Petfinder Fail

It’s like they want to euthanize this poor guy:


There was no fucking effort in that at all. There is a ton of farmland around Apollo, Pa. How about this:

“Rugged mouser looking for barn work. Capable of taking care of self with minimal food and attention, and a rugged Maine Coon who can handle inclement weather.”

Not to mention, you can rehabilitate some ferals.

BTW- I may need an intervention. I only found that bio because I was searching petfinder for Maine Coons in the region.

83 replies
  1. 1
    cathyx says:

    You have plenty of room for more cats.

  2. 2
    catclub says:

    How about: Just needs some TLC and vowels.

  3. 3
    lige says:


  4. 4
    Citizen_X says:

    @catclub: Seriously. They just want to kill him because nobody can pronounce his name.

  5. 5
    Keith G says:

    Of course there is always..

    Rugged mouser looking to wipe out area songbirds.

    Outdoor cats are very efficient and non-discriminatory killers.

  6. 6
    kc says:


    Well, he does. He’s got a house with at least three bedrooms, I’ll bet. I’d say he could accommodate 8-10 cats, no problem!

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    For people who want a cat but don’t want a cat.

  8. 8
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Maybe they tried the “trick ’em” approach the first time. And after his return, they thought it might be better to be honest.

  9. 9
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    I may need an intervention.

    You’ll be Mainelining them soon.

  10. 10
    khead says:

    Our SweetPea was a feral. She now sleeps between us on her own pillow. Every night.

  11. 11
    NotMax says:


    10 cats?

    Would be able to smell his house from here when the wind was right.

  12. 12
    Betty Cracker says:

    I like your rewrite. Maybe you should volunteer to write / revise their copy? If nothing else, it would give you first dibs on dozens of furry monsters.

  13. 13
    Cassidy says:

    @NotMax: They have a tv show about people like that. It’s not flattering.

  14. 14
    kc says:


    Okay, make it 8.

    Granted, he’d have to scoop the litter boxes religiously . . .

  15. 15
    shelly says:

    I predict a John Cole road trip

  16. 16
    Princess Leia says:

    Maybe he could go and live with the guy who has your car- lots of land there and a place to live- just leave the car door open. It isn’t a totaled car, its a cat condo!

  17. 17
    cathyx says:

    @kc: No. He just needs several.

  18. 18
    Violet says:

    Go get him, John.

  19. 19
    Elizabelle says:

    They couldn’t name him Zzyzx and pose him next to the litterbox “he refuses to use”?

    Did they mention his toxemia threat, and that he’s standing in what used to be a 3-BR cottage before his claws went to work?

  20. 20
    RoonieRoo says:

    Honestly, I find it refreshing that they are honest about his personality. That makes it more likely he will be adopted by someone that can be a good home.

    Our Sasha was a feral for many years before she came to us and it took a solid year before we could even pet her. We had her for 10 more years and she was the ultimate love cat and would ride on your shoulders. But we are very experienced with cats and she would not have been adoptable to the typical home.

  21. 21
    kc says:

    Oh, my God, look at this:

    Curse you, John Cole, for making me look.

  22. 22
    kc says:


    Okay . . . three?

  23. 23
    Comrade Mary says:

    This is still one of the greatest and most honest cat ads ever.

    Are You Worthy?

    Here’s where we separate the superficial kitty-huggers from the serious lovers of real cats. Banana has had a really rough life. It shows. His ears are disfigured by frostbite, and by wounds sustained during the course of the world’s worst ear-mite infection. Several of his teeth have broken against the hard life of the street. He drools sometimes. He hides a lot. Scars and scabs and shaved veterinary clear-cuts range across his body.

    The fur will grow back, of course. The scabs are healing even now. And he’s a solid cat. Everything that isn’t scar tissue is muscle. His ears will be forever twisted, though. He is doomed to pad through the rest of his life being mistaken for a Scottish Fold.

