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Mary Ellen and Miss Wings
Mary Ellen
Tips 'n' Tales Newspaper Columnist with Miss Wings

Patches Needs Prayers

courtesy photo©
Patches desperately needs your help! 
Time is of the essence!
Keep your eyes open for him; he is a 6-year-old, long haired, 60% white and patched with 40% Tabby markings. His four legs look like he is wearing long white gloves.


It is the policy of Tips 'n' Tales not to write about missing pets...but today is an exception.

Imagine waking up one morning and finding yourself on the empty set of the TV show Survivor, as the only participant...with no million dollar prize and no way to find food.

Or, what if someone decided they did not like a neighbor's 6 year old child, drove them to a lake and dropped them off to survive the summer?  A 6 year old child and a domesticated family pet have the same over whelming odds of survival against starvation and predatory animals...about 2%.

Patches is currently living this horror.  He is the much loved family pet of two very sad little boys.

Patches was intentionally trapped by a neighbor, then driven to a lake, and dumped by the road like yesterday's garbage.  What they did is illegal and can bring legal action.

Regarding intentionally abandoning a pet Janetta Overholser, President of Humane Society of Cottage Grove, "It is cruel! And it is against the law!"
OR State Law 167.340-- Animal abandonment: A person commits the crime of animal abandonment if the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence leaves a domestic animal at a location without providing for the animal's continued care.  It is a Class B misdemeanor.
What happens to most of the animals dumped?  Janetta explains, "They starve, or are hit by vehicles.  They become diseased, fearful and thirsty.  If lucky, they are killed. If not, they are injured and slowly die, or are eaten by predators. The predators will thank you for providing them with an easy meal."

Patches is a domesticated cat who is trained to find his food and water in one spot.  Domesticated for generations, he has no clue or instincts on how to survive in the wild.

Here is an example of the diminished survival instincts of domesticated cats: When newspaper columnist, Mary Ellen, was 9-years-old her mother spotted a mouse.  Horrified, her mother grabbed the family's spoiled  fat cat thinking, 'Here is a chance for Puddy-Tatt to pay for his room and board!" 

Her mother put Puddy-Tatt down in front of the mouse.  As soon as the tiny mouse and fat cat spotted each other, they both instantly, in unison, leaped 3 feet in the air ... turned ... and ran in opposite directions.  The wild mouse had the survival instinct to run, but the cat did not have the instinct to chase and catch the mouse for food.

To make matters worse; Years ago, Patches was hit by a car and the injuries resulted in a very slow gait.  He does not move fast enough to flee wild animals.  Patches neighbors admitted to his guardian, Renee, that they dropped him off at Dorena Lake, just outside of Cottage Grove, Oregon. Once again, what they did is illegal and cruel.

When you are at Dorena Lake, or ten miles north or south of there, please keep your eyes open for Patches.  He is trying to find his way home...without a compass.  Last weeks,  electrical storms will have spooked him to run. He may have traveled north, south, east or west from where he was cruelly abandoned on Row River Road just before Harms Park.

Patches will not look the same. He will be much thinner, and his long fur will now be tangled with briers and tree pitch.  He will be skittish because his trust in humans has been shattered.  If you see him, immediately phone Renee so she can rush out, call for and rescue Patches.  942-9700

"We are hoping for Patches safe return.  We want to educate people that they have options available instead of abandoning animals," emphasizes Renee.  "Take stray animals to the  Humane Society or County Animal Service shelters so they can be placed back in their homes or new homes."

Janetta suggests, "If you see animal abuse/neglect/abandonment, inside city limits, notify the local police.  Outside city limits, contact Lane County Animal Services.  Get descriptions; person, vehicle, license number, etc.  The more information, the more chance the authorities can prosecute."


Declaw a cat?  Why?  It is painful and there are healthy alternatives! 

Visualize tearing or pulling your finger and toe nails out and consider how many days of pain would ensue.  It is worse for a cat.
Declawing cats also involves removing a small joint. Imagine the pain for cats to walk on their feet after they wake up from surgery. Currently, California is trying to pass a bill on the cruel procedure to make declawing cats illegal.

Scratching is natural for cats.  Honor their need to scratch.  Over 50 years, none of my many cats were declawed, and none of our furniture was torn up. We cheaply built scratching posts and put them in several rooms.  As kittens, the cats knew to use the scratching post, and not the fur-niture.
Even an adult cat, new to your home, can easily adust to a scratching post.  It is natural chiropractic care for a cat to stretch its body, and mark territory with scratching.  Give cats a viable option making both of you happy.
Clawing is a sign of marking for a cat.  Even declawed cats instinctively scratch things. Design your scratching post tall enough for them to reach up and fully extend their body.  Cats love a 36" tall or taller scratching post, and indignantly walk by a 2 foot one. Check the internet for ideas.

Initially, attract your cats to their new post by brewing a cup of catnip tea and blotting it onto the scratching post.

Recently, a Californian Tips 'n' Tales reader's inside declawed cat escaped outside and was chased by dogs. As a natural defense, cats claws hook into tree bark, like spikes on a logger's boots so they can climb up a tree. An ugly scene ensued when the cat unsuccessfully tried to escape up a tree. A neighbor ran to the cat's rescue, chased the dogs away, but the cat  died in her arms.  
Cats need their claws. Even indoor cats occasionally sneak outside, and when it happens, they need all their natural defenses in tack.  Thank goodness Patches at least has his claws.

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