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OK...I'm at my wit's end...

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Alright...if you've been following my thread about Francis at all, you will know a bit of the background.

So, I was taking Francis back home whenever I came around. I would give him a bit of love (which he desperately wants) and then walk him back home. The first couple times no one was there. The first time, there was food in his dish (which I asked the owner to put out). The second time, there was no food, so I put some in. I didn't knock on the door or anything. The third time, there was a boy out front and Francis ended up inside with his food dish. Well, since then, no food dish has made it back outside. The next time I brought him back, the boys were out front again. This time, they were more cooperative and let me take Francis inside. He obviously didn't want to be inside...and I told the boys to make sure they gave him some food. Not even an hour later, Francis was back at our place. They are obviously not trying very hard to keep him in.

Today, the boy showed up on my house looking for their other cat. He thought he escaped, but I have a feeling the cat was just hiding somewhere in the house. The fact is, he was out looking for him. He doesn't look for Francis.

Tonight, I took Francis back to his house and just put food on their porch, since there was no dish.

My problem is not that they let him outside. In their eyes, he wants to be an outdoor cat. Fine, but make sure he is cared for. Put a collar on him (he has one on now, but it's the one I put on him and has no ID). Set food and water out for him. Get a cat door so that he can get in when he does come home. Basically, they seem to have decided that if he wants to be an outdoor cat, he can fend for himself. Here we are discussing buying a $140 magnetic cat door so that he can get into our basement when it's cold, as well as however much more money to make a warm shelter for him. The money's not the issue - so much as that this really is not our responsibility! It's to the point where I avoid going outside because I dread seeing this poor, sweet cat who no one seems to care about.

Even if we buy a cat door, etc...the problem is that handling him requires me to "suit up" in a coat and pants that I take off before coming back into the apartment. Otherwise, I would have to take my regular clothes off immediately and change into clean clothes everytime. Delilah has become very sensitive to his smell and turns into a hissing/growling Mr. Hyde cat. Even with changing and washing my hands (twice, actually) this evening, Delilah still smelled something she didn't like and started hissing. This cat wants attention, and I give him the little bit that I can, but it isn't ideal by any means.

I so want to find this guy a new home. I just don't know if it's within my rights to do so. I suggested it in my email originally, but the owner never really addressed it (other than saying "I've tried to get my mom to take him"). The last email was me asking her to let me know whether he's come home to eat out of the dish they left on the porch (the day I stopped feeding him here and he stopped hanging around AS much). She never responsed, and I haven't spoken to her since.

Any suggestions on how I should approach this? I know a new home would be the best option for everyone, but can I really give away someone's cat?
post #2 of 27
If you tried to find this little guy a home, sad to say, it doesn't sound like it will be missed. We have several outdoor cats who come every morning and evening for food. Deep down, I think they have a home, but a bad, uncaring one. Now our neighbors, who also fed them, have quit feeding them totally. This is why most of the time I like animals over people! Anyway, IMO, just do what you think is right for this little guy.
post #3 of 27
Cat-napping is not beyond most people on this site and has certainly been done before. After all, it is about the welfare of the cats. Sounds like they won't miss him. Follow your heart.
post #4 of 27
This is a neglected cat, neglected by its owners.....does he deserve that kind of treatment? They don't seem to care. If it was up to me, I'd lay claim to the cat and find him a good home. If he's microchipped you might have some explaining to do. Why not see if he's microchipped, and if not....then consider him your responsibility and find him a good home.

If he is microchipped, you'd have to report the neglect to the proper people so that you could have the microchip information changed.

He needs someone to care for him and love him.
post #5 of 27
It may not be the owners' fault completely. About 2 years after I moved in to my house a neighborhood cat decided to move in with me. I didn't even like the cat because it was so demanding. I asked it's owner to take it back and she told me that the cat had lived on the street longer than any human and periodically changed residences. No one on the street felt that the cat was theirs but almost everyone had lived with it, involuntarily. I must've done something right in the cat's eyes because she stayed with me for 5 years until she died. I figure that she was about 20 years old. She looked like she was 30.

