A cat chose you! What now?
Allura’s story is proof that we don’t “own” cats: Many of them choose us, instead of the other way around!
If a feline wants you to be their human and you know zilch about them, there’s no need to panic. Here are a few things to remember.
DO keep the cat (and yourself) safe
A cat may bite or scratch if threatened or overstimulated -- it’s not their fault; they are just being their feline selves!
To ensure that both you and the cat stay safe, handle them with care. If unsure whether a cat is friendly or not, cover their head with a towel as this calms them down and prevents them from biting, according to The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) website.
DON’T just leave (without at least doing these)
Take photos of the cat and the area where you found them. Take photos of street signs, nearby establishments, or landmarks.
Even when you’re in a rush, you can ask vendors or locals to watch the cat while you get help, according to PAWS. Get their cellphone numbers to keep track of the cat. If you contact rescuers, make sure you’re at the scene at the time of the rescue.
DON’T expect random Facebook friends (or rescue orgs) to always help
No, those photos you took are not for asking random help online. It may take time for a concerned animal lover to respond to your status update on Facebook, if at all! Seeking help directly from people or organizations that rescue animals may be better (you can find the numbers of PAWS and other animal welfare orgs at one of the back pages of this issue), but they may already be undermanned and overwhelmed. If you could spare a couple of hours to bring the cat to a vet before you headed off to work, that would be awesome!
DO take responsibility for cats you rescue
Don’t expect animal organizations, such as PAWS, to take in the cats you minister to -- it’s not hard to imagine that they may already be at full capacity.
Providing shelter for a cat can be as simple as providing food and water. If you want to keep the cat in your home, buy litter and a litter box as well. Try to cat-proof your home while you’re at it by making sure the cat doesn’t escape while you’re away.
DO adopt (or find an adoptive parent)
If a cat chooses you, they must have done so for a good reason! If you’ve never had a furry companion in your life, don’t panic -- it’s not as complicated as you might think.
Be warned: Cats are adorable and they can very much steal your heart. I used to be a dog person until a black feline came into a life and convinced me that I had enough space for a cat… plus two more!
If a cat requires additional care because of injuries and you can’t stay home to provide it, try looking for a person to foster them for you.
Just like Allura, many cats want nothing more than a hooman to call their own. This is why adopting instead of buying pets is the compassionate thing to do.