Fully aware that certain combinations can lead to regrets (drinking+texting, lamenting+ice cream), I try not to speak or write when furious. At least not at first, and not anything the public will ever see. In the past, such actions have only led to the firm implantation of my foot in my mouth.
Here’s today’s story anyway. Hopefully coherently written and not overly cruel.
For quite some time now, J and I have been contemplating adopting a little friend for us and Sophie. We were hoping to bring a male kitten into Sophie’s world before she’s old and bitter and hates everything new. Today, for some reason (okay, yes, we were scouring the “pet” category on Craig’s List which leaves nothing to blame but our own compassion), we were both overcome by the desire to get out and see some of the candidates in person. We looked at each other, we looked at the clock. We said, “Let’s do it.” And, giddy and excited, we grabbed Sophie’s old cat carrier (just in case, we told ourselves) and ran out the door.
The Humane Society is not far from where we live, and after a short drive, we pulled into their parking lot, promised ourselves to try to remain level headed, and in we went. I was surprised at how few cats were currently housed there. A few adults wandered the great cat enclosure they provide… and then there was Harpo. This 3-month-old black and white male kitten was playful and lively, and I liked him even though he was a little older than what we’d had in mind. Then, I picked him up. Harpo cuddled against my shoulder and placed his tiny soft paw against my cheek, then my lips. And I was ensnared. Hook. Line. Sinker.
Just in case (again), we decided to think on it, and drove down the road to the Animal Control center to look as well. There we found more adult cats and one tiny, tiny black kitten. Who was psychotic. We’re talking demonic possession. J found it entertaining to attempt to play with her without losing any blood. I was ready to go back and see Harpo again.
So we jump back in the car, drive back to the Humane Society, and revisit our little guy there. Everyone behind the adoption desk is excited to see us again. Harpo’s little brother had been adopted the day before, and the staff was rooting for him to find a new home, too. We filled out some paperwork, and one of the women was gathering together some toys and food to get Harpo started in his new home.
Then. The worst.
They called out apartment management office to check on the pet policies where we live. Which would have been fine. Our place allows 2 cats in one apartment. But then this woman goes on to ask if we needs to pay a deposit, and if so how much, and if so, do we need to pay it before we bring home a new animal. The answers: yes, $200 and yes. $200 for EACH ANIMAL. Whether it’s a 10 lb cat or a 150 lb lab. $200.
We’d already put down the $200 nonrefundable for Sophie. We thought THAT was insane. We also thought that this fee would cover another pet, and that we’d only need to tack on additional pet rent (also b.s. if you ask me). Not so, apparently.
The woman at the Humane Society told us we should just go get that “squared away” and that we could come back for Harpo the next day. We said “sure,” and walked out as if everything would be fine, knowing fully that we could not afford another $200 we’d never see again.
Fuming and dejected, the drive home was quiet and sullen.
Had that woman not called our property management and asked specifically if WE had paid for another cat to live here, no one would’ve known the difference. He woud’ve had an amazing home and loving parents, and isn’t that what the Humane Society really wants for their animals? Was it not enough for them to see that animals are allowed in our homes? I know they don’t want to see adopted animals come right back to them. I get that. But there was no opportunity to defend ourselves, no chance to say, “Look. He’s going to be fine with us. Better than fine. Why the EFF are you ratting us out, you paranoid witch?!?”
(Remember how I said I don’t speak or write when I’m really angry?)
Needless to say, we’re still a one-cat household.