I think that you're stuck with the cat. At least he has a cool name. It's time for Delilah to buck up.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellsworth View Post
It may not be the owners' fault completely. About 2 years after I moved in to my house a neighborhood cat decided to move in with me. I didn't even like the cat because it was so demanding. I asked it's owner to take it back and she told me that the cat had lived on the street longer than any human and periodically changed residences. No one on the street felt that the cat was theirs but almost everyone had lived with it, involuntarily. I must've done something right in the cat's eyes because she stayed with me for 5 years until she died. I figure that she was about 20 years old. She looked like she was 30.

I think that you're stuck with the cat. At least he has a cool name. It's time for Delilah to buck up.
It might not be the owner's fault that the cat wants out, but it's their fault that they just don't seem to care!



Well, tonight I posted an ad on my work email conference about Francis. Within an hour, I got a response. The lady couldn't take Francis in, but was going to check with folks she knew to see if anyone could provide a suitable home. It was great to get such a quick response regardless!

Now, just to decide if I should tell the owners when I find him a new home, or if I should just wait to see how long it takes them to notice that he's gone completely.

My worst fear is that I send him elsewhere and he continues to escape (I have mentioned in my ad that he needs someone who will really try to keep him inside) and something will happen to him.
post #7 of 27
I know others are going to diagree...

But I whole heartly think you are doing what is best for this cat.



And "get a great home" vibes:
post #8 of 27
Collars are dangerous, if it isn't a breakaway collar, please take it off. Be careful "catnapping" him if you do. There are states that consider this theft even if the cat isn't being very well cared for. Most cats are considered "possessions" thus the theft charge. If you do it, don't discuss it ever. Not here, not in your area, not a good idea.
post #9 of 27
You made some fantastic points Hissy!
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
The collar is a breakaway.

As for catnapping him, this really isn't my intention. In my opinion, this cat no longer really has a home. If you're not feeding him, not letting him in, and have no idea where he is (and can't be bothered to look, or talk to the people who see him on a daily basis, I'd like to know what part of the cat they still own? If these people would respond to me and take responsibility for their cat, I'd have no problem...even if he was an indoor/outdoor cat. However, since last week, any email I have sent has went unanswered. Heck, I'd even pay them the cost of vaccination/neutering that they incurred last year...although I'd prefer not to give these people any money for being neglectful pet owners.

If you left your bike on my property for 2 weeks without coming back to get it, I wouldn't just leave it there to get all rusty and broken. I'd probably either take it myself, or find someone who could use it.

If anyone responds offering to take the cat, I will discuss with them the situation and determine the next course of action.
post #11 of 27
I'd just rehome him and not mention it to anyone - especially the people who used to feed him.
post #12 of 27
Let us know if anyone responds!
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatKisses View Post
Let us know if anyone responds!
Well, lots of responses so far, but basically just suckers like me whose hearts are broken by Francis' story!
post #14 of 27
Are the laws regarding animals any different in Canada than they are here in the States?

It's horrible that animals are considered to be "posessions" and "things", but to steal someone's cat and get caught could result in fairly serious consequences here. Although it makes for a good argument when people try to tell me what I can and can't do regarding my animals. "But they're mine...See it says right here in black and white."

Though....I'd catnap him too and find him a good home. I doubt his "owners" even cared enough to have him chipped but I'd still check to see. But like it's been said...rehoming him seems like a great option if you can, and then just don't breathe a word to your neighbors. Let them think he got run over by a car or eaten by a wild animal, hopefully they'll be remorseful and maybe it will be a good lesson for them in the future.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
OY...I'm re-visiting the idea of taking Francis in again. I really waiver daily on this. He's back to hanging out here pretty much all the time and I haven't had much luck with finding him a home. Today I came home after being out for a couple of hours and he was IN the house...because the downstairs neighbours don't seem to know how to shut the front door (leading to a stairway with seperate doors for our apartments)! I opened the door and out popped Mr. Francis. I was expecting my cats to be all grumpy when I got up the stairs (if he went up there and started nosing around under the door, they likely would have smelled him), but they seemed fine (although I now always get the sniff down when I come home).

