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what do you think of homeless people with cats?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
In midtown Manhattan there's a homeless man with 2 cats, who sit with him on a blanket on the sidewalk. They have little cat beds and tins of food. On the one hand it's sorta animal cruelty to take care of cats when you can't give them a good home. But on the other hand, there are so many homeless cats on the street and in shelters and at least these have constant companionship and, it appears, regular food. And they probably bring a lot of joy to the man's life. The whole thing is just sort of sad...
post #2 of 21
I agree it is sad. I wonder if these were his cats before he became homeless? I mean its not really of the upmost importance, but just an interesting thing to know. If they were, that is one owner that tries his best to take care of them through thick and thin.

I can see both ways on that one, but everyone needs a companion, and it seems right now the three of them need each other. I wonder if they are fixed? If not I would try to set that up with a TNR group or a shelter or someone to get them nutered. Yes, you are very right though, its a sad situation.
post #3 of 21
it is sad. but they do have food and companionship more than some.

there is a homeless man not far from me who has a dog. a stray he took in. Always has food water and generally appears in good health. I drive by alot to make sure. and gave him some frontline for the pup not long ago
post #4 of 21
It's a sad thing for anyone or anything to be homeless I'm glad they have each other I think we could all learn something from that sort of love he's homeless but he finds a way to feed and bed his friends that melts my heart
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScamperFarms
it is sad. but they do have food and companionship more than some.

there is a homeless man not far from me who has a dog. a stray he took in. Always has food water and generally appears in good health. I drive by alot to make sure. and gave him some frontline for the pup not long ago
That's great!!!
post #6 of 21
I think it's wonderful for homeless ppl to have cats - and I would judge them in the same way as I would someone with a home. If they care for their cats as best they can, fine - if not, that is another story. It probably does bring some joy into their lives!
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberKitten
I think it's wonderful for homeless ppl to have cats - and I would judge them in the same way as I would someone with a home. If they care for their cats as best they can, fine - if not, that is another story. It probably does bring some joy into their lives!
, i think it's lovely that he has these 2 cats, as long as he is looking after them
post #8 of 21
IMO what matters is the way the cats are treated. I've seen rich people abuse their cat but I've also seen a humble street vendor use his meager earnings to provide food and shelter for his beloved kitty.
post #9 of 21
I know that in the UK some homeless people deliberately get dogs to awake more sympathy in passers-by. But every story is different and I think it would be great if these were homeless cats that he had taken on.
post #10 of 21
You are assuming that he is homeless. It is entirely possible that he is a professional beggar and the cats are his "props".
post #11 of 21
That is exactly what I mean - you just never know!
post #12 of 21
If he is really homeless, I am glad he has companions, if he is feeding them, and doing all that he can for them, then that's fantastic. The kitties having a home and love, no matter how poor the person is, is better than no home or love at all.
post #13 of 21
If they are able to get it food and water, I see no issue with it.
post #14 of 21
I find it admirable they stay with him on that blanket, that in itself speaks volumes to me.
post #15 of 21
I think it is sweet. It really depresses and frustrates me when I hear about people dumping cats, and stray cats who fall prey to abuse. It makes me appreciate cat lovers even more - especially those who have a lot of worries themselves, but still have the compassion to safeguard animals from harm.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
I find it admirable they stay with him on that blanket, that in itself speaks volumes to me.
That's what I was thinking. A dog is one thing, because they would be more likely to stay around, but for cats to stick around when they have the option (and ability, I assume) speaks volumes!

It's really sad. I've never seen a homeless person in real life. I can only imagine what seeing something like that does to one's heart.
post #17 of 21
I was working in Boston in an area that had it's fair share of obviously mentaly problematic poeple. Most semed homelss. On the way back from lunch I noticed a girl who was "flying pretzels" with her hands. In her shopping carrige was her belongings and a cat in a "traveler". This stopped me dead in my tracks. My first thoughts were to figure out how to save the cat. After reviewing the situation and the apearance of the cat I had to remind myself that there were a lot of cats worse off than that one. It seemed content and I thought of the joy the amimal must bring her. Surely she was lonely. Also I think if the cat wanted out it would be long gone by now.
post #18 of 21
A similiar question was posed on the Best Friends Forum:

Do low income animal lovers deserve pets? nmhpforum
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Question from Beri:
In response to how low prices need to be in order for low income people to afford to have their pets fixed: Why would you encourage pet ownership to a person who is on welfare? I mean if you're getting $500-$600 a month, how can you afford a pet?

Response from Celeste Crimi:
This is somewhat off-topic, but since it strikes at the very heart of whether or not low cost spay/neuter programs are a good use of our energy and resources, let's look at this issue.

First, who said anything about encouraging pets for people on welfare? The reality is that a certain segment of disabled people, or seniors, or people on welfare for any other reason, love animals just as much as those of us with greater means. And many communities recognize this and have various programs to assist with food, vaccines, litter...and spay/neuter.

From an intellectual, animal rights perspective we can say that animals shouldn't be pets. But that argument applies equally to all of us. I can see that with my head, but when I try and imagine life without my animal family, my heart starts to ache with a sense of desolate loss. My stomach tightens up imagining a house too still, time too empty. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way.

