Cat Rescue And Destroy

images I was in Petco, Manhattan’s favorite pet store, buying cookies for Carmela, my basset hound friend. They have a biscuit bar where for a nominal fee you can mix and match treats for your four-legged lady.

What possessed me to tool on down to animals for sale will remain a mystery. I passed turtles and parakeets, gerbils and mice…lizards, snakes, even a parrot named Bertha.

But then came….cat adoption.

I found myself eye to eye with a 7 month-old tiger kitty named Sam, his little nose sticking out of the cage like an Eskimo’s.

Did he just smile or is my sugar dropping? “So, I was wondering there lady…wanna have a cuppa coffee with me? I’ll treat.”

Okay, just like Joan of Arc, or Bark, in my case, I heard voices. To say I was charmed was an understatement.

Let me remind you, in less than a month Carmela will be gone and I’ll probably never see her again. The truth of this brings me to my knees. For the past 8 months I’ve loved something that has brought me more joy than I can say…the loss of it will be hard.

Joey the doorman suggested I start stepping back to loosen my attachment, but I said no Joe, I’ll be there till the end standing on the curb as they pull away…heartbroken, but I know in time, I’ll get over it since, that’s what we’re designed to do. Heal, mend, press on like the soldiers we are.

But back to Sam and me.

I asked what the deal was adoption wise. A nice guy named Bill said, “Well, first they come inspect your home to make sure you’re worthy of this little guy, and if all goes well…he’s yours.”

My heart leapt. As far as I was concerned, it was a done deal. But then said, “Is there a fee?”

“Oh yes, I forgot…150 dollars.”

My euphoria folded like a pup tent.

“Excuse me? Did you say 150 dollars?”

He did. I can’t afford to pay my union dues this month…they need to go on a credit card…my medical bills wink like shifty whores from all corners of my desk. I’ve been eating lots of pasta lately because it’s cheap.

150 dollars?

I suddenly hated Petco. He explained, it wasn’t them. It’s a private organization called Angelica’s something or other that operates from the store. He suggested I email her, see what she has to say.

Now I don’t want to boast, but any critter who comes home with me has hit Lotto. I’m the quintessential, over-the-top, can I get you a blanket and cigar, type of pet owner. I’d give Carmela a full Swedish massage, if she’d let me.

So I leave Sam, telling him not to worry…to go home to email his, we’ll call sponsor.

In seconds I get a reply.

“Sorry, that’s our fee. If it’s not to your liking, go to the pound.”

For a New Yorker who’s seen everything, I was cyberly speechless.

Not even a dialogue let alone a negotiation. I’m thinking, but I’ll give him the greatest home…isn’t that the point…to get him a home?

Clearly not.

I’m told by my friend Mary, who rescues, that’s cheap…standard…it keeps them in business, but it still felt shoddy to me. I know rescuers, when they get a live one, they’re at your door before you can say…did I say that?

I sat very still wanting so much to lambast her, but didn’t. I thought, Sam’s sweet, and he will get a home unlike the 1000s of cats who get put down every day all across the world.

I started to cry.

The good news is, I realize I’m ready to love an animal again, and not just Saturdays and Sundays for an hour.

When Carm goes, I will fill that gaping hole she will leave with a Sam…

I just haven’t met the right one yet…but I will…

I know I will.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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26 Responses to Cat Rescue And Destroy

  1. I’m sorry you couldn’t get Sam but you will find a pet that is right for you as you have such a big heart for animals. That cat or dog will be spoiled rotten and that is a very good thing!


  2. micklively says:

    Waifs and strays apply here!
    You can’t solve the problems of the world Susannah, nor even just those of Manhattan. But I love you for trying. And some little kitty-kat will be the luckiest creature on the planet very soon, I’m sure.


  3. Elle Knowles says:

    Good for you Susannah! You aren’t a stranger to loving animals and one of your very own is just what you and your pet-of-choice will be seeing in the new year! There are plenty out there that need to be saved. I see so much of it on the news and in the papers every day.


  4. gmg says:

    Good for you. Time to adopt a rescue cat……


  5. Lynn says:

    Susannah, does the $150 fee cover anything? For example, is the pet neutered/spade & up to date with shots? Our local shelter charges $130 for cats but it includes vaccines & microchipping. The cost would actually be higher if taken to a vet so in the end, it is quite reasonable. This doesn’t negate the rudeness in the email but it might soften the blow & get Sam a good home!


    • I think it covered spaying. I know, like Mary said…it’s standard. And my pal Chris said he’d pay…but I just feel I’d rather rescue an animal who truly doesn’t have a chance if I’m going to lay out that much money.

      Sam believe me, will get a home.


  6. katecrimmins says:

    I’m stunned. Many rescues have special rates for people who can’t afford high fees. Sometimes adoption fees are waived on certain animals (and not undesirables). Some places will transport them to you from high-kill states free. I have paid the fees on my critters (except for Jake who was scooped off the streets) but I was working and could afford it. I know when I applied they asked if I needed aid in the adoption fee (there are often donors for the right adoption match). I know it’s to cover their costs but not everyone can afford $150. They can move more animals into ideal homes if they are flexible. People who can afford to, are willing to pay the fee plus more so I’m not buying that they can’t be flexible.
    And yay! I’m so glad you decided to bite the bullet and have your own in-home friend.


    • I’m so glad you wrote this. I was truly shocked at her terse response. I mean, she had no interest in me if I couldn’t pay. It left me feeling so, so terrible.
      I just see how everything is about money. That little guy would have been so happy here. You should have seen him Kate, oh my…what a charmer. Like I wrote my friend Amy, he was the William Holden of kitty cats. You saw him opposite Audrey Hepburn in the film Sabrina in a white dinner jacket shoving champagne glasses in his back pocket to go meet her at the indoor tennis court. A favorite film of mine 🙂


      • katecrimmins says:

        Hopefully he will get a good home. Most rescues are more concerned that you can afford the weekly food bill rather than a steep adoption fee. Locally our fees vary. Most are around $75 (with neutering and shots) but we have a “high end” shelter that charges $150 with neutering and shots. They still have some “specials” though. The key is to keep moving animals into homes. Most of the time you can’t get homeless pets into these shelters because there is no room. Perhaps saving a pet from a city shelter would be kind. Just a thought.


      • You’re right. Sam is a sweetie and that woman knew, someone will go in there and plunk down that money without as much as a blink. And maybe that’s good. I don’t know. I just had stars in my eyes and became very disappointed.

        But yes, going to a place where they put them down like it’s nothing..and they do every day…is really where my heart lies. Sam just reminded me of this.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Susannah,
    Any animal would truly be lucky to have you as an owner. I hope you find the perfect one soon.


  8. Alva Chinn says:

    Just had to put my beautiful Cookie(dog) down. She went like the angel baby she was. The cat who never returned the kindness that Cookie shared, is at as much of a loss as I am. Our pets are our family and when one goes they are not replaceable. But love heals. And sharing our homes with those who need them is truly a gift for all!


    • Oh Alva, I’m so sorry. I remember when you rescued her from her mean owner. How you stood right up to him on her behalf. I so loved you for that. It’s more than noble to put an animal out of its pain. I know it was hard, believe me. Cookie was a great dog.


  9. skinnyuz2b says:

    It does seem like getting a good home should be the main objective, but I guess I can understand that they have operating costs like neutering, spaying, shots, etc. I know you’ll find the right little soul to fill your home with love.


  10. Oh you certainly will Susannah! This said as I sit here having my foot licked by Peanut as Landon snuggles so close his little head is resting on my laptop and I am trapped in love.


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