Perhaps it's time I stock up on some Feliway diffusers and think of this as a socializing opportunity for my two, not very well socialized cats.

In any case, my question is: If I take him to the vet and he tests positive for FeLV or FIV, what are my options? Obviously not taking him home...and it's probably not a good idea to let him out on the streets either....So...basically...putting him to sleep?
post #16 of 27
Thankfully, we've never had to face that decision. I'll just send that you don't have to face it either - though I'd say the next step would be to adjust the adoption flier.
post #17 of 27
problem with taking the cat and finding it a good home. You know nothing if asked. You have a good heart.
post #18 of 27
My family has a very similar story regarding a neglected neighbor cat (who is now an old man of 15+ years and living a life of luxury). I hope it works out and you can keep Francis, but whether it's with you or someone else, this boy deserves a proper home. I know it's not an ideal situation, but sometimes you just have to follow your heart.

Sending vibes for Francis and that he is healthy and can be adopted into a good home one way or another!
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoeysmom View Post
OY...I'm re-visiting the idea of taking Francis in again. He's back to hanging out here pretty much all the time and I haven't had much luck with finding him a home.
It sounds to me like it's no longer an "idea". It has happened.

Take him to the vet. If he is healthy, you can take it as a sign that he is supposed to be yours. If he's neutered then he most likely was innoculated. Hey, won't that result in a false positive?

Why don't you ask his owners about his health history. Just say to them that since he has started hanging around your place, you wanted to know for the sake of your cats.

I bet that you are spending way more time worrying about what his owner's will think than what they are actually thinking. If they are into letting Francis do what Francis wants to do, then they will be fine if he moves in with you.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellsworth View Post
It sounds to me like it's no longer an "idea". It has happened.

Take him to the vet. If he is healthy, you can take it as a sign that he is supposed to be yours. If he's neutered then he most likely was innoculated. Hey, won't that result in a false positive?

Why don't you ask his owners about his health history. Just say to them that since he has started hanging around your place, you wanted to know for the sake of your cats.

I bet that you are spending way more time worrying about what his owner's will think than what they are actually thinking. If they are into letting Francis do what Francis wants to do, then they will be fine if he moves in with you.
I have a vague health history. He is about 3 years old and was neutered and vaccinated when he came to live with his "current owners" 8-9 months ago. He'll be due soon for his vaccinations. Not sure about false positives due to vaccinations. I highly doubt he was tested for Felk/FIV before he was vaccinated.

I doubt they care if he moved in with me. The husband more or less said that would be fine. I've talked to the wife, mentioned trying to take him in, and she's never said not to.

Francis has been out gallabanting around the neighbourhood lately. I didn't see him at all yesterday, although others have assured me he was around. Haven't seen him today either, but I know my boyfriend gave him some food this morning and gave him some pets when he got home from work. I think Francis is avoiding me!

On a funny note, I think he was trying to get the church people to take him home the other night. A bunch came out from the church across the street and I came out and found Francis just lying on the sidewalk between two people who were talking. When they left, he went over to some others and tried to convince them to let him in their car. I could see he was rubbing up against legs, etc. He's a charming little player, this cat!
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
I'm so confused!

So this morning, I was on my way to my car and the people who "own" Francis were walking by - the mom was taking the two younger boys to their bus stop. They saw Francis (who was just hanging out and walking away from the house...my boyfriend had fed him breakfast a bit earlier. They said "Hi Francis" and the mom scooped him up and let her boys head the extra little bit to the bus stop while she took Francis back home and put him inside.

The mom's never met me in person and the boys didn't get a chance to say "hey, that's the girl who takes care of Francis." Perhaps they told her when she got back to the bus stop. I feel a bit like a stalker.

