People often think that people experiencing homelessness don’t have pets; that’s simply not true. Think about it, you live in the woods, and you find a kitten. You might be the only person who has found this kitten, fed it, or cared for it. Well, that how our friends got Nova.
Nova is a well behaved, leashed trained cat. People experiencing homelessness often have to adapt their pets to their lifestyle, so Nova has a harness, a leash, and a soft cat carrier which acts as her kennel. When you take the bus, you must have your cat in a carrier, no exceptions. Keeping up with your cat in public spaces is important because you may have to travel from place to place to get resources. Leash training a stray kitten is far easier than an adult cat, and if you’re not sure if your tent gets to be in the same place every week, it’s a very viable solution to being a responsible pet owner.
Nova has toys in her carrier. She has a water and food dish. Food is kept in a special compartment in Angela’s bookbag. She has a harness, a leash, a cute collar and has been trained to wiggle her back end when she needs to go outside. She is loved and doted on. She has her own bed in the tent, but prefers to sleep with her humans. She’s just like my cat, except my cat is much less doted on, doesn’t have a leash or a cool carrier, and deals with adversity with the grace of a 2 legged stool.
During the hurricane, there was nowhere for this family to go. Most shelters didn’t accept pets, so we had to make special accommodations for them in a private home of a friend. They were going to stay outdoors to make sure that their pet could be with them and didn’t get lost or hurt in the storm. That’s more than many home-owners do, and we’re proud of them for that.
Nova also needs cat food. Her family has managed to provide for her, but they’ve been very low on food lately, so if you have some adult kitty food that your cat snubs, we can put it to good use with Nova’s family. She’s a very low key, undemanding kitty, so she’s also not very finicky.
Pets are family members. They need love, food, water and a place to poop. That’s about it (and the occasional booster/medical care). We love our pets, and so do people whose pets are their lifeline to reality, their rock, and their reason for waking up everyday.