Here's an open letter my friend Eve wrote to the woman who picked up and kept Eve's beloved "lost" cat for a couple of weeks. It's self-explanatory. -- Miss W
I’m not sure if “Kate” is even your real name as you blocked your number before calling me and didn’t volunteer any other information about yourself when you and your mom, Judy, came to my home last night.
Let me start by saying again, Thank You, for returning Jane.
My family and I have literally been emotionally suffering since “losing” Jane 2/7/15. We have been going out with food and flashlights 2-3 times a day calling and looking for her. We have knocked on countless neighbors’ doors (many people know her). Of the 200 posters we printed, we stuffed them in over 50 mailboxes, put them up on posts in a ¼ miles radius, gave flyers to our mailman, FedEx and UPS driver and dog walkers. We put up posters in Starbucks and To Wag For on Montana Ave. We contacted every vet in Santa Monica as well as several shelters and put a lost cat profile on their watch list. There are ads on PetKey and PetFinders. We put up two Lost Cat ads in Community under Pets and Lost and Found on Craigslist. The information on the posters and ads and that all these organizations have is that Jane went missing 2/7/15 and is micro-chipped.
A little more about Jane: she (and her two littermates) was bottle fed from 2 weeks old by my mom, who has been featured on Animal Planet for cat rescue. We’ve had her with us in Santa Monica since she was 8 weeks old. She is (or at least was) an exceptionally friendly, funny cat, always purring and chirping to us.
When you first called you were “hesitant” about returning her. You wanted to do “what was best for Jane.” You openly stated you were questioning if she came from a good and responsible home.
You mentioned Jane is an “absolute delight” and that she is very soft. How do you think she got that way? Because she came from an irresponsible and abusive household? Jane was brushed, fed and adored by three doting humans EVERY DAY.
Well? What’s your opinion now? Are you surprised to learn that you are not the only good pet owner on the planet? What about the other neighborhood cats you heard me mention last night? Why not pick them up? Why not make their owners suffer, too?
Jane is not the same since you deigned to return her. I understand, much better than the average cat owner, that it will take time because she was yanked from her territory and held in a new environment with another cat she’s not familiar with. Jane used to purr as soon as you called her or touched her. She is now skittish, not purring, not coming to us. She is also overweight.
I don’t believe you fully grasp cat behavior if, as you say, you saw Jane “more than once” IN THE SAME TERRITORY. Jane had her “routine.” She was so regular in fact, our neighbors have checked in with us in the past to say Jane and Xena were in their yard playing @ 10:30am just like clockwork.
If you feel YOU are such a responsible cat owner, why did you needlessly expose your own cat to a “stray?” You don’t know if the cat you picked up has Feline Leukemia, parasites, etc.
You said you didn’t see posters or online ads. Does that mean that they weren’t there? Sure, we didn’t go nuts with TONS of posters until 6 days after her disappearance, but the initial posters and information went out within 48 hours.
You could have at the VERY LEAST called in anonymously to the Santa Monica shelter or any vet in the area and asked if anyone was looking for a cat meeting her description. You would have gotten your answer.
You said Jane was running in the street @ 10:30pm. As a nocturnal animal, she probably was. She is an indoor-outdoor cat and that is the risk you take with such a cat. She WAS happy to have it that way. Neighbors enjoyed her and looked out for her. Our other cat, Xena, was her constant playmate. Now they are hissing at each other.
There are SO MANY CATS that need homes or are not cared for. Can you HONESTLY say that upon seeing Jane, that she wasn’t well-cared for?
I hesitated this morning writing this letter because I am now a little terrorized that you could take her again if you see her and not return her. As I don’t know who you are or where you live, I would have no recourse to get Jane back again. I would like to kindly suggest that you take your judgment of other pet owners down a notch.
You have NO idea who I am in regard to animal rescue and care. The day before you returned Jane, I rescued a boxer, “Sparky,” off San Vicente Blvd who’d gotten out of his yard and hit by a car. I found the owner, beyond distressed at having lost the dog (for a whole 30 minutes) who is now injured. He wasn’t home when it happened. A well-meaning person in his employment accidentally let the dog out of the house. IT HAPPENS. But, my first impression upon seeing the dog was, “Gee, this dog is so well-cared for and so friendly, I’m sure he got out and got lost.”
I wonder what truly compelled you to finally, after almost THREE WEEKS, return Jane. I am thrilled that she isn’t hurt or dead, but I am appalled that you were more than able and capable of finding her home within MINUTES of picking her up but instead chose to sit smugly in judgment of another pet owner.
Next time, YOU do the right and RESPONSIBLE thing and consider the pet’s and the owner’s situation and feelings first before your own.