Somewhat against my better judgment, we spent Saturday visiting a local (translation: an hour up the freeway!) rescued animal shelter. What a miserable place it was! The constant howling from the dog section was quite troubling (I really don’t understand people who keep dogs. They are quite the most anti-social statement a neighbour could make, I think). But the palpable sense of doom experienced in the cat section was worse.
Don’t get me wrong: Renbury Farm is a fine place doing excellent work, and the people there seemed incredibly caring and knowledgeable. But so many of the cats were hiding at the back of their cages, scared out of their wits; some were practicaly feral and accordingly hissing and spitting at passers-by. All are under imminent sentence of death, basically: they have a week to be claimed or ‘adopted’ and then their time is up. Hence all the “Save by 3pm Monday” messages on the cat pages of their website (update: site now replaced by a Facebook page that isn’t quite as time-alarming!).
Their resources are limited, of course, so they have no choice but to take them in, ship ’em out and cull the ones that can’t make the journey in time. But it’s sad. And made all the worse, because apparently clueless humans are the cause of all the grief in the first place.
Anyway, much as we’d have liked to be able to save a good four or five of them, we decided we could only realistically adopt two of them. Both males, both about 2 years old. One is to be called Owen:
Owen is named after Owen Wingrave, the eponymous hero of Benjamin Britten’s 1971 opera. He’s also named after Wilfrid Owen, since his official birthday is listed as August 4th and in the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, it seemed sort-of appropriate. Anyway, I like the name!
The other is Harper:
My sister tells me that people will think we named Harper after David Beckham’s daughter, someone of whose existence I was not previously aware. Folks that know me better will realise it’s an obvious allusion to the fact that it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird (or to be unkind to cats). Which is apparently where David got the name from, too, so we’re cool.
Both are currently at Renbury’s vets being de-wormed, vaccinated and (sorry, boys!) de-sexed. We pick them up tomorrow. I am unsure whether it is wise to replace long-time companion pets so soon after their demise, but I am looking forward to bringing them home nonetheless. Time will tell if the boys prove worthy successors to Lucretia and Gracie.