I currently have 2 dogs and 2 cats, all of them strays. Well, the dogs aren’t strays anymore. They are recovering strays.
The cats? Maybe a little. One of them is feral; the other has a collar and had been abandoned. Neither of the cats recognize my ownership of the house. They openly scoff at the possibility of human supremacy, but they appreciate a porch and a meal. They defy the idea of lap sitting and so are my cats for meals only.
One of the dogs came to me from a jobsite. General was a little feral herself back then, but having lived in the world for awhile, she recognized the value of a wagging tail. She is part Healer and may be a reincarnated 19th century feminist. She does not a appreciate the female stereotypical role.
Either her feminism or her Healer nature have landed her on the wrong side of the law on more than one occasion. Soon after we got her she chased the child of one of Portland’s finest. The boy was taunting Jack and Gen darted out the front door to protect him. She was vindicated when the animal control officer heard her side of the story. This was just the first of her escapes and attempts to stop joggers and bikers who dared to pass down our street. She’s the only dog I know who has gotten the benefit of deferred adjudication.
I found Betsy in the middle of the Crosstown expressway. Literally. Somehow, she made her way across traffic and to the concrete median. If it hadn’t been on a Sunday with traffic light, I don’t know that she would have made it. The fact that she’s blind didn’t help her, either.
Numerous ads in the paper and calls to Lost Pet Hotline failed to find her owner. I think she belonged to a really old man who got sick and died and Betsy got out of the yard looking for him. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but General liked the story.
I was looking up a meaningful quotation about strays and ran across a quote by a man named Gregory Popovich. He runs a stray animal circus. There’s information about him and his show on his website www.comedypet.com.
“All my cats and dogs are strays that have been saved from animal shelters. Just like your pets, my four-legged companions are very special to me.” Popovich stated in an interview adding, “As a lover of animals, I strongly promote the practice of adopting a dog or cat from a local shelter. The contribution this practice makes to the animal world is indeed a life saver and the responsibility a child can learn from caring for a pet will endure a lifetime.”
So on a jobsite or an expressway or at an animal shelter, make eye contact with a stray. I had no idea that I would find such great friends when I met my girls.