Monday, August 29, 2011

Introducing Tesla

Strange, how life works.  Driving to work last Wednesday morning, I came across a large dog running along the side of the road.  Obviously, he'd been dumped out by his owner, and he was literally running scared.  I stopped my car beside him, but he gave me a glare, and stood there stiff-legged and stiff-tailed, so I didn't dare approach him.  I got out of my car and knelt down in the hopes he would come towards me, but he just circled me from afar.  It was clear I wasn't going to make any head-ways with him.

We watched each other for a few moments until I drove off, worrying about his eventual fate.  Had he been friendly and up for a ride, I'd have had no problem picking him up and taking him to our local no-kill shelter. Alas, there was no way I would nor could coax an unwilling 80+ pound dog into my car.

Visions of the dog, scared and running, stayed with me all day at work.  Pet abandonment is a huge problem in Quebec, more so that other places, because of a lack of legislation and enforcement.  To add to the tribulations,  backyard breeders and puppy mills are prolific here.  I could launch into a political diatribe about what needs to be done, but it would fall onto deaf ears in this province anyhow.

That evening, Eric needed to go out and make a last-minute purchase before the stores closed.  I decided to tag along for the ride, and as we were driving home along a long stretch of corn fields, our headlights caught the eyes of what we assumed would be a raccoon.  As we drove slowly by, those little eyes were framed by a pair of cat's ears, and Eric and I looked at each other with cocked heads and raised eyebrows.  It was either pick him up or let him become coyote fodder.  It's not hard to figure out how things turned out.

Well, it looks like we have a new cat:

We think Tesla is about 5 months old.  Someone had cut most of his whiskers off and trimmed all of his claws to the quick - he also sports a nice abrasion on his upper lip and lower jaw, and the canine on the same side is broken off, so he might have had a touch of heavy-metal syndrome (read:  run-in with a car, or maybe his former owners didn't have the common decency of stopping the car while they threw him out.)  His spine and ribs were very evident, and he was obviously hungry by the amount of food and water he consumed.  He spent his first night in the kitchen, segregated from the others while I monitored him.  I gave him a flea treatment, like my vet said I should do with any stray we should come across and bring into the home.  He's a mellow little guy, terrified of loud voices, but the kind of cat you can do pretty much anything with.  I've started brushing him regularly, and it's surprising the amount of cuts and abrasions he had.  Who knows how long he'd been fending for himself.

The little dude is adapting quickly.  Cooper's not too sure what to think, and Tesla's stranded poor Cooper upstairs on more than one occasion by deciding to sleep on the stairs.  Cooper's too afraid to go by, but from watching Tesla's reaction, he's more afraid of Cooper than Cooper is of him.  Poor Cooper.  Down another notch on the totem pole again.

The other morning, BobCat even gave Tesla the same chirp he used to give Popina when he was up to playing with her.  That's a good sign.

So Tesla is living proof that nature abhors a vacuum.


Ron said...

Greetings, little dude. Live long and prosper.

MO is knows as the 'puppy-mill state'. Our crooning doggie came from the side of the road as well.

Shim Farm said...

Yup, live long and prosper. I'll tell Tesla your greeting.

Every pet I've ever had was a stray. They make the best pets as far as I'm concerned. They're also drawn to me like misery to the world, for some strange reason. I must have a homing beacon on my head or something.

Good on ya for picking up strays, too. I've heard about MO's puppy mills; a friend bought a dog with papers from MO. It took me a while to convince her she's bought a mill puppy. The fact he pooped in his cage for a year should have been a dead give-a-way.

Robin said...

What a beautiful cat. I look at his face and see a little Siamese mixed in him.

We haven't had a stray around here since Jack got dumped. We've seen some cats here and there but none that have hung around. I actually wonder if Jack runs off other strays now. Go figure.

Shim Farm said...

Both Eric and I said the same thing - there's some Siamese in there. I've actually never had a tabby before, and I've picked up a LOT of strays. It's amazing but he's really filled out already in the week we've had him, and his ears don't seem so disproportionate to his head for some reason. When we found him, he was all ears LOL!

Jack probably does fend off the strays. Our Howard beat the crap out of any cat who came near the property, but BobCat is much more accommodating. I've caught him licking Tesla a few times already. That makes me laugh because Bob is such a bruiser.

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