Pets and the Housing Slump

A sad article in the San Jose Mercury News today: foreclosed homeowners who abandon their pets when they move out. Some pets are released outside, while others are left to starve inside the house, and animal shelters are getting overwhelmed in places with high foreclosure rates:

“[The pets’] best shot is for the owners to plan ahead some,” [Traci] Jennings [president of the Humane Society of Stanislaus County in northern California] said. “But they didn’t plan when they bought their house. I don’t see that happening anytime soon.”

Tragic as some of the stories in the article are, for me as a cat owner the saddest bit was about some domestic cats released into the wild:

In one such colony in Modesto, two obviously tame cats watched alone from a distance as a group of feral cats devoured a pile of dry food Jennings offered.

“These are obviously abandoned cats,” Jennings said. “They’re not afraid of people, and they stay away from the feral cats because they’re ostracized by them.”

I hope the domesticated cats at least find company in each other. Cats may have a reputation as aloof and superior, but I think they love the company of their friends just like most other animals.

Infrastructure

In the wake of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis-St. Paul collapsing this afternoon, I wonder: Is this the fate other parts of our infrastructure will experience over the next few decades? Many states under-invest in infrastructure maintenance, and we may be seeing more such accidents as time goes on because of that.

Minneapolis’ WCCO has very good coverage of the collapse. This video is especially fascinating, particularly the wide-angle view starting about 2m 15s in. Then there’s the blog’s eye view (via T.S.).

A few of my friends from Minneapolis-St. Paul have posted that they’re okay. I’m not sure I have current contact information for everyone. Coincidentally, one friend from that area just wrote today about a car accident she was in a few weeks ago. I hope she wasn’t anywhere near this incident.