Sad story

On Friday, I talked to a guy I knew from trialing. I’ve tried to contact him over the past six months or so, but got no response. I hadn’t seen him listed in any running orders in some time now so I know he hasn’t been trialing.

He’s now selling all of his Border Collies and sheep because he doesn’t want to have to keep up with them. He never did train much, blamed it on lack of a place to train. He has a lot of dogs, some of which are not going to be able to be sold or placed due to age or temperament issues. I had talked to him about going up there on Sunday to look at his dogs and sheep, but he never called to set a time (no surprise there). Last year, because he was short on kennel space, I took a young bitch of his for a while to try to work her. She was very, very shy and didn’t have a lot of confidence. I had a nice pet home lined up for her, but he decided he wanted to keep her, why, I don’t know, except I think maybe he wanted to breed her at some point. He tried a few times to trial her, but she’s not and likely never will be a trial dog.

This is so reminiscent of my cat showing days. People with more animals than they have time or ability to care for. I always said while I was showing cats, if these people were limited to the number of cages they could keep in their household, then they’d have to limit the number of cats they kept. You cannot keep a large number of free-roaming cats in your house, especially intact cats, without fights and lots of breeding. So, their cats are kept in cages, some 24/7. Sometimes the cages are nice and roomy, some even have their own rooms, others, unfortunately, are kept in cages the size of a 36″ dog crate.

I still remember as vividly as it happened yesterday what I found when I first stepped into the household of the woman I stayed with when I first moved to Charlotte, a fellow cat breeder. She had a decent cattery set-up, but it was far (FAR!) less than clean. She had floor-to-ceiling stud cages, which would have been nice if they were clean. She also had smaller compartment-type cages that she called queening cages. These cages had no windows or other openings once the door was closed, they were essentially dark boxes. I opened one up thinking it was storage only to find two cats in there with filthy litter boxes. I won’t go much more into detail, but she had some 30-odd cats, many were sick and some had serious temperament issues. It was horrible. While I was there I helped her clean it up. After I left, I came back to find it back in the same state. After that I told her I could no longer associate with her, it was too upsetting for me.

My cats and dogs don’t know how good they have it; I care for them as they should be cared for.