Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Homeless, Not Hopeless: Part Two

The Nomadic Feline
Back in 2003, a disheveled and wounded feline found his way to Hope Springs Resort, a boutique spa hotel in Desert Hot Springs, California. He’d been in a bloody battle, and by the looks of him, he wasn’t the victor.

He chose his sanctuary well, though. The owners of the aptly named hotel tended to his needs: cleaned up and nursed his injuries, fed him food and water, and bestowed him with a name. Thereafter Carbone, as he’d been christened, continued living on the streets and in the desert, but popped into Hope Springs from time to time for some TLC—especially after being terrorized by another cat or wild animal. “Live and let live” seemed to be the black cat’s motto.

The Defeated Warrior
Carbone was no kitten when he first appeared at Hope Springs, and nine years have since gone by. His ratio of outdoor time to indoor time—that is, solitary time to bonding-with-humans time—has flipped. He now sleeps in the bed of the resident hotel dog or with hotel guests in their rooms; he uses a litter box, and relies completely on hotel staff to provide his nourishment. He still roams outside periodically (the staff have no foolproof way of keeping him inside), but clearly Carbone’s need for outdoor freedom pales when compared to his need for consistent care and companionship.

Though he came from the streets, Carbone is neither aggressive nor assertive enough to defend himself. Hector, his canine pal at Hope Springs, defends him by chasing other cats off the property, but can’t protect him if Carbone wanders off by himself. The result? Carbone returns to Hope Springs, as he did again last week, with new wounds demanding veterinary attention (and the dreaded cone). This is the second time in the past 10 months that Carbone has met with disaster on the streets, and his ability to bounce back from these altercations has substantially diminished.

The Resort Pet
Carbone’s health and safety are at risk in the desert, especially as he ages. It’s time for him to transition to an indoor life.

Visitors and staff at Hope Springs continue to come and go, yet Carbone remains. The current hotel staff believe that the best gift they can offer him is a new home where he can rely on one set of people for affection, care, and comfort—a home where he can be an indoor-only, only cat so feline fighting becomes a distant memory for him; a home where consistency and permanence replace irregularity and transience. He has a lot of years left in him and deserves so much more than he can get from the hotel.

Spread the Word

Let’s get the message out that an American Shorthair is looking for someone to love. Here are his vitals: Carbone has a black coat complemented with some white, yellow eyes, and misshapen ears thanks to the bullies of the ’hood. He’s been neutered and is in overall good physical health. He’s a polite traveler and gets into his carrier without a fuss. Though he has his claws, he’s never used them on anything inside—only on the palm trees outside (the desert’s answer to a scratching post).

Yes, there will be a transition period for Carbone to acclimate to being an indoor-only cat in an entirely new environment. For instance, unless his new people have a palm tree in their living room, he’ll have to be introduced to scratching posts and learn how to use them. But he is not a feral cat and should be able to adjust without a lot of drama or mistakes.

Won’t you help Carbone find a safe haven—a place where he’s not challenged and beaten down by his own kind, where he can relax indoors and finally share his loving personality with people he can call his own?

Get Carbone a Home
As I wrote yesterday, this week is “Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week.” And Carbone certainly falls into that category: He’s black, he’s older, and his pacifist traits nearly qualify him as special-needs. Honor the week by helping this adoption-challenged feline get adopted.

For anyone who has questions about Carbone or interest in adopting him, call 760 329 4003, e-mail manager at hopespringsresort dot com, or go to the Hope Springs Resort Facebook page.

[Pics by N. J. Jackson.]

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