Many of us know what hoarders are and recognize them when we notice them in our neighborhood. If you aren't familiar with this term, you should learn. Hoarders of animals collect more animals than they can care for or feed. There may be emaciated animals hanging around their home and the smell coming from the house may be terrible.
However, having a lot of cats doesn't make someone a hoarder. If all the cats are getting proper food, live in a clean environment and get medical attention, then the person that cares for them is simply a cat lady (or man). You may know a few of these folks as well. Cats bring so much to our lives that devoted all our time to caring for a group of them can be very rewarding. I just read a funny email from a woman who never expected to become a cat lady, but must admit that it has happened to her.
Paula Robinson writes that she never meant to have 15 cats, it just seemed to happen. She was happy with her two outside cats, Amber and Simba. Then one day a beautiful tuxedo/Persian arrived and she named the stray Oreo and cared for him as well. When he was hit by a car and killed three years later, Paula was so brokenhearted that she adopted two more cats, Scooter and Scamper. They became inside cats.
A neighbor brought them an ill kitten and she nursed him back to health. Lucky, an orange tabby, then became a permanent indoor resident as well. Then a few months later the neighbor arrived with four feral kittens. Two found a home, but Moonshadow and Andre Norton stayed with Paula.
A Scottish fold looking for an adoptive home outside of the grocery was too irresistible to refuse, so Paula brought home Tigger. Sheila, a green-eyed Persian was adopted from the ASPCA when Amber, the outdoor cat was feared lost for weeks. Upon Amber's return, all cats became indoor cats which was lucky for Tommy and Pippin who were left behind when the neighbors moved away. Paula said, "NO MORE CATS."
Things didn't end here though. Two more strays, Buffy and Daisy arrived at the door and Daisy stayed. Another neighbor's cat had kittens and two of the cats, Ming and Galadriel came inside to live. Paula said "NO MORE CATS EVER."
Its hard to say if Paula will be able to resist another needy soul, but so far she's sticking to her word. She takes very good care of her cats. They all have their shots and they are cleaned up after constantly. However, Paula admits that she truly is "the cat lady."
Until next time...
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