of being Typhoid Weasel, slayer of adorable fluffy kittens.

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: June 18, 2008, 4:19 pm

“93 93/93” stands for:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law
Love is the law, love under will

The “93 Current” also refers to Thelema in general.

For more info: 93 (Thelema)

But it can be whatever you want it to be, Gibby.

Comment from LemurKing
Time: June 19, 2008, 12:24 am

Man, I just crawled out from under my rock and read this… harsher of mellows it may be but even though I’m more of a dog person, I love kitties and this is just plain sad.

Makes me wonder if mama kitty has a parasite problem or feline leukemia. That’s a spooky one and it can wipe a cat pretty fast. May want to nudge someone (Ed, in case he is not the sharpest marble in the knife drawer).

Comment from porknbean
Time: June 19, 2008, 2:25 am

Ban? I no likey bans. I dislike banny fingered moderators. If Seth is being Seth, a.k.a. prick, then he should be kicked around if anyone feels like it…if they don’t snore first.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 19, 2008, 6:18 am

It’s probably my fault Seth has stuck around as long as he has: I originally fed him (I think), and then didn’t finish the job. Pity he didn’t turn out to be more interesting. But they rarely do.

But bans – except in extreme and obvious cases – are not a good policy, IMHO. Weasel is wise and tolerant.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: June 19, 2008, 6:14 pm

Well, the kitten I got last weekend is at least doing well. He is mauling me on a regular basis, and even made a try at a very sensitive spot while I was getting dressed this morning. Seems that kitten claws and human flesh are not particularly compatable…..

Little Schroedinger is a trip, though….

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 19, 2008, 6:26 pm

Do you keep him in a box? *ba-dum….pah!*

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 19, 2008, 6:35 pm

Kitten! Did somebody say kitten? Send me pitchers!

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: June 20, 2008, 2:51 pm

If I can get him to quit chewing on my knuckles long enough to grab a camera…. LOL

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