Yesterday, I drove 250 miles round-trip to visit a Maine Coon cattery in Georgia. My impression was that cattery cats are sold primarily on the basis of conformity to breed standards and secondarily on the basis of ribbons won by the parents. Personality seems a tertiary consideration, which might be just as well since three month-old kittens don’t have any personality to speak of, not at any rate beyond what you might expect of a squirrel. They just skitter around the floor looking surprised at everything. We were not amused.
So it’s back to the drawing board, which in my case means back to the shelters. No more catteries. No more kittens, either. Instead, I’ll try distributing “wanted” posters. Surely … surely …
One would think, with millions of cats on death row, that snagging a made-to-order shelter cat would be as easy as pie, but it isn’t. Of course, if I were willing to accept just any cat, I’d have no problem, but I’m fairly specific in what I’m looking for (see poster). For this reason, I’ve had to widen my search to include nearby cities like Atlanta and Charlotte where some agencies, I’ve discovered, won’t even consider applications from people who live outside their metropolitan areas. Still other agencies both near and far are slow to reply to inquiries, if they reply at all, and listings of available cats are not uncommonly out of date. “Sorry. That cat was adopted last year.”
These no doubt well-meaning organizations would benefit greatly from more closely coordinated efforts. Why, for example, couldn’t Greenville volunteers do pre-adoption home inspections for people in their area who want to adopt Atlanta-based cats? Why couldn’t all the adoption agencies subscribe to a single central database where all important traits are offered as search parameters? And is there any good excuse these days for a blurry photograph? Why is it necessary for somebody like me to spend hours and hours combing through redundant and often less than informative listings, filling out redundant and sometimes oddly invasive adoption applications while waiting for replies to email inquiries that sometimes never come?
Answer: Because I don’t run the world.
It’s a damn shame, really.