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Can We Keep Them? Urgent!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I work for an HIV/AIDS & Hepatitis C service organization. About a month ago we adopted two full grown cats from an office where their previous owner came in once every couple of days to feed them, change their litter, etc.
They have adjusted very well to their new home, and the clients and staff love them to pieces. They'll sit on our desks or on their posts and watch us work all day long, sometimes hopping onto our laps for a bit of loving. They are alone during the evenings, and on weekends staff members come in twice a day to feed them, play with them, and change their litter.
Things seem to be going fine, however a number of staff members are concerned about the long hours they are left alone without human contact. I don't see this as much of a problem, considering they play with eachother, and are not sucking up to us all that much when we humans are in the office, anyway.
Co-workers have already began calling places like womens' shelters and treatment centres trying to find a new home for the cats.
I really want to keep them at our office, as they seem to lighten the mood for both us and our clients, and seem to know when we need a bit of a cat-break, jumping into our laps when the stress begins to build. Is it really unfair for them to be alone during the evenings and for hours at a time on weekends?
Please reply, as I do not want to lose them, but also don't want them to be in a situation that could be seen as cruel or unfair.
Thank you.
post #2 of 18
Oh my goodness.... Keep them please! Tell whoever said that "would you rather the cats stay here or get put in a pound and be killed when no one takes them," you probably shouldn't really say that, you could think it though!

Cats are indpendant creatures anyway! Our cats go all day long, and all night long (because we are sleeping) without human contact. I go to school and work, and my SO works during the day. They do just fine without us, believe it or not

The only things I would worry about them is if it were only one cat, but still not a huge problem, and safety, as long as there isn't anything for them to eat or get into that would kill them I wouldn't really worry.

Do you leave cat toys for them to play with? Somewhere to lay?

In my opinion.... cats don't need us, we need them
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
They are in an office that consists of mostly female staff members. They are spoiled. They have a number of toys to play with, and they have a couple of very tall cat posts, lots of desks, shelves, tall filing cabinets, chairs with blankets... they've got it all.
post #4 of 18
I would think that they are getting used to the routine and are quite happy to be left alone, especially as they are pampered during the week, My cat sleeps when he is left alone, I think its great you have 2 cats so they can keep each other company!
post #5 of 18
If its more then one cat, I don't see a problem. It would be more of a problem if it was an only cat - they do have each other for company.

As long as there is plenty of food/water for them when people are not around, they should stay.

But I have one concern. What happens if they accidently claw one of the HIV patients - is there any danger to that person with the immune system?
post #6 of 18
I agree w/ the others - keep them! As long as they're taken care of properly, I don't see any problems, and they'll be just fine when no one's in the office. They have each other for company, and even if they didn't, it would still be okay b/c cats are very independent: as someone else has already said - we need them, but they don't need us!

Besides, if you take them to a shelter, who knows if they'll find a good home or not, or will end up being put to sleep? They're better off where they are.

post #7 of 18
Yeah, another vote for the Keep Them side - as you describe them, they are acting like happy kitties - if they are happy, then why should anyone want to move them?
post #8 of 18
Sounds like they're perfectly content... and if someone's going in on weekends to check on them and feed them, they're fine... and really, even if that wasn't the case, as long as there's enough food and clean litter left out, they'd even be fine without that all weekend... I'm sure the routine doesn't bother them much at all... they've got it made compared to before
post #9 of 18
"In my opinion.... cats don't need us, we need them"
sad but true

another vote to keep them! they get lots of playtime and loving while y'all are in the office and the fun probably just begins once the human work people leave them alone to get into mischief.

post #10 of 18
My only concern would be safety-proofing the place - one elastic left out on a desk could be deadly, so whoever leaves last needs to double check everything.
post #11 of 18
another vote for keep them
post #12 of 18
Well it looks like everyone agrees! I hope you keep them and explain to the people who disagree that they are happy and should stay to help the patients and staff!
post #13 of 18
Cats living in a place that is open 5 days a week during normal working hours and visited on weekends are seeing their humans more than most cats see their working owners. I don't see the problem. Dave and I work full time, come home, go to sleep, and go back to work. My cats don't see us nearly as much as your office cats see people. I don't think at all that this situation is less than ideal.

Keep those kitties. They are getting more attention than most privately owned cats. Your coworkers need to calm down. Not to mention, I love going into privately owned shops and offices and finding friendly animals. I would imagine many of your clients enjoy it, as well.
post #14 of 18
I can't believe your co-workers are seeing a problem at all with your current arrangement! Those kitties have it made with all the human contact and attention they're getting! They probably are grateful for the quite downtime for sleeping when y'all leave
Actually my first thought for concern when reading your post was for the clients with weak immune systems like GoldenKitty45 mentioned. If there is no problem for the clients...I see no issue here.... so enjoy your kitties!
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your responses!

It is actually encouraged for HIV+ individuals to own pets, and a number of our clients do! The only real issue for + cat owners is cleaning the kitty litter, as cat litter can contain a bacteria that causes toxoplasmosis, one of the identified AIDS defining illnesses. For that reason only the - staff members get kitty-litter duty.

Just an update: There is still talk about getting rid of the girls, but no real action is being taken yet. As staff members fall more and more in love with them, I think this is something that will be put off for a long time. It may help if I print out the comments made on this forum and slip it into a few inboxes.

Thank you all again for your help!
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Oh, and as to the issue of scratching - the social one doesn't have any claws. The other one just enjoys sitting in high places watching what's going on. She'll approach you if she's in a loving mood, but otherwise will take off in the opposite direction when she hears you coming. A scratch really wouldn't cause too many problems, but I don't see it being an issue anyway.
post #17 of 18
Keep the cats! I know of a nursing home that has two cats. They roam
around the home and even stand by the elevators waiting for someone
to push the buttons to get them to a different floor!
post #18 of 18
I vote for keeping them. Therapy cats can be very comforting. It sounds like your two may be just that. I would think that for the newly diagnosed patients coming to an office that had a couple of cats that love to play and cuddle would be a comforting thing.

If you are worried about potential scratches just keep their nails trimmed and use Soft Claws. This wil help prevent that.

I would recomend picking up November issue of Cat Fancy. There is a great article about therapy cats and how benificial thay can be. Here is a link to the site that has a synapsous of the article. If you can't find it where you live PM me your address and I will send you a copy of the article.

Please keep the girls. You ladies of the office and most importantly your pateints need them. Almost more than they need you.
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