On one hand, it was nice to see her take him home...he wasn't fighting her or anything and seemed quite comfortable in her arms. On the other, I know it's just a matter of time before he escapes again (if he hasn't already...perhaps not with the boys in school) and starts taking up residence on our porch again. I had stopped taking him home for food (due to the lack of dish and apparently lack of concern over their wandering cat) and just started feeding him 2-3 times a day here. I'm thinking maybe whenever he shows up, I'll just take him home and knock on the door so that he goes inside for food at least.

Honestly, maybe he really just does like visiting. He doesn't seem overly bothered by other animals (we have both dogs and cats around here frequently and he just struts on by like a big man). Hopefully once it gets cooler (it's been very nice here lately...maybe a little chilly at night, but I think he sleeps under our porch) he'll have the good sense to go home.

And no, of course, I haven't completely ruled out the possibility of taking him in, but it's not a realistic option right this moment.
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
OK...I'm not sure if anyone is even following this thread anymore, but Francis' story just keeps getting more and more interesting.


This morning, I went out to feed Francis. He was not there (although another stray has caught on and started visiting...just what I need!). I figured he was out wandering, as he's been less and less regular lately. I thought maybe it had something to do with the other stray hanging around.

My boyfriend came out to leave for work, and he started looking around. He could hear Francis! We looked around everywhere, finally looked up, and saw Francis meowing down from us from an upper window of the house next door (another house separated into apartments...not Francis' "home")! LOL...I was so surprised!

He meowed at us for a little while and then walked away. He's in there somewhere! Hopefully warm, happy, and full!

In any case, I just wrote up a note to the people living there and made my best guess as to which mailbox to put it in. Hopefully it makes it to the right place! I basically just gave a general background of Francis' story, what little information I know about them, told them I gave him revolution about a week and a half ago, and gave them my contact information. I'm hoping maybe this is a good home for Francis! Only time will tell, of course!

I'll be keeping my eye out for Francis as well as trying to figure out what to do with this second stray cat. She is very skinny, doesn't look any older than a year old, and I suspect she doesn't have a home (I've seen her around at all hours and she's very skiddish...won't let me anywhere near her...but will eat if I keep my distance). I emailed the local rescue to see if they are taking in right now, although I suspect they aren't. I gave them a sob story and I know they have their adopt-a-thon this weekend, so I'm hoping they'll make room for her. I think she'll need to be trapped though!

I'm becoming the neighbourhood's crazy cat lady! Luckily, other than Francis and the white/gray girl, I haven't seen any other stray cats hanging around!
post #23 of 27
I am keeping up with this story.

I am SO glad that it seems like he has found a home!

I hope you are able to figure something out for the 2nd cat.

Let us know if the new owners get in contact with you, I am curious what they have to say, I bet you are too!

You are an Angel!
post #24 of 27
Where my parents used to live, there was a "neighborhood dog" left behind when some people moved. All the neighborhood knew him - most of them had dogs anyway - and about 8 families basically co-ordinated feeding and caring for him. Wherever he was when it was nasty weather, they'd let him in. One family took responsibility for putting Advantage or whatever it was on him, but they all chipped in to pay for it. No one knew who his local vet had been, but they took turns each year taking him to the vet.

Sounds like Francis is becoming a neighborhood kitty!

I hope you found the right mailbox.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
I thought I should update Francis' story...although I'm not really positive that I know exactly where it stands:


I THINK Francis is living next door now. After seeing him in the window and putting a note in the mailbox, someone did respond to me via email. It was the young guy (around 20 maybe) who lives there...I'm thinking his girlfriend lives there too (there are 3 apartments in the house so it's hard to tell who is who). In any case, he said that Francis had been hanging around a lot lately and trying to get inside. So, one day they decided to let him upstairs with them. They said he hung out for a bit but they made him go back outside when they had to go out. However, when they got back, he was still at the house and again hours later (not surprising...Francis took up residence on our porch several times as well). So, they decided to let him stay up there.

