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RJ’s Story – Stray Cat Saga

On October 16th, 2011 Stacia was walking Bella at the local park. She was just about done and ready to return to the car when she spotted a cat on the wrong side of the fence to the park’s swimming pool (closed for the season). The cat was trapped but Stacia was able to lift the bottom of the fence enough for the cat to squeeze through.

Stacia then called me to tell me this story and ask what to do. I drove to the park with our cat carrier (we already have a cat) and arrived at the scene.

This cat was super friendly and was already best friends with Bella. So we decided we would take the cat home and give him shelter at least for the night.

The next day we took him to the vet and dropped a few hundred bucks to get him fully tested and make sure he couldn’t give our cat Rajah any feline diseases.

The stray at the vet weighing about 7 lbs
Marriage 154/365 - Rick James the Stray Cat

At the vet we discovered he was microchipped and was named “James”. They called the owner but both numbers were disconnected. We all figured he had been dumped and was roaming the streets for awhile. The vet also thought the cat was 11 or more years old due to his poor condition and his missing teeth.

We kept the cat for awhile but Rajah did not like him one bit and he was extremely messy. But we didn’t want him to be on his own either. We named him Rick James or RJ for short and had intentions of keeping him.

The super friendly and meowy, Rick James
Marriage 156/365- Starting to Get More Energy

Then last Sunday (October 30th) we decided he couldn’t live with us anymore. We were keeping him in a bathroom and he was always messy. And our original cat-dog relationship was being tarnished with this third animal.

We were also not supposed to have him in the apartment.

Bella and Rick James

We tried bringing him to TAILS Humane Society where I volunteer regularly (with dogs) but they were overrun with cats. People just drop them off outside and will even tie dogs up to the light pole instead of surrendering them properly. (So dumb!)

We got a list of shelters but only wanted him to go to a no-kill shelter. We called a dozen or so shelters and they all had the same story. Due to the economy and house foreclosures, cats (and dogs too) were at high levels, levels they hadn’t seen in quite awhile.

RJ and Bella Nova Scotia

Most of the shelters asked us to just keep him. That was not an option.

We thought about trying to get Stacia’s brother to have him to help control mouse problems at his farm. But a toothless, scraggly, skinny cat with diarrhea problems isn’t exactly the best mouser. And we didn’t want him outside either (for many reasons).

Then, on November 3rd, Stacia called TAILS again and they informed her that they would take RJ if he was originally a TAILS adoption. With his microchip, they could check this easily enough.

So, amazingly enough he was a TAILS cat. So now RJ is at TAILS awaiting adoption. A better option than being a pool cat.

He looks a lot better than when we first took him in (good food and antibiotics) and weighed a bit over 8 lbs. We found out he weighed 11 lbs when he was adopted the first time.

We hope he finds a forever home soon and I will attempt to visit him when I am at TAILS taking care of dogs.

Please support your local animal shelters in every way you can. Volunteering is a lot of fun and they always need extra stuff: toys, blankets, newspaper, food, etc. and of course money. And if you have room for another dog or cat try and adopt. Every dog I’ve owned has been either a street dog or an adopted shelter dog. If we had the room we would have kept RJ and it was bittersweet to have him returned to TAILS.

4 Comments

  1. November 4, 2011    

    Sweet little RJ, I would have liked to meet him. I hope someone finds it in their heart to adopt the guy. I am glad you saved him.

    So many unwanted animals and “outside” cats…heartbreaking!

  2. Snowy Owl Snowy Owl
    November 6, 2011    

    Your story made me want to drive to TAILS and pick up R.J. right now! I would, too, if I didn’t already have 3 cats, 2 of whom have never gotten along despite having lived together for almost five years now.
    I hope R.J. gets his forever home soon.
    Thank you for rescuing him!

  3. Freya Freya
    February 8, 2012    

    What happened to RJ?

    Bravo for caring enough to rescue RJ…I wonder if anyone adopted him?
    I hope so…

    I care for a cat, Lily. She was a wild cat who invited herself to hang out in a friend’s garden and the local neighborhood for about three years. They fed her and had her checked and spayed, but she stayed away from them.

    One day, I was visiting there when I noticed this cat approaching. I petted her gently – I thought she was their cat – and then bent down and picked her up…and held her. She didn’t resist.

    The home owner, a veterinarian came out of the house and couldn’t believe his eyes! Thus began Lily’s choice, over the next year or so… to become domesticated. Gradually, she moved into the house…

    She is nine years old now…more or less…and remains a very affectionate cat. Had I known she was a wild cat, I doubt if I would have risked picking her up!

  4. The Birdfreak Team The Birdfreak Team
    February 10, 2012    

    RJ is still available at the shelter that took him in. I visit him periodically when I volunteer there (to walk dogs).

    Kudos on taking in Lily and caring for her. We wish we could have kept RJ and hopefully someone will adopt him soon!

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