My husband refers to them as the Blues Brothers since they look so much alike. I'm talking about Buddy and his brother-son-uncle-grandfather-father-cousin-littermate 2B. Yes, we call him 2B as in "To Be or Not To Be."
Buddy was brought to us by our feral girl, Java before she was hit by a car. 2B showed up just about a month ago. We were actually surprised to see him, mistaking him for Buddy for a bit, until we saw them together. We know they are related, because they look so much alike and because they act like recent siblings--ones that have a long association with each other. Surprisingly enough, Buddy who challenges every cat (and dog) that ventures near the front porch, did not challenge 2B other than a minor hissy spit. They also like to intimidate dogs, cats, and humans they don't like out of the front yard.
They were both full males, meaning that they haven't been neutered. Buddy's age has been estimated to be about 5 years old, so we are surmising that 2B is the same age. They are strays and recent ones at that. We know they are strays because they don't act feral. That means they don't hide or run away from us and they allow close contact by humans, like petting. Although in Buddy's case, he has to pet YOU first before he allows himself to be petted. It's just his feline prerogative. On the other hand, 2B allows you to pet him and then thinks about returning the favor.
Buddy eats while 2B looks on
We had Buddy neutered and vaccinated this week. We opted not to get his ear tipped, in hopes that we can find him his people or a new home. By the way--we aren't holding our breath for either case. 2B will get his soon.
So why do people get cats, make them pets and then dump/abandon or mistreat them? There are as many reasons as there are grains of soils. With the current economic crisis on hand, many people are having a hard time feeding their families in our little town, let alone pets. There aren't any services or food pantries for pets. Even the town pound is having problems.
But the current economic crisis is fairly recent and people have been dumping their dogs and cats for a long time before it hit. I believe the reason why people dump/abandon or mistreat their animals is a combination of reasons. Our society operates on a "disposable mindset." We get rid of, throw away, trash, toss things easily. We've been conditioned to throw out the old and acquire new or do the latest trend. Our society still looks at animals as "property" rather than living souls/beings and that makes it easy to toss them away. Our society also lacks commitment to anything that may be a long-term responsibility. Pets take long-term care and responsibility.
Not every one feels this way or behaves this way. I know many people who work hard at reusing and recycling materials and resources; who take long-term care and responsibility seriously; and who do not toss their pets away or mistreat them. Many of them see pets are as part of their families, vital members of their families. They are the ones who give their time to their communities and are committed to their communities. I'm glad we have caring and committed people.
Many people also mistakenly believe that cats "can survive" or "take care of themselves." They believe that cats can hunt mice and birds and they will do well out in the world. They have to hunt, kill, and eat the equivalent of eight mice per day just to survive. Pet cats often do not survive because they don't have the training, skills, or knowledge of how to survive. This is not information they will gain within a week. Many pet cats will die from exposure, starvation, malnutrition, disease, being hit by cars, savaged by dogs, fights from other ferals, and at the hands of inhumane humans when they are dumped or abandoned.
If you can not keep your cat, find him or her a good home.