Viewpoint - March 26, 2008

Guest Opinion: Stray cat the best deal in town

By John Schulte

I have always maintained that a pet can't be replaced; rather, a new addition helps to heal the loss.

About a year after the death of Muffin, our Himalayan, my wife and I decided to seek a new feline companion.

Marion, a very dear friend of ours who volunteers at the local humane society, suggested we "give a stray a chance." I am always amused by my clients who say they are just going to look at a litter but they still have not decided if they are going to get one. Life doesn't work that way.

We visited the Palo Alto Animal Services site and fell in love with an eight-week-old black kitten named Molly. We were told that she was already promised to another family but that was contingent upon the landlord's approval. We were granted "second hold" on her; if the first family did not claim her by 4 p.m. Friday, she was ours on Saturday morning. We were like children waiting for Christmas. When the doors opened on Saturday my wife was present to adopt our new ward.

Molly is now four months old and has taken over the house in the manner that only cats exhibit. Feeding her stimulates bursts of energy enabling the antics unique to felines. This includes the mugging of her new fur pal Cooper, a two-year-old Labrador retriever who endures her mock attacks.

His tail provides a never-ending source of assails and they both find great delight when she grabs his massive head with both her front paws.

Before acquiring Molly we anticipated spending about $800 to $1,000 for a purebred Himalayan. As a veterinarian, I tell my clients that the purchase price is often the least cost of pet ownership. I was astounded upon reviewing the services included in our $100 adoption fee at the Humane Society. I called several local veterinary hospitals for price quotes and calculated the average of the following costs:

1. Office call and initial examination $48.50

2. Flea treatment (6 month supply of Advantage) 74.90

3. Stool examination and worming 72.57

4. First vaccination for feline distemper 21.70

5. Feline leukemia blood test 40.54

6. Micro chip insertion and registration 68.20

7. Spay 210.00

8. Total $536.41

Our friend was correct. Giving a stray a chance has not only given us a wonderful new family member but, thanks to the Palo Alto Animal Services, verified that Molly is the best deal in town.

John Schulte is a Portola Valley veterinarian.


Posted by Don, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 26, 2008 at 2:34 pm

I'm so glad Dr. Schulte and Cooper have Molly to brighten their lives. What surprised me in reading this is not that Molly is such a joy, but that the writer -- a veterinarian at that -- would have even considered buying a pet from a breeder.

With all the cats, dogs, kittens and puppies "disposed" of like so much trash and desperately needing homes, I think supporting the pedigreed pet business is irresponsible, and the industry itself shameful.

Those of you who want a dog or cat to love and to add joy to your lives, please rescue one instead of buying one from a business that breeds them for high profits. Dr. Schulte neatly detailed the cost savings, and I thank him for that. But much more than saving money is at stake. These trashed creatures need homes. Be a hero and rescue one.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields