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Cat Defender

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Emotionally Scarred and No Longer Young but Still Every Bit as Beautiful as Ever, Tinka Is Seeking the Permanent Home That Has Eluded Her Throughout Her Turbulent Life

Tinka Has Been Waiting to Be Adopted for More Than Two Years

"Wir schatzen sie auf mindstens Zehn Jahre, und es wäre so schön, wenn sie ein liebevolles Zuhause findet und nicht länger ihr Dasein im Tierschutz fristen muss."
-- Kerstin Küster of Hände für Pfoten

A beautiful ten-year-old black female with a dainty white nose and a matching breast named Tinka has been cruelly sentenced to spend to spend the past two years of her life at a shelter in the Arnum section of Hemmingen, six kilometers south of Hannover in Niedersachsen. Every bit as troubling, there does not appear to be any white knight in shining armor in her immediate future who is going to intervene and magically put an end to her travails.

Not a great deal has been publicly divulged about her past but at one time she did have not only a guardian but one with a garden for her to romp in as well. "Leider hatte dieser jedoch schon eine Freigänger-Katze, und die beiden vertrugen sich gar nicht," Kerstin Küster of Hände für Pfoten (HfP) told the Hannoverische Allgemeine on May 10th. (See "Sensible Tinka sucht ein ruhiges Zuhause.")

It therefore is most likely safe to assume that she did not last for very long in that particular home because it would be unusual, although not totally unheard of, for an individual to get rid of a longtime resident feline in favor of a newcomer. If that indeed were the case, it is entirely possible that she has been shuttled between multiple households during her lifetime.

Not surprisingly, by the time that she turned up at HfP in April of 2016 she was an emotional wreck. That was so much the case that she did not want anything to do with either the staffers or the other cats at the facility.

If she had had the Unglück to have ended up at almost any shelter in the Vereinigten Staaten, her lack of congeniality would have resulted in an almost certain death sentence. Mercifully, there are some shelters and individuals in this world who think and behave differently.

In Tinka's case, staffers at HfP turned her around, not by lavishing her with treats, but rather by "das olle, klebrige und ungepflegte Fell loszuwerden." After that, she slowly began to voluntarily leave her cage and to sit with the other cats.

It also was immensely helpful that HfP provides its feline inmates with a garden for their enjoyment. "Heute darf sie sogar, als einzige überhaupt, in den Garten," Küster added to the Hannoverische Allgemeine.

Even though the dedicated staff at HfP has worked wonders with her and she indeed has made remarkable progress since her arrival, the emotional scars engendered by her turbulent past are seldom far from the surface. "Sie ist eine sehr vorsichtige, ängestliche, sensible Katze, die schnell überfordert ist," Küster told the Hannoverische Allgemeine.

Given that she is not only quiet and sensible but also getting on in years, HfP would prefer to place her in a home with and elderly caretaker who is knowledgeable about cats. She would not fare well in a house full of loud, rambunctious, and obnoxious children but it is believed that she would get along fine with an elderly and quiet dog so long as it left her alone.

As far as other cats are concerned, the charity has been considerably less forthcoming on that matter and instead has only stated that they would not be essential for her happiness. Considering her past history, however, placing her in a home with other cats would be problematic at best.

Since she prizes her freedom and the great outdoors, a home with a garden would be crucial to her happiness. She accordingly needs a caretaker who is able to stay home with her and thus to stroke, treat, and groom her throughout the day.

In spite of her belated adjustment to life behind bars at HfP, the fact remains that a shelter is not a suitable domicile for most cats. "Wir schatzen sie auf mindstems Zehn Jahre, und es wäre so schön, wenn sie ein liebevolles Zuhause findet und nicht länger ihr Dasein im Tierschutz fristen muss," Küster summed up to the Hannovische Allgemeine.

Tinka's trials and tribulations also serve as a rather poignant reminder of just how far the care of cats still has to go before it can even begin to approach a level that could remotely be considered humane and compassionate. As things now stand, the world's treatment and thinking about them belongs in the Stone Age.

Most outrageous of all, the inalienable right of all cats and kittens to live remains outside the purview of the law. As a consequence, they continue to be annihilated in droves.

Even those fortunate enough to steer clear of society's killing fields often later fall victim to a lack of shelter, food, and veterinary care. C'est-à-dire, if they are not done in by the former, the latter is sooner or later sure to do the trick.

Even those cats blessed with owners do not fare all that much better. That is because, first of all, a large percentage of them are denied access to the great outdoors and instead are imprisoned for life in toxic and boring indoor environments.

Secondly, most of them nowadays are sterilized and even some of them are divested of their claws. Thirdly, their tiny bodies are invaded time and time again by greedy, unscrupulous veterinarians in order to administer unnecessary vaccinations as well as to implant often harmful microchips.

Fourthly and most egregious of all, once they become either elderly, sickly, or their presence is no longer desired, their owners simply pay veterinarians to whack them.

That long laundry list of simply outrageous cruelties and unconscionable abuse is old news, however. What Tinka's dilemma has focused attention on is mankind's totally inexcusable failure to even begin to acknowledge that all cats are individuals with different psychological makeups and histories.

Unless man can somehow be prevailed upon to stop looking down his crooked, disjointed schnoz at cats as only an aggregate of defenseless animals that he is at liberty to malign, exploit, abuse, and kill at will, little if any progress is ever going to be made in improving their lot in life. Au contraire, the naked abuse of the species is destined to continue unabated.

Through its willingness not only to spare Tinka's life but also to recognize her unique personality and history, HfP has taken an important first step on what is destined to be a long and winding road that will, hopefully, culminate in dramatically improving the lives of cats. It remains to be seen, however, just how many shelters and rescue groups are going to be willing to follow in its footsteps.

Finally, it goes almost without saying that Tinka would make a splendid addition to the life of any true lover of the species. For anyone still in need of convincing, it is important to remember that a loving and permanent home is nothing less than what she so richly deserves considering all the upheaval and turbulence that she she has been forced to endure.

Outfitted with the proper guardian and environment, it is beyond question that she soon would come out of her shell and blossom into the very special cat that she always has wanted to be if only the vicissitudes of life would have permitted. Anyone who therefore would be willing to offer Tinka a permanent home can contact HfP by telephone at 49-511-5101-58362 or by e-mail at info@haende-fuer-pfoten.net.

Photo: Kerstin Küster of Hände für Pfoten.