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Cat Defender

Exposing the Lies and Crimes of Bird Advocates, Wildlife Biologists, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, Exterminators, Vivisectors, the Scientific Community, Fur Traffickers, Cloners, Breeders, Designer Pet Purveyors, Hoarders, Motorists, the United States Military, and Other Ailurophobes

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

El Cerrito's Bureaucrats Distinguish Themselves by Showing Compassion for a Waif Known as Bootsie

"You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats."
-- Old American Proverb

Politicians and bureaucrats are not generally known for looking kindly upon either stray or feral cats. Their normal reaction is to get rid of them. (See Cat Defender posts of October 20, 2005 and October 26, 2006 entitled, respectively, "After Ridding Ohio Statehouse of Rats, Cats Now Find Themselves Facing Eviction" and "South Africans Evict Cats from Parliament in Cape Town and Imprison Them in Mandela's Old Hellhole.")

The bureaucrats at City Hall in El Cerrito, a small town of twenty-three-thousand residents located thirteen kilometers outside of Oakland, are a pleasant exception to that normally ironclad rule in that they have adopted a black stray named Bootsie as one of their own. (See photo above.)

Not much is known about the little waif other than that he started visiting City Hall about three years ago and subsequently accompanied the politicians and bureaucrats when they moved to their new temporary home up the street back in November. It is believed, however, that his previous owner resided in the vicinity of the old City Hall before abandoning him to the street for whatever reason.

Rather than giving him the bum's rush, city workers are positively delighted that he decided to accompany them to their new digs. "He figured it (the new location) out himself," Susan Griffin of Community Development told the Contra Costa Times on December 30, 2006. (See "Stray Feline Is the Cat's Meow at City Hall.")

She was not, however, always so certain that Bootsie would be able to find his way to the new workplace. In fact, she even got down on her hands and knees with a bowl of food in an unsuccessful attempt to coax him to follow her.

He now resides underneath the city manager's trailer while Griffin and other workers generously supply him with food, water, toys, medicine, and flea powder at their own expense. In return, he helps to boost morale by providing them with plenty of unconditional love and relief from stress. He is also reported to be a pretty good mouser.

He "pretty much has warmed his way into our hearts," Griffin told the Times. "He's definitely adopted us. He's part of the family now."

Building inspector Darryl Murray could not agree more. "He's a great little guy if you get to know him," he said. Not wanting him to go without turkey, Murray even made a special trip to the old City Hall on Thanksgiving in order to offer him some but was chagrined to learn that someone had already left him "a great big pile."

"He's a pleasure to have around," personnel technician Cheryl Mosby told the Times. "He brings smiles to our faces."

Although there has been some discussion concerning turning him over to a shelter in an attempt to find him a permanent home, nothing definite has been decided so far. Hopefully, he will be allowed to either remain at City Hall or one of the employees will adopt him.

Not only would sending him to a shelter be awfully stressful for him, but such facilities are riddled with disease. More importantly, there is not any guarantee that he would ever make it our alive. The staff could kill him or a vivisector or some other abuser right adopt him for nefarious reasons.

Since El Cerrito enjoys mild weather year-round, the elements are not a problem. Dogs, motorists, and ailurophobes are serious concerns, however, for any homeless cat.

The best thing that the employees could do for Bootsie would be to create a space inside City Hall where he could stay as public libraries do for their resident felines. That way he would have a secure place to live. Of course, if one of them wanted to adopt him that would be great also.

The employees are to be commended for the compassion and care that they have shown him. It would have been easy for them to have called Animal Control and had him exterminated but they chose not to take the easy way out. They instead opened up their hearts to him and he has enriched their lives every bit as much as they have enhanced his.

It is sincerely hoped that the commitment that they have made to him will be one that endures.

Photo: Mark DuFrene of the Oroville Mercury-Register.