When I was growing up there were years when we didn't have animals and it really weighed on my brother and I. We would make pathetic, desperate attempts to fill that void. We'd pester our neighbors to let us make friends with any cat or dog we came across in the neighborhood. I wouldn't wish that feeling of perpetual longing on anyone.

More than that, many of the people who contact us for assistance have actually been 'subscribed' what is termed a companion animal. These 'pets' help their people cope with anxiety disorders, poor social skills, and a tenuous hold on normal life. To these people, their pet family is everything in a nerve-wracking and instable world. The good piece of news is that the law requires that these pets be allowed to move with their people. Landlords can't refuse them. Oregon State doesn't currently provide for these animals to be fixed, which is where low cost clinics, programs and events step in.

Is that entirely fair? Shouldn't the government be footing the bill if they're writing the order? Well, we could argue indefinitely about the role the government should or shouldn't play in regards to companion animals. But while we're discussing that issue, a few thousand more kittens and puppies will be born--most to low-income households!

The reality is that low income people have pets. There is no way we are going to change human nature with a position statement, or even a mandate. And besides, how much money is enough?

If we're being entirely honest, how many people have the funding necessary to pay for 'anything' their pets might need in an emergency? A lot of us would be hard pressed if one of our own pets came down with a rare disease and needed $50,000 or more of daily blood transfusions, hospitalization, IV therapy, transplants, etc for an extended period. We can rationalize that if push came to shove, we'd come up with the money...somehow. Do we think that those of us with lesser means feel any differently?

When we as animal welfare advocates design low cost spay/neuter events and programs, we do it partly to serve our own purposes. And that's okay. We want the pet overpopulation problem to go away, whatever its source. I think we're actually being smart by targeting the animals that come from the lowest income households. They're going to be out there, suffering as too-young mothers and fathers. And it's our choice whether those critters are cranking out kittens and puppies faster than we can order up the euthanasia solution, or if we're facilitating a kinder world, where at least they get a break from the travails of reproduction.

Besides, many of the people assisted by low cost spay/neuter are only temporarily down on their luck. They're unemployed, or got hurt in an accident, or they're students, or Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Yes, POPPA has helped 3 families who left the South with their pets and are finding refuge in Oregon. Do I wish they'd thought of that crazy spay/neuter idea a long time ago, when they were living down South? Sure. But it's not for me to judge why they put the surgery off until disaster struck. Maybe there were no affordable options in their area. Maybe they'd just adopted the animal and hadn't 'gotten around to it.' Maybe they hadn't realized the benefits before. I just want them to get their animals fixed so they won't contribute to our shelter intakes.

Lastly, not all people on public assistance are asking for help for their own pets. Their first impulse when they see a stray, just as it would be any animal lovers', is to put out a dish of food. How many can say that they carefully planned every animal they've shared their life with? How many of us balance our checkbook before opening our doors to a homeless animal? My friend Jody has physically been responsible for literally thousands of ferals and strays being spayed and neutered. Because she isn't able to work, she fills a niche when the rest of us can't; while we're resting up for our day jobs, she's out in the middle of the night with a car full of traps and tuna.

I could go on, but I think I'll let some testimonials from POPPA recipients speak for me:

“As a low income person who spends all her extra money on her pets, I am very thankful for the donation made by POPPA towards getting my cat neutered. It is wonderful that an organization acts responsibly for their community’s pet population by assisting owners with necessary care for the health and happiness of their pets. It was a great relief to me to receive a discount when getting my cat fixed, so that I would in turn have more money towards his care. Thank you for your help, you have a wonderful organization!.†~ M.B.

“My income as a Homecare Worker is $300 per month. My client is a family member and I live with her. These kittens keep her entertained and she is very close to them, they have become her devoted companions. I have sought other programs, but those are depleted of funds and this seems to be all that is left for us to try. Thank you for the chance.†~ B.G.

“I've undergone some serious medical things recently and I'm just getting back on my feet, I would never normally take in animals without being able to take care of them. I think it's amazing that there are people like you who don't just love animals but help us make sure that ours won't add to the genocide on unwanted critters. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that you contacted me.†~ J.J.

~~~
Chief Seattle made a very famous speech, wherein he asks, "What is man without the beasts ? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit."

But I think perhaps a No More Homeless Pets member, Charlene, said it best when she once wrote, "Let's face it: when you can't afford a trip to the movies or a night out with your spouse or a day trip anywhere or even basic living expenses, often the only thing that makes life bearable is knowing that somebody at home loves you and isn't complaining about having no money to buy a better brand of kibble or the latest in fashionable collars!"
post #19 of 21
I think it's so wonderful how he cares enough to take care of his cats and obviously loves them very much. That is a good man! I just hope they all remain safe where their at now.
post #20 of 21
I've seen a lot of homeless persons living with pets, and while I wouldn't begrudge anyone the companionship that pets provide, I do worry for their safety. It's tough to see anyone man or beast living without shelter.
post #21 of 21
I don't see a problem with it. There are a lot of stray and homeless cats. If this man is taking care of them and they look healthy why not? The cats probably found him and not the other way around. My first thought is he must be a kind soul for the cats to claim him as their human.

If it were me I would drop off cat food and offer to help out with vet costs.
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