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What I thought when I saw the utility pole

August 24, 2014

 

utility-pole-with-staples

“Boy, that’s a lot of missing cat posters”.

That was really my first thought when I saw the wooden utility pole in a Fairview alley ringed by a haphazard band of staples at head height.

A cold thought for such a warm August afternoon but it was the voice of experience.

Utility poles on main streets and thoroughfares may get plastered with bright upbeat posters; advertising everything from nightclubs to shoe sales but in the back alleys the postering is largely restricted to letter-size notices with tear-off phone number tabs — some for moving trucks and “fixit” people  but most are concerned with lost cats.

Feeling bad for people missing their missing cats

cat-poster-01

The pineapple is probably also gone by now. Two too many losses for one household.

A lot of apartment dwellers in Fairview have cats and judging by the steady stream of “missing” posters I see in Fairview’s back alleys, a number of those cats are always wandering and getting lost.

I can’t say how many go missing each year and unfortunately I can’t judge from the posters alone how many of those missing cats are getting found.

The original posters appear in the lanes and that’s generally it. There’s rarely a follow up telling the world that “Charley-is-my-darling was found on such-and-such a date in a motel room with a certain Siamese and thank you for your concern — kittens looking for a good home”.

Nothing to give a spectator closure.

The original posters just linger on poles, sometimes for months. The inkjet colours seemingly mirroring the owners hopes of finding their dear pets: so strong and bright to begin with but steadily fading over time until only the memory remains.

It has long been my apprehension that only a small percentage of missing cats were recovered but the American SPCA did some research two years ago that fortunately appears to prove me wrong.

“The cat came back” is happily a common refrain

cat-poster-02

“Has collar. Loves butter! Very independent”. I know people that fit that description.

In 2012 the The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) conducted a telephone survey of more than 1,000 pet-owning households across the United States to get a snapshot of how many pets were lost and found.

According to the ASPCA survey 15 percent of respondents had lost a cat or dog in the last five years (a lower number than expected) and 85 percent said they recovered their lost pet (much higher than expected).

Forty-nine percent of lost dogs were found by searching the neighbourhood. But searching only found 30 percent of the missing cats.

Fifty-nine percent of missing cats returned home on their own.

Motels are expensive. Click the image to enlarge it.

From → Fairview

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