Animals that have spent their entire adulthood together should live together forever, especially when they are surrendered together. These are circumstances that The Buddy Foundation does not like to hear about, but they are a stark reality.
When give ups or abandonments happen in pairs, The Buddy Foundation strives to keep the felines together. What could be worse? First losing what they thought was their forever home, and then losing their best buddy, the one they grew up with.
Sadly, this is an all too common occurrence. Economics can account for some stories of abandonment, but not all of them. We have to strive to do a better job of taking care of these helpless felines. Felines do not do better than dogs when abandoned. They can't find food in a frozen Dumpster. A household feline cannot even fend well for itself when crossing a perilous street.
They get cold, hungry, exhausted and then they die because no one cares.
The felines that find their way to Buddy fare much better, but even the surrenders -- for both legitimate and ridiculous reasons -- leave our felines heartbroken. Sometimes they recover, sometimes not. I am always surprised by a feline's ability to forgive unkind acts or abandonment. Perhaps there is a life lesson in it for us humans.
One reason for abandonment or give up I will never understand is "My lease or condo agreement does not allow pets of any kind." This excuse is avoidable. It is called read the fine print! Do not learn the exclusions after you signed on the dotted line and signed a lease or condo agreement.
A condo agreement is especially troubling. You are making a significant investment. You need to know the contents of the document that will bind you as long as you own the home.
You need to know the terms and conditions of the document and what your legal rights are. That means you are consulting with an attorney. So how do you not know that this condo association is not a pet-friendly place?
I have also heard the excuse, "The condo association has changed its rules." You should be grandfathered in. You are being bullied by a larger entity with more legal savvy, but you fight back. You consult an attorney, but you never surrender your animals without a fight.
That is the plight of todays featured feline. The condo association changed rules midstream. "The cats must go," and so they did. When you have multiple animals, how do you make the choice of who stays and who goes?
Buddy recently took back a feline that was adopted many years ago. And how could we say no to his feline friend that was adopted from another source when they had lived in the same household and returned like useless belongings.
Please welcome todays featured felines.
Occi is a 9-year-old, domestic shorthair, gray tabby who was adopted from Buddy in 2009. He has been returned to Buddy with his sibling, who was adopted from another shelter. Occi's owner moved into a complex that only allows two animals, and since he already had two dogs, Occi and his sibling had to go.
Occi is a wonderful, friendly cat who loves people and will make anyone a great lap cat. He also gets along with other cats.
Riley is a beautiful, orange and white, domestic shorthair. He was brought to the shelter by a family member who said he was in an abusive home and being harassed by the dogs. They said it was not a safe environment for Riley.
Riley came to Buddy with a broken jaw. Dr. Claude Gendreau of the Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove performed the surgery and Riley is well on the road to recovery. He is a great cat and would make a wonderful addition to any household.
• The Buddy Foundation is a nonprofit (501c3), all volunteer, no-kill animal shelter dedicated to the welfare of stray, abused and abandoned cats and dogs. Call (847) 290-5806 or visit thebuddyfoundation.org.