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"The CarMax of Cats" (nice story)



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 29th 04, 11:17 PM
CajunPrincess
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Default "The CarMax of Cats" (nice story)

http://www.ajc.com/saturday/content/...8f0a9002b.html


RELOCATING 75 CATS IS PURR-FECT FOR MAN
GWINNETT PET LOVER THRIVES IN GIVING FELINES A HOME

Mark Davis - Staff

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Dayn Riegel and his 77 roommates are between addresses right now.

He recently left one home in Lawrenceville and hasn't moved to his new
one yet, so
Riegel is staying with friends. With him are his girlfriend, Phyllis
Iffrig, and Akuma, their agreeable white Samoyed.

His 75 other roomies? They're staying with other friends --- in
garages, on beds, sitting atop cars and curling between legs. They're
cats.

Seventy-five cats. You could call Riegel the Car Max of cats: He's got
'em all. A 2003 tabby? Sure. A black-and-white female, vintage 2001?
There must be one around here somewhere...

Seventy-five cats. In the nine-life universe of felines, that's 675
lives.

Seventy-five cats. Many people don't have 75 of anything.

But Riegel does, and, until earlier this month, he had them in a
three-bedroom, two- bath ranch home in Lawrenceville. "They all mean
something to me," said Riegel, 33, a self-employed information
technology consultant.

It began with Khaos, a black, domestic shorthair Riegel discovered at
a Delaware mall. When he headed to metro Atlanta eight years ago from
West Chester, Pa., little Khaos came with him.

They settled in Gwinnett, where Riegel discovered stray cats were as
commonplace as fast cars. Rather than cuss 'em, he coaxed 'em into his
house. They came singly and by the family, surly old toms and skittish
young moms. Word about the cat man spread, and Riegel's feline
inventory grew.

Rogue, Thumper, Minnie: Khaos reluctantly made way for the newcomers.
Dennis, Dot, Cracker, Gateway: They crept in on little feet. Noodle,
Danzig, Fuzzy, Jackie, Squunk.

Riegel began a computer database to track his cats, noting each
creature's acquisition date, health needs and other characteristics
that distinguish, say, Thumper from Squunk.

Riegel estimated he has taken in more than 300 cats since moving here,
adopting out at least 250.

Since not all got adopted, Riegel's personal supply grew. Some cats
staked out space in the two-car garage where vehicles never venture.
Others selected favored spots where the sun would shine. When Riegel
turned down the covers at night, six cats sometimes jumped up to join
him --- more, if the night were chilly. Anyone who sat in a chair
usually got a cat in the lap.

Riegel and Iffrig, 29, bought two 30-pound bags of cat litter a week,
distributing them in "tons of litter boxes." The felines got fed twice
a day: the regular crunchy stuff and a second meal featuring a mix of
vegetable meal and olive oil that Riegel said made them more
purr-prone.

He had an arrangement with a Lawrenceville veterinarian to neuter the
cats for little more than cost --- a group discount. All the care and
feeding, admitted Riegel, "wasn't cheap."

Not cheap, but certainly remarkable, said Randall Lockwood, a
psychologist and animal behavior expert with the Humane Society of the
United States.

Lockwood has studied animal hoarders, people who amass so many animals
in their homes that the creatures often sicken or die from neglect.
But Riegel's computer inventory and feeding regimen, Lockwood said,
indicate that the Lawrenceville resident is not a hoarder. He's
apparently just someone who loves cats. A lot.

"If he's not living in 3 feet of cat poop, I'd say . . . he's OK,"
Lockwood said.

"My friends," said Riegel, "know I'm eccentric."

His mother, Mary Ann Ransom of Lake Lure, N.C., offers a gentler
observation: "He's loved animals all his life."

Yet love alone cannot keep a roof over so many heads. Riegel and
Iffrig were evicted last week from their rental home. The forced move,
he said, arose from a disagreement over the purchase of the house he'd
leased for nearly three years. He planned to buy it, he said, but the
company representing the homeowner got a better offer.

As evictions go, the parting was amicable, Riegel said. When
authorities showed up to serve eviction papers, Riegel said he and
Iffrig were ready, their possessions packed and in storage.

And the cats?

"It sounds silly, but relocating 75 cats nearly calls for an act of
God," Riegel said.

Riegel turned to his friends. The furry exodus went smoothly, with
Gwinnett County Animal Control officers observing the removal of
Noodle & Co. They counted 60 felines, said Sammy Jeanes, who oversees
the department.

"The cats looked good," said Jeanes, who noted that Gwinnett County
has no ordinances setting limits on the number of pets per household.

The house? "It didn't look nasty at all," Jeanes said.

Riegel is hoping to be reunited with his extended family next month,
when he plans to buy a Lawrenceville split-level.

Not all the cats have to make the move.

If someone wants to lessen the extent of Riegel's feline family and
take a cat or two home, he's willing to listen. He has a few to spare.

Except for Khaos, the little Delaware cat who was there at the
beginning. Yeah, she's sort of crabby, Riegel said, but that's OK.

"She has her moods," he said. "But she's my cat."
  #2  
Old March 30th 04, 04:01 AM
Kajikit
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CajunPrincess had something important to tell us on 29 Mar 2004
14:17:14 -0800:

http://www.ajc.com/saturday/content/...8f0a9002b.html


RELOCATING 75 CATS IS PURR-FECT FOR MAN
GWINNETT PET LOVER THRIVES IN GIVING FELINES A HOME


My goodness! I can't imagine one (or two) people looking after that
many cats... it sounds like he's doing a good job though. I hope he
can find a good home for them all SOON so he can go on with his good
works.
--

Karen AKA Kajikit

Here kitty kitty kitty... visit http://www.catslaves.org!

Come and