It did sound in the email as if they were planning to keep Francis...I passed along the information of where he comes from, basically saying that if he was happy up there and they could care for him, they should probably just keep him...as his owners didn't seem to care either way. I said that I had their email and phone number if he wanted to contact them...and he hasn't asked for that information. I emailed the guy back hoping to get a little more updates on how Francis was doing...but I never heard back.

I haven't seen him in the window, however, so I'm not 100% confident he's still there. Before, he would come to the window when we called his name. However, due to being caught "peeking" in their windows by, I'm assuming, the girlfriend, I have avoided yelling his name. LOL...I don't want to be thought of as the neighbourhood peep...I swear, I just want to see the cat!

If Francis was outside, I am positive that he would be around. So, I'm pretty sure he's in there, even if I can't see him.

As for the gray and white cat, I've been feeding it (I thought girl, but the little girl downstairs told me she saw his "parts") every morning and every night. I just basically put food out whether he's there or not and he comes and eats, usually right away. He's getting more comfortable...he doesn't always bolt when I come out the door...he often just sits where he is (as long as I don't get too close) and watches while I put the food out. I emailed the local rescue here and they basically said that the best chance is to call animal control - and that depending on the cat's shape/temperment, it would quite likely end up in their shelter. Too much of a risk for me...especially since I know they've drastically reduced how many animals they are rescuing from AC. It's been nice weather here, so I haven't been too concerned so far...especially since this guy is so skiddish and would have to be trapped. However, I'll have to do something for the winter. If I can't get him into a shelter (I had no bites on a forever home for a friendly cat...hightly doubt I'll get many for a skiddish one)...then I'll make him a winter shelter for some warmth and protection.

So, Francis, who I think desperately wanted a new home, seems like he's found one. He's a charmer...I knew he could do it! And, of course, I still have work to do with this other cat. I have a feeling that this is just the beginning...
post #26 of 27
dont know the history but just from what I read I would just keep that cat inside to stay with you, every chance that there is to make an outdoor cat and indoor cat I take that chance to give them a better life, I never let mine outdoors and the ones that I rescue never get back outside either. Some people think its ok to have an outdoor kittie or indoor/outdoor kittie, I do not, there is to much that can go wrong, if it were me I would just keep him indoors and with me to stay furever or get it a home from my place, get it vet care, name it, and just keep it, Id tell that family I saw it get hit by a car and its dead and just keep it, they wouldnt see it no more but thats just me, they dont care about it , and its needs that caring all the time and no outdoors they will get over that, just need a window to look out of , I think you should get it a collor with name and your address, vet care and keep him you can put him up for adoption and make him his own web page at catster.com
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by buehler740 View Post
dont know the history but just from what I read I would just keep that cat inside to stay with you, every chance that there is to make an outdoor cat and indoor cat I take that chance to give them a better life, I never let mine outdoors and the ones that I rescue never get back outside either. Some people think its ok to have an outdoor kittie or indoor/outdoor kittie, I do not, there is to much that can go wrong, if it were me I would just keep him indoors and with me to stay furever or get it a home from my place, get it vet care, name it, and just keep it, Id tell that family I saw it get hit by a car and its dead and just keep it, they wouldnt see it no more but thats just me, they dont care about it , and its needs that caring all the time and no outdoors they will get over that, just need a window to look out of , I think you should get it a collor with name and your address, vet care and keep him you can put him up for adoption and make him his own web page at catster.com
Thanks for your opinion; however, neither of these cats are mine. Both are strays that I've been feeding just to help out. Taking them in isn't really an option at the moment, for reasons explained in various other threads. My two cats are both indoor only and will always remain that way.

As for outdoor cats, people have different opinions, yes. With the exception of barn cats, I don't like the idea. However, in this case, it's really not a decision between indoor/outdoor, but rather outdoor and fending for itself, and outdoor and being fed and cared for. Right now, I'm working on getting this guy to trust me...then perhaps we can look into vetting/neutering/rehoming.
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