Thursday, May 14, 2009

How We Almost Lost Piper

Piper P. McPiperson

On the 2nd of December, on the coldest night of the year, some of the neighbor kids brought me a lost kitty. From my best guess he was about four months old. I probably would have sent him on his way while trying to justify in my mind that he lived around the corner, BUT when he was placed in my arms for the first time he went TOTALLY limp and started purring LOUDLY. After all, I already had two cats, and I was pretty sure what this would mean. Three cats, and that beloved LITTER BOX....ugh. But, did I mention it was the coldest night of the year?

I gave him the name Piper because, let me tell you, this cat has some pipes on him, and LOVES to snuggle and purr. I have never had such a snuggly lovey-dovey kitty. I have fallen asleep with him in my arms like a baby and he just snuggles in and purrs. The more snuggling the happier he is. We have a ledge in our hallway at waist level that he likes to sit on. When you walk by he reaches out and taps you with a paw as if to say, "HELLO, I'm attention!" In fact, as I write this he is asleep on my lap--purring. A hard fit nowadays, but he manages. Needless to say, Piper settled into our household perfectly.

Two weeks ago, I took him to get neutered. He had NEVER exhibited tom cat traits such as extreme disappearances, spraying, or aggressiveness towards my two girl cats. Also, his little ball sac stayed flat, leading me to the thought that maybe he had cryptochordism (where the testes stay up in the abdomen and don't drop) and a fleeting thought that perhaps he was already neutered. I quickly discounted the latter; no one ever answered our LOST KITTY signs, and the rate of cats and kittens being dumped in this town is HUGE and made the second option HIGHLY unlikely.

So, at the clinic after waiting for an hour, we finally checked in and I expressed my cryptochordism fear to the tech. She looked at his little sac and agreed with me and said she'd have the vet check it out. I went out to the waiting room and waited to pay. Five minutes later, the tech was back with Piper in tow. The news: not only was he neutered, he was ALSO micro-chipped. She handed me the phone number and ID code to call the micro chipping company so that he could be reunited with his original owner. I paid for the shots they had given and went to my car. I quickly dialed the number for the microchip company. It never crossed my mind not to. What if I had lost my pet? What would I do if one of my beloved animals were gone and no one called me?

The company told me that his "name" is (was) Indiana and that the previous owners had never reported him missing. The company rep. tried to call the owner but got voice mail. I gave permission to leave my number for the PO (previous owner). Five minutes later, PO called. I spoke with her and she could not believe that he had been found. I asked her where she lived and found out that it was OVER three miles away with a BUSY four lane highway in-between. When I asked her if she wanted him back she said yes. I also told her that he now weighs 12 lbs. and was not the tiny cat that she had lost. She seemed surprised at how BIG he had gotten. By this time I had had the cat longer than she had! I told her that I would be happy to come drop him off that evening after she got off work. It was only after I hung up that I burst into tears.

Informing my son when he got off school that day did not go well. He was at his dad's that day as I had a wedding shower to attend that evening, but I told him that I would bring Piper by his dad's to say goodbye if he wanted me to; that it was up to him. He said no, he wouldn't be able to bear it. 1/2 hour later he called back and said that he did want to see our boy before he left. I was terribly sad and crying at this point too. This is a one-of-a-kind cat and we love him, AND he is my son's special kitty.

I had told the PO that I would call her at 5pm to get her address and agree on a time to drop off the cat. When I called she wanted me to meet her in the parking lot at her kid's daycare. As I was trying to get ready for a wedding shower and fit in my son's goodbye visit, I told her going to that FAR location to meet made no sense, I would bring him to her house which is closer. She proceeded to give me directions to her street, but would not give me the exact address saying that her house was really hard to find. She said to call when I got there and she would meet me in the street! (Which is a lie. I drove to her street and down it, and each house is clearly marked.) This just struck me as WRONG (and I got one of my feelings--which are usually right when it comes to people) and I, not knowing how to react, said, "OOOKKKKKK," very reluctantly and I'm sure it was apparent that I was put off. There went my dreams of being able to visit our Piper periodically and make sure he was OK!

I quickly called my friend, who I knew would have advice on WHAT TO DO as well as be objective and tell me if my feelings were truly valid. She would tell me if I was just being the broken-hearted gal who didn't want to give up her cat and was looking for any reason to keep him, or if this was a valid reaction. After all, why wouldn't PO give me her address? I called HER (PO) to return HER cat (that was never reported missing) and even offered to bring it to HER. Hardly the MO of someone wanting to scope out her house and steal things... Plus, I want to make sure he isn't going to a BAD home, after all, I have had him longer, and his welfare IS my concern. My friend told me I was never going to get all I had to get done AND make it to my friend's shower; I should call PO and tell her to contact me the next day to iron out the arrangements. So I did. PO agreed and we hung up. I then decided that if she wouldn't give me her address when she called the next day, I would ask for $100 to compensate for the food, monthly flea meds, and shots I had provided. I was initially not going to do that, but since I felt so uncomfortable, my experience tells me that if people are truly good pet owners they will put out $ for them.

But she still hasn't called back.

I am highly suspicious that he WAS dumped in our neighborhood, the distance he was away from her neighborhood to mine is SSOOO far for a kitten. Also, you can get your pet from the Humane Society already neutered, with shots, and a microchip for $60, so my initial thought that he came from a good home is totally in question.

She has one more week and then I can call the microchip company and fill out paperwork to have him put into my name! Piper, we almost LOST you and we love you SOOO much, I am glad God decided that you get to stay with us!

What do you all think? Would it have been the right thing to do to ask for $ if she wanted her cat back and wouldn't let me see the environment where he was going to live? What would you have done in this situation?

Miles and Piper P.


  1. I think you'd have to go with your feelings once you met her. If she seemed like a decent person, then you could have just softened. But if she seemed not to really care or gave you a negative feeling the $ would be a good test.

    Maybe she didn't realize that a cat is work. Maybe her leather couch got scratched. Maybe her daughter ended up allergic and she thought better of it later. Maybe she's a psycho.

    These days you never know.

  2. Oou very odd reactions indeed. I am rarely wrong with those strong feelings(not that I have always listened to my still small voice) but I think asking for the$ completely within reason.It would have been spent by them already to take care of him. If it were me, and I DO love my cat, I would have made it on over to your house sooo fast!
    It just seems strange that if you go to the trouble and $ to microchip..and NOT report the cat missing!
    I think he is YOUR kitty.
    My PBO rescued Danny, a foundered Morgan..he was about gone..and she has spend $1,000's with him. The owner wants him back now but the deal was to pay the $ after a year.They won't. So he is hers..even if they won't render the papers.

  3. You did the right thing. I would find it very hard to send an animal to a place that I was not sure about.

  4. I totally agree with your decision. If I would have lost a cst I would defiantly reported it and eager to pick him up that same day. Love the picture of your babies. I hope you can enjoy him for a long long time......RC


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~Slainte' Mhath!