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A Feline Dilemma

(66 Posts)
fortheloveofcats Fri 07-Aug-15 02:42:28

Okay, so a friend acquired a cat recently by... less than legitimate means.

Let's call the cat Mabel, who is about a year old. Mabel was owned by a young couple. Earlier this summer they decided to go on vacation. However, they didn't get anyone to take care of Mabel while they were gone, and just put her outside. They did not provide any food or water. Mabel was also not fixed. They were gone for a week.

An acquaintance of theirs found this out, and went and fetched Mabel while they were gone. Mabel was terrified and dehydrated. The acquaintance kept Mabel for a few weeks, and found her a new home with my friend. He also got her spayed (she wasn't pregnant, thank goodness!)

Mabel is now a pampered indoor lap cat, which is ideal for her. She is quite timid by nature and gets frightened easily by strange people and animals. Once she knows you she will cuddle for hours, and has a ferocious purr!

My friend recently found a Lost Cat poster, and it turns out her original owners are still looking for her. She now feels guilty and is wondering if she should contact them. I told my friend not to. I believe they gave up all rights to Mabel when they essentially abandoned her for a week. If they had done that to a child, they'd be in jail.

So, AIBU to believe Mabel is better off with my friend?

HawkEyeTheNoo Fri 07-Aug-15 02:50:31

As a slave to a cat I can honestly say that no real cat lover would ever leave a cat to fend for itself when it's not feral and has been brought up to expect food or water. That's cruelty, leave the cat with the new living owners.. I'm horrified at what they did hmm

gotoblardysleep Fri 07-Aug-15 03:07:42

HawkEyeTheNoo has it perfectly. Their actions are tantamount to animal cuelty. She could have died - and all because they couldn't be arsed to get someone in to give her food and water shock

Mabel is 100% better of with your friend. She sounds gorgeous btw

Oh and please report these people so it doesnt happen again.

fortheloveofcats Fri 07-Aug-15 03:08:32

Poor Mabel has absolutely no hunting instinct, so I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't eat at all for those days she was alone.

GREYCROW Fri 07-Aug-15 04:30:01

No!! I've just returned from a week at home and recruited my ex husband to cat sit which involved feeding and cuddles... Could never imagine leaving him otherwise.

googoodolly Fri 07-Aug-15 04:41:05

No, don't contact them! I have two cats and wouldn't arrange to be away longer than one overnight without making sure I could find someone to cat sit. You can't just leave a domesticated pet to fend for itself sad

googoodolly Fri 07-Aug-15 04:43:09

No, don't contact them! I have two cats and wouldn't arrange to be away longer than one overnight without making sure I could find someone to cat sit. You can't just leave a domesticated pet to fend for itself sad

MadMum2015 Fri 07-Aug-15 06:05:12

No, do not even think of contacting them.
Awful awful people.
Mabel is happy and safe in her new home, she must stay there.

WixingMords Fri 07-Aug-15 06:09:24

No change do they have any claim on Mabel

Tell your friend she should feel guilty for treating an animal well, and if she contacts them that Mabel will suffer.

BertrandRussell Fri 07-Aug-15 06:20:24

Obviously it's completely wrong to treat an animal the way they did.

But are you absolutely sure you have the full facts here? I would be very surprised if a cat left outside would be dehydrated after less than a week, for example. And no hunting instinct? Really? In all my cat owning life I have never come across a cat used to being outside at all with no hunting instinct!

And yes, I do think her old owners should be told she's OK. They did a wrong thing, but you don't know the circumstances and no knowing what happened to a pet is awful.

sebsmummy1 Fri 07-Aug-15 06:22:33

I honestly don't know what should be done morally, I'm just glad the cat is ok and bring looked after.

mugglingalong Fri 07-Aug-15 06:35:17

Bert may I introduce you to dgirlcat. Bless her she just cannot hunt. She can catch the odd spider and slug but anything beyond that is too much. She can steal from humans as she is soppy and can wriggle her way into a child's affection and steal the crisp from their hand. That is how she came to us. Whilst her brother has remained the same weight she has doubled her weight to 3k and I doubt that a collar would fit around her stomach any more.

I'm not sure that they were wrong to leave the cat outside if it is used to being out and it wasn't cold. To leave an unneutered (and presumably not microchipped) cat with no food or water was neglectful and for that reason I would ignore the poster.

BertrandRussell Fri 07-Aug-15 07:03:15

Fair enough, muggling!

But I still think there's something very dodgy going on. The leaving the cat unspayed is unforgivable, obviously. (By the way, how did the friend know she was unspayed?) But the OP's friend has stolen someone's cat. And they are still looking for her.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Fri 07-Aug-15 07:05:31

I'm also for ignoring the poster. My cats used to go visiting neighbours especially when DS came along and kept crying. How are the previous owners to know that it wasn't Mabel's own choice to abandon them as they appeared to have abandoned her?

guineapig1 Fri 07-Aug-15 07:08:10

Hmm! Are you entirely sure of the original facts here though? How do you know original owners hadn't left a neighbour in charge or made some other arrangements? I can't imagine they just said to the "acquaintance" "oh by the way we're off on holiday we've not sorted the cat but don't worry about it" and then come back and look for her months later. Something doesn't quite add up.

BertrandRussell Fri 07-Aug-15 07:10:41

They haven't abandoned her. They are still looking for her.

fortheloveofcats Fri 07-Aug-15 07:16:16

Yes, she was dehydrated. Not severely, and she was fine once given access to water, but still dehydrated.They just tossed her outside and expected her to stick around for a week while they went off to Bali (or wherever) and not die.

Her coat was quite rough and rather thin at first, but it is now soft and full. I suspect her nutrition was not very good either.

MrsHathaway Fri 07-Aug-15 07:47:45

I have a feeling cats are legally possessions so it may count as theft (intent to deprive and certainly permanently).

Our cats' mother was left behind whilst pregnant (this is the assumption although they may not have known she was pregnant even though they hadn't spayed her). There's an awful lot of it about.

But if they care enough to make posters... I don't know. Surely a stern talking to - from the acquaintance perhaps if s/he is a regular or official rescuer - and explanation and reunion would be best.

BertrandRussell Fri 07-Aug-15 07:49:04

Just for information, that's not what dehydrated means.

How did your friend know she hadn't been spayed?

sebsmummy1 Fri 07-Aug-15 07:51:47

If you can hand on heart say the cat is happy and contented now and will be well looked after till the end of her days then I think let the situation be. Everyone will have to learn to live with the consequences and their consciences.

fortheloveofcats Fri 07-Aug-15 07:51:53

Because he took her to the vet and they removed her uterus?

Janeymoo50 Fri 07-Aug-15 07:55:55

Ok, I'm going to ask the question op, do you have Mabel? I think Mabel is better off with her new owner, my only reservation is that regardless of their actions, which were cruel, I would hate not knowing where my missing cat was. Two wrongs don't make a right.

tangledyarn Fri 07-Aug-15 08:01:23

If you are sure of the facts then the previous owners should definitely not get her back. She sounds lovely and happy where she is..I can't imagine leaving my cats to fend for themselves..horrible.
A few months ago I acquired a stray..I did look for the owners for a couple of weeks ..made posters and used Facebook sites etc but soon gave up..stray was unwell, flea ridden, unchipped and unneutered.

Plateofcrumbs Fri 07-Aug-15 08:02:03

I might take pity on the couple enough to leave an anonymous message to say the cat is well and happy but due to their poor treatment you do not feel it appropriate to return her.

msrisotto Fri 07-Aug-15 08:06:48

They can't be surprised that she's not there. If she was street smart, she'd have found herself some new slaves owners anyhow. I think they deserve to have lost her.

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