Canada day is also “moving day” in the province of Quebec, Canada, where leases expire and there is a mass exodus of people moving to their new apartments. Great news if your new lease allows you to bring your pet with you. But not so great if you are faced with the gut-wrenching decision of having to give up your cat or dog due to a no-pet clause. This is common in Quebec where only 4.2% of landlords accept dogs and pet-friendly accommodation is very hard to come by.
According to the Montreal SPCA, during the months surrounding moving day, July 1st, the number of animals abandoned at The SPCA nearly triples, from around 600 a month to approximately 1600.
In 1990 the Ontario government responded to a similar problem by enacting legislation to invalidate no-pet clauses in leases. But Quebec is still lagging behind in this regard, so in March 2015 the Montreal SPCA launched a provincial petition to invalidate no-pet clauses in residential areas and although this received overwhelming public support, the Quebec government failed to take action. Despite this setback, they are working hard through their Keeping Families Together campaign, to one day end the no-pet clause. There is wonderful advice on tips for looking for pet friendly accommodation, how to deal with your prospective landlord, as well as tenants’ rights and obligations.
While there are many responsible pet people out there, stories abound of cats being left in apartments by irresponsible pet owners with just enough food and water to last for a few days. Sometimes cats are just let out to roam, looking for their previous owners, scared and left to fend for themselves. It’s one thing if the new lease has a no-pet clause, but entirely another to abandon one’s pet, a family member, with no forethought for their wellbeing.
Moving day has touched us here at Chirpycats too. Three of our Chirpycats happen to be ‘July 1st’ cats and we are very happy that we could step in and give them a home.
Meet rambunctious brothers, Ollie and Baggy, also know as the “Yoots”. These little guys were just left in their apartment with only some dry kibble and one small bowl of water. They were subsequently adopted by a well-meaning person after his elderly cat died, but the adoption didn’t work out because they were just too hyper for his senior cat and they were returned to the veterinary clinic that we frequent, which acts as a shelter, mostly for abandoned cats. Read further, Ollie’s own story of how he and his brother, Baggy, came to stay with us.
The story of the two “Yoots”
My name is Ollie (left in photo) and my brother, Baggy and me, were left alone in our apartment when our humans went away. There was a lot of noise at first but then silence, for many days. We ate the leftover food and drank some water from the bowl but soon there was nothing left. A nice kind lady finally saw us and we went to stay in a place where there were many, many cats all in cages. We were so scared and confused. Where were we, what was this place? Some people came to look at us and we went to stay with them for a while, but this was not our forever home. The senior cat would not play with us. We went back to live in cages and I got very sick, while my brother’s eyes were always infected. People came and people went, inspecting our cages, but we never left. I guess they didn’t like the way we looked, our coats were unkempt and our noses were always runny.
Six months went by for what seemed like more than nine lifetimes, but one day there were more people who came over to see us. I stared at them through the cage, trying to look my handsome best, putting on my best Puss-in-Boots eyes. I forgot about my snotty nose for that moment and told my brother to sit up straight and look cute. We were just staring out and transfixing our eyes on our two human visitors. The lady said “Oh he looks like Oliver the orphaned boy” and the man said: “We’re taking them”. I didn’t know what that meant but they left us and I felt embarrassed for even thinking that we were cute ‘forever-home’ candidates.
The nice staff there continued to give our medications but nothing was working. Finally, after two weeks, the same people came by to take us home and we were so excited! They came back for us! This was our Gotcha day and it was decided that we would go to our forever home anyway, in the hope that a little tender loving care would fix us. All of a sudden we were in a room that was so much bigger than that cage with places to climb and stretch! We received chin rubs round the clock and I felt my purr machine started functioning again. Within days my nose cleared up and my brother’s eyes healed and within the following weeks, we were introduced to our new cat clan. It was so exciting to explore bigger territory and meet all the other cats. It took about two weeks for all of us to figure out our titles, and by unanimous decision it was declared that we, the brothers, also know as the Yoots, are the leaders of the Chirpycats clan. The leaders in everything new, exciting, breakable, bendable, edible and vertical!
If you like our story, stay tuned for my housemate, Charlie’s story. He, like us, is also a July 1st cat. Not all of us have a clear history or story to tell, but there are many cats like us that need forever loving homes. We hope that all the cats out there can be as lucky as we are and end up in a happy home with so much to live for, instead of stuck in a cage. Smooches and headboops to all the kitties and woofies out there, and Happy Canada Day to all our Canadian friends! from Ollie and Baggy!
Love from Ollie Bear