There's lots of action in cat house
A FRIEND was telling me of his recent trip to a local cat house and how heart-wrenching it was to see the otherwise haughty inhabitants reduced to gazing at visitors with large, wet cow eyes, begging to be taken home. Most shocking was the fact that the proprietors of the cat house were offering a 2-for-1 special, which I don't think they offer even in the more aggressive cat houses in Nevada.
I was touched until I learned he was not talking about a "cathouse" of the kind in which women of easy virtue ply their charms, but an actual house full of cats, the kind with whiskers, fur and sharp claws.
The cat house he visited is at the Hawaiian Humane Society and, as reported in this very newspaper recently, is filled to the whiskers with whiskers. Cats are being abandoned at the Humane Society in droves, apparently because the spring of '06 produced a bumper crop of kitties. And, you know, one kitten is cute, two are adorable, three are precious, but when you get into the double digits, their charms start to wear off, along with your curtains, wallpaper and table legs.
MY FRIEND'S grown daughter adopted one cat and got a rain check for the second freebie should she decide her little adoptee needs a playmate. It costs $60 to adopt two cats now, which includes a health examination, microchip implant, rotating the tires, checking the oil, draining the radiator and, wait, no, that was my car.
For cats I think they just put in the microchip, which I think allows you to track them by GPS satellites from your home computer. But I might be wrong there. They also spay or neuter the cats before they leave the cat house so that they can't spawn ever-increasing numbers of future adoptees. It's really a good deal if you are into cats.
Personally, I think the Humane Society would attract more cat owners if they took care of the owners' cars in the parking lot, checking the oil, rotating the tires, etc. But I'm not a trained animal adoption specialist, so I'm just throwing that out there.
The thing about the kitties in the cat house gazing at visitors with cow eyes is true. (What kind of eyes sad cows stare at you with are another matter.) When cats are at large, they are haughty, independent and annoyingly self-confident. But when they are locked up they purr at you, rub up against the enclosures and look cuter than any creature in the world. They aren't above laying on their coquettish allure with a trowel, which is a little sad to see. It's like Russell Crowe sporting a tiara and high heels in the Los Angeles County Jail to make bail. The reason I like cats is because they are tough and smart, unlike most dogs, which are knuckleheads.
WHICH IS NOT to say dogs aren't great, too. We got Boomer, our border collie poi dog, from the Humane Society. We love him even though smarts and self-confidence aren't his strong suits. He's a lovable lunkhead. As I've said before, if you want a smart dog, get a cat.
I hope this 2-for-1 cat promotion at the Humane Society works, because those cats really deserve homes. Sure, they look passive and cuddly in the cages, but once you turn them loose on your property, they will go right to work chasing every living thing smaller than them out of the house and grounds.
Geckos no longer will boldly strut across the living room floor, but race madly from behind one picture frame to another, being careful to stay at an altitude out of jumping reach of your new furry enforcer. Mice and rats will decamp. Giant cockroaches will think twice before ringing your doorbell. In short, a cat (or two) in the house is worth three or four centipedes in the bushes.
And when not in hunting mode, your new cat (or two) might sit on your lap and let you pet (him, her, them).
Just remember, there's a fine line between being the loving owner of a couple of cats and "the crazy lady at the end of the street with 200 cats." OK, it's not that fine of a line, but there's a line. Some of the Humane Society's cats come from people who confuse collecting cats with collecting, say, stock options. Owning 2,000 shares of General Motors is good. Owning 2,000 cats is weird.
(To adopt a reasonable number of cats -- or dogs -- from the Hawaiian Humane Society, call 946-2187.)
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