I am very sad because Needy Cat, one of my favorite cats from the cat cafe, hasn’t been seen by us or the cat cafe employees in almost a month.

Ron and two kitties

Needy is the tiger-striped cat in the front of this picture. (Friendly Cat, sitting behind her, is her daughter.) Needy isn’t her real name–her Chinese name is 妞媽 (niū mā, or little mom) because of her sweet and maternal nature. Ron and I call her Needy because she was one of the first cats to make friends with us and start following us up and down our street when we first moved here.

There have been a couple of disruptions that might have prompted Needy Cat to run off in the past few weeks. A temporary condo rental office on the corner of our street that had a courtyard where several cats used to hang out was demolished and turned into a job site, and it’s been unusually wet and cold for the last few weeks. Needy Cat, however, is close to the proprietor of the cat cafe, and she said in this blog entry that Needy wouldn’t just not show up to the cat cafe for weeks on end.

I hope Needy is okay. She’s lived in our neighborhood for almost five years and most people here recognize her on the street and seem to think quite highly of her. I’m hoping that someone took her in on account of the nasty weather, and for whatever reason just didn’t let the cat cafe know. Someone in the building behind us took in a cat recently–I’ve heard it plaintively meowing at a window–and I hope it’s her. But I do also recognize that there are all kinds of mishaps that an outdoor cat can run into, which fills me with anxiety.

On a tangentially related note, a friend of Ron who also loves cats inquired at the cat cafe about adopting someone, and apparently they gave him quite a grilling about his suitability as a pet owner. Ron’s friend is also American, which concerned the cat cafe because a lot of the cats abandoned there were previously owned by expats who decided not to take their pets with them when they left Taiwan.

I did not know that before, and I find it absolutely disgusting. One of the reasons Ron and I haven’t adopted a cat is because our lives are in flux–we plan to travel a lot once I start working again, and of course we are moving back to the States in a couple of years or so. I really believe that adopting a pet is almost like having a child; in fact, it is a dry run for raising a kid. If you have any reason at all to believe that you won’t be able to take care of an animal that can live up to twenty years (or more), then DON’T ADOPT A PET. It’s as simple as that.

Another thing that creeps me out is when people make declarations like “I’m a dog person, but I HATE cats,” or vice versa. I really don’t get it because I’m fascinated by animals in general. It just boggles my mind that people can conceive such a huge dislike for an animal just because they perceive them as being aloof or smelly or whatever. I believe that individuals who take things an animal innocently does personally are either paranoid or quite possibly insane. Don’t even get me started on the morons who scoff at pet owners who are upset because their pet is sick or recently passed away. People take in pets because they want an animal to dote on and adore. That’s why they’re called pets. Of course it’s depressing when something bad happens to them!

Anyway, I hope Needy Cat is okay, and if she’s wandered off to another neighborhood or been taken in by someone, I hope she’s being treated well.