    But what a heart he has. Oh, what a heart.

    Dragged from his refuge in the linen closet, he purrs instantly upon contact. Once you have begun scritching those twisted ears, he firmly and insistently head-butts you should your rhythm falter. Sometimes he will not eat unless he is being scritched; then he snarfs for a regiment (pausing now and then to glance around, as if fearful of the reappearance of old ghosts). When he comes to trust you he will lie on your bed with his belly to the sun and all four limbs stretched in ecstacy.

    This cat is a goddamned hero. If you’re looking for some cute and symmetrical plaything to go ga-ga over, something with the depth of Paris Hilton and brains to match, move along. You don’t deserve this one. But if you can provide a safe haven to a bruised and stoic predator, and treat him with the respect he deserves— if you ask not what Banana can offer you, but what you can offer Banana— then give us a call.

    Maybe— just maybe— you have what it takes.

    However, it was a total failure because the guy who wrote it decided he wanted to keep the cat.

  24. 24
    max says:

    I may need an intervention

    Which intervention is this? #2 or #3? Does it have to be all the same time or serially?

    Not to mention, you can rehabilitate some ferals.

    Depends on how old they are, and also male or female. If this one was assigned to a barn, likely he might be nice enough to rub on you when you brought food.

    It’s like they want to euthanize this poor guy:

    Dude. The local humane society’s rescue rate is 76% of dogs and 28% of cats. Meaning the other 72% are euthanized. Every month. Two many kittens, not enough owners. (I don’t think they do fix and release around here – pity.)

    They’re not going to put too much effort into an adopt and return situation when they have tons of sweetheart non-ferals that actually bonded to humans.

    [‘That’s the math, man.’]

  25. 25
    Violet says:

    From the shelter’s website:

    Kiski Valley Cat & Kitten Rescue is a no-kill cat shelter

    They’re not going to euthanize him.

  26. 26
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Princess Leia: The car is still in the field? Seriously?

    So, the car gets run off the road, rolls, and ends up in a farmer’s field. Six weeks later, or whatever it’s been, it’s still out there.

    I’m going to have to visit that part of the world some day. I thought people were exaggerating about stuff like that.

    Out where I’m from they’d be analyzing the lack of tire marks in the crops to prove that there’s no way that this car could have gotten in this field unless aliens put it there to send us a message.

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    Our Annie had kind of a weird backstory that I’m still not sure I completely understand: she wasn’t actually feral, but she somehow ended up living with a feral colony, so she is pretty distrusting of humans (until she wants her belly rubbed for 30 minutes straight, that is — somehow, we’re trustworthy enough for that).

    Not to encourage John to go down this road, but our experience was that former ferals (or feral adjacents?) do much, much better in a home that already has a cat, because they’re much less fearful that you’re planning to eat them. It was like Keaton had given our apartment the Cat Stamp of Approval, because she was out and letting us play with her (using the wand toy) within about 24 hours. Previously, she had been returned because she disappeared behind their TV, never to be seen again until the rescue lady showed up to pick her back up.

    ETA: Also in my experience, two neutered males can be the best of buddies. As long as they’re neutered.

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Sounds like they were inspired by Charles Bukowski, who is much more emotional than a lot of people give him credit for:

    The History of One Tough Motherfucker

  29. 29
    Maike Hudson says:

    @catclub: Seriously. Non-Polish speakers need not apply?

  30. 30
    Aji says:

    @Comrade Mary: A man after my own heart.

    Seriously, the feral would actually be good for us. I’m allergic, so no cats indoors, but we desperately need a good mouser around here. Trouble is, we’d need one that could hold its own against the dogs, since a couple of them think cats are merely funny-looking squirrels and therefore perfectly natural and acceptable prey. A truly domestic house cat wouldn’t stand a chance.

    Of course, there’s the 1500-mile distance problem . . . .

  31. 31
    Elizabelle says:


    Who named him that? How do you pronounce it? Why does it matter? If he’s feral, does he come when you call in the first place?

    Sounds like something out of Al Capp.

    Can’t they rename him “Aaron”? Quite sure shelters rename the “Killers” and “Monsters” that come in day after day. Here’s Cody. Meet Daisy.

  32. 32
    Princess Leia says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Just a guess– I hadn’t seen the towing update!!!!

  33. 33
    Elizabelle says:


    I like that poem. Thank you.

  34. 34
    tulip says:

    Have had mixed results with ferals. But I agree with the above, if you can “tame” a feral they are the absolute best cats. Loyal, affectionate, grateful, loving.

    John, are you in one of counties where the state of emergency has been called because of the water contamination? And I really hope I got your home state correct.

    If I did, hope you and especially your pets are safe!

  35. 35
    david miller says:

    just… just go get him, Cole.

    (… for fuck’s sake.)

  36. 36
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Mnemosyne: Oh wow, never read that before. Awesome.

  37. 37
    kc says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    That was fantastic.

  38. 38
    WaterGirl says:

    @Comrade Mary: I have read that before, not sure where or when. Just like the first time I read it, my eyes started watering.

  39. 39
    Fuzzy says:

    No stinkin intervention. What you need is a car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. 40
    Anne Laurie says:

    Cole, as Violet pointed out, it’s a no-kill shelter. Worse thing happens to him, he lives out his days hanging in the weather-protected shelter, interacting with the other ‘lifers’, food & water delivered and any vet care he needs provided. For some ferals, that’s as much happiness as they can stand out of life. You’re feeling guilty, there’s a big SPONSOR ME! button for you to chip in on expenses.

    Or you could check out Woody, the cat KC linked to. Assuming he & Mungo Steve didn’t take a hate to each other (and Maine Coons are usually pretty chill about other cats), sounds like you might be the safe space Woody needs…

  41. 41
    JoyfulA says:

    @khead: Yep, best cat I ever knew was a feral alley cat from the mean big-city streets. I thought a rat had squeezed in my walled little yard under the gate and ripped open my trash bag, but it was this little guy, who climbed a tree and jumped over a wall in search of garbage.

    Maybe because he wasn’t neutered until he was 2, and he was a small cat who had to fight to live, he never wanted much to do with other animals, but he actually paid attention to me when I said no, no, and wagged my finger when he caught a bird. I grabbed the bird out of his mouth, it flew away, and he never chased a bird after that. (He also stayed off kitchen counters, and wherever else I told him not to go.)

    He was so tame and sweet I could take him to the vet on a bus; he’d just sit on my shoulder watching.

    Always ask for a feral cat. They’re the best!

  42. 42
    Elizabelle says:


    What a cool cat. Riding on a bus on your shoulder.

    I don’t know any cats like that, but DC area used to have a famous Motor Kitty. (Some guy in Maryland had a cat that would wear a helmet and ride on his motorcycle. Cat died of old age.)

  43. 43
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Sounds like something out of Al Capp.

    Sounds like something out of Walt Kelly.

  44. 44
    Calming influence says:

    Rounded up 15 ferals when I was in graduate school. The local vet spayed and neutered, de-wormed and de-flea’d for free; found homes for all at lumberyards, produce wholesalers, and people willing to give them a chance. The toughest one was the last to be caught – a wily streetfighter we all called Orange Kitty (cuz he wuz orange duh). Totally unapproachable, with torn up ears and the kind of hisses and growls that would make a German Shepard run up a tree. Once caught, the only taker was a teacher friend who figured you don’t live forever and it would be an interesting way to die.
    We battened down anything remotely breakable in her condo, turned Orange Kitty loose, and then my wife and I got the hell out of there.

    She called the next morning to give us an update – she was reading on her couch with Orange Kitty sleeping quietly next to her.

  45. 45
    debit says:

    Julian was (semi) feral when I trapped him. After a few months he’s now the cuddliest and most affectionate of all my cats, but he was also very young when I got him.

  46. 46
    ET says:

    That is a gorgeous and very, very fluffy cat.

  47. 47
    Calming influence says:

    @Anne Laurie: I would add that feral cats may not be that into humans, but with other cats it’s usually just a matter of introducing them in a non-threatening way.

  48. 48
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Not to mention, you can rehabilitate some ferals.

    Case in point: John Cole.

  49. 49
    Geeno says:

    My boy Otis was a feral. On the smallish side, he wasn’t thriving in the great outdoors, and he probably wouldn’t have lasted much longer. When we took him in he would sleep so hard that you could pick him up and move him without waking him up. He was warm and fed, and he wasn’t getting his ass kicked by larger cats several times a day; it was time to reeeelaaaax; he was safe. We’ve left the door open in front of him, and he just lays there and sniffs the air. He has always had zero desire to return to the out doors. It’s been a good seventeen years for the old kitten since we found him living under our porch; now he’s just a senile, deaf as a post love cat, god bless him.

  50. 50
    WereBear says:

    It’s nature and nurture. Then add a third dimension with the person involved. Some can convey information to cats, and some cannot.

    All four of my cats had rough beginnings

  51. 51
    Woodrowfan says:

    we have five ferals. They do stay outside because my wife is very allergic and two of our three dogs are non-cat friendly. Two of the ferals are friendly and follow me around the yard, and will even climb on my lap (briefly!) if I am sitting outside in nice weather. I’d have them come inside if I could….

  52. 52
    John Cole says:

    @Comrade Mary: That guy is going in the links. Did you read the day Banana died?:

    I cried.

    I miss Tunch so much it hurts every single day. My bed is underneath the window to the back yard, and every morning, without fail, as I am waking up with Lily and Rosie and Steve, I have the image of Tunch with his neck snapped and his eyes wide open, and I lie there in bed and think it’s probably 15 yards from my head right now and where he was killed and about ten yards from my head to where he is buried.

    So yeah. That’s how I start every day. It’s getting easier, though. Steve really makes a difference, and I don’t cry every morning these days.

  53. 53
    different-church-lady says:

    My current cat had been a stray and had been squatting on a porch for a number of years. Eventually they needed to find him a real home and a friend suggested me. One of the women who had been looking after him attempted to sell me on him with the following statement: “He’s really sweet sometimes he bites me thru the glove but he loves to just sit on your chest and drool on you and he attacks dogs sometimes.” (There is no punctuation here because she said this as a single run-on statement.) I though to myself, Yes, you’re doing a magnificent job of convincing me I should take in this cat.

    My first instinct was no way, but I decided to go over and meet him anyway. Thankfully the things she described were minor. He’s 96% sweetie and 4% terror. Which I probably only 2% off from the average cat. But I almost rejected the idea out of hand, simply because she did such a lousy sell job.

  54. 54
    WereBear says:

    @John Cole: So happy Steve worked out so well. It helps.

  55. 55
    Woodrowfan says:

    @John Cole: Did your sister get rid of the dog that did that?

  56. 56
    negative 1 says:

    My extended family is in central Maine. All had barn cats — they fed them, heated spots in the barn, and in return the cars kept their fields rodent free. Cats are remarkably adaptable — if that cat is beyond being a homebody lap cat, why can’t it live somewhere like that? My family loves the cats, the cats love them. Just not in exactly the same way people are used to thinking about it.

  57. 57
    debit says:

    @Woodrowfan: Can we not ask about that? If she did then she’ll get shit from the pit bull lovers, and if she didn’t, she’ll get shit from everyone else. It’s a family matter and none of our business.

  58. 58
    Woodrowfan says:

    @debit: fair enough. my apologies.

    And I had the same thing about my Dad that John has about Tunch. I kept seeing him as he looked when I first saw him dead. After a few months I had a dream that my Dad was safe and happy and he was OK. After that I was able to get the awful image of my Dad out of my head and I remember him as he was when he was alive and well…

  59. 59
    e.a. foster says:

    loved the new marketing approach. This is exactly how feral and semi feral cats are marketed in the Comox Valley, British Columbia. Farmers are encouraged to adopt them. They become barn cats. there is also a society which finds feral cats,, gives them a vet check, neuters them and returns them to their area, where they have feeding stations and people keep an eye out for them.

    another method of ensuring the population of feral cats is decreased is by requiring cats to have licenses, just like dogs and that they must be spayed and neutered. Over time the number will be reduced.

    People ought to understand they need to spay and neuter their pets and city councils need to allocate money to SPCA shelters.

  60. 60
    cathyx says:

    @debit: No. I want to know the answer too, and if John puts the info out there about what happened and didn’t keep it private, then we have a right to ask. He can answer or not, but it shouldn’t be off limits to ask.

  61. 61
    YellowJournalism says:

    Every time Cole posts something from Petfinder, I end up spending the rest of my night pouting over pictures of adorable kitties.

  62. 62
    debit says:

    @Woodrowfan: Sorry, I didn’t mean for that to read as curt as it did. I just think it was a horrible tragedy for everyone and whatever she did with the dog, it wasn’t going to bring Tunch back. Plus, she must feel terrible, and I know she sometimes reads the comments here.

  63. 63
    PurpleGirl says:

    @cathyx: I’m with Debit. We don’t need another flame war over pit bulls. The last time was enough.

  64. 64
    Woodrowfan says:

    @debit: no worries. It’s cool. I hope John can find peace about Tunch, though i know it’ll take time…

  65. 65
    cathyx says:

    @PurpleGirl: I’m not asking for a flame war. I just want to know what ended up happening with the dog.

  66. 66
    Cain says:

    If tehy are going to euthanize, you better get your ass over there and safe him!

  67. 67
    John Cole says:

    @cathyx: I am not offended at all, and I agree- if I put things out there, I can’t make things “off limits” for inquiry. At any rate, we’ve made our separate peace. Kiwi is still alive, but Devon muzzles her (so she says), and she has not mentioned the dogs name, brought her around town, or posted anything about her where I would see it, and I am perfectly ok with the situation as it is. I would prefer the dog were dead, but if Devon can giver her a full life filled with love and happiness and not allow this to happen again, well, I see nothing to be gained with two dead pets instead of just Tunch.

  68. 68
    kc says:

    @John Cole:

    I’m glad to hear that. I hope your relationship with Devon is okay.

  69. 69
    cathyx says:

    @John Cole: Thanks for the reply. I must say though if Kiwi were my dog and my dog did that, I would have a very difficult time loving and keeping such a pet who could do such a thing. I could and would never trust it again. But to each his own I guess.

  70. 70
    Freemark says:

    @Comrade Mary: Loved that. I never read any of his books but I might now. If all pet ads were written like that adoptions would definitely increase.

  71. 71
    Freemark says:

    @tulip: From the Charleston Daily Mail “Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin urged affected West Virginia American Water customers in Kanawha, Putnam, Jackson, Clay, Lincoln, Logan, Roane, and Boone counties, as well as customers in the area of Culloden in Cabell County, to stop using water for everything other than flushing toilets and fire suppression.” This is the southern part of WV.

    If I remember correctly JC lives to the north in the peanut butter area of the PA-Ohio sandwich. He would need to confirm.

    100,000+ people without water. Because it is chemical contamination boiling doesn’t help. I’m sure over regulation by gubmint caused this spill by FREEDOM INDUSTRIES.

    “Do not drink it. Do not cook with it. Do not wash clothes in it. Do not take a bath in it,” Tomblin said. “For safety, we would ask everyone — this includes restaurants hospitals any institutions out there — please do not use any tap water if you’re a customer of West Virginia American Water. “

    Considering that all bottled water within a 50 mile radius has all been bought I hope there are truckloads on their way.

  72. 72
    khead says:

    @John Cole:

    Uh, the story of Banana’s death was pretty rough.

  73. 73
    Violet says:

    @John Cole: Thanks for sharing the update. I think a lot of people have wondered. Glad things have worked out in a way you are both able to be comfortable with.

  74. 74
    Comrade Mary says:

    @John Cole: Yes, I read The Life Sausage, which is a brilliant concept and an utterly fine tribute to a great cat. /insert lewd sausage-oriented joke about your happy herd of piglets

    Watts is a really talented SF writer, genuine animal lover, and capable of finding himself in more dire medical emergencies than any mopping, ice-walking American :-) (Fer example, start reading from the bottom: the entire series does contain some fascinating but utterly graphic photos.) I will be watching your blog roll like a hawk until he shows up.

    I’m sorry that the loss of Tunch still tears at you so much, but I’m glad to hear that Steve is doing his part to help you heal. (I still get a kick of how you call him to you.)

  75. 75
    burnspbesq says:

    Intervention would be a waste of time.

    The question is not “if,” it’s “when.”

  76. 76
    CaseyL says:

    This is why, of all the volunteer work I do and want to do more of, the one place that has to be off-limits is any animal shelter, no-kill or not. My heart would break into a million tiny pieces every day from desperately wanting to take one… a few… some… many… all of them home with me.

  77. 77
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @John Cole: It’s a terrible cliche, but time heals, and you’ll eventually remember good times with His Largeness first. And if that doesn’t happen, then please consider talking to someone about techniques to replace the bad stuff with the good times, because it’s easy for those thoughts to start feeling like a kind of punishment, and that’s not healthy.

  78. 78
    TriassicSands says:

    Far from being a poor ad for Zidnek, it is probably the perfect ad for him. There are people who are willing to adopt cats simply to provide a home for a critter in need, and not for what the cat can do for its new owner. Sending Zidnek home with anyone who has any confusion about his true nature will only work against Zidnek’s future chance of survival.

    With luck, and it will take luck, there is a potential caregiver out there who doesn’t need to tell people how incredibly special his cat is or how beautiful (and we all love to do that), but who will be satisfied knowing that the empty food bowl means Zidnek has a full belly and another threat-free day of existence.

    I hope that caregiver finds Zidnek.

  79. 79
    Calming influence says:

    Thanks John.

  80. 80
    Calming influence says:

    One other thought: feral cats may come from litters of un-spayed/neutered ferals, but they are also lost or abandoned cats. comment above, we’re pretty sure that Orange Kitty had been someones cat at some point, and quickly recognized that living in a house was good.

    I would put the odds better than 50/50 that Zldnek was somebodies cat at some point, and would be happy to go back to being someone’s [cough John Cole cough] cat in the future.

  81. 81
    Interrobang says:

    My parents have a former feral who was living in their carport for some years, until my mom started feeding him and coaxing him to her. Before too long, he was coming inside. They didn’t know if he knew how to use a litter box, so they were putting him outdoors at night. That stopped quickly when they discovered him one morning sleeping on my mom’s armchair and a hole torn in the screen so he could get into the house.

    He’s now elderly and prone to seizures, but otherwise doing fine.

  82. 82
    Woodrowfan says:

    this thread is pretty far down now, but I appreciate John’s answering. he could have said “I don’t want to talk about it” or “MYOB.”

    We once did catch a feral that had obviously been a pet. He let me pick him up when we caught him!! He was cleaned up, fixed, adopted and has a happy forever home now.

  83. 83
    thalarctos (not the other one) says:

    @e.a. foster: Along the same lines here in the Boston area, the MSPCA has a formal program for placing barn cats. Plenty of farms, stables, etc., need good mousers. The cats the MSPCA places in this program usually ferals that are already experienced in living outdoors.

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