A cat chose you! What now?

Animal Scene - - ANIMAL APPEAL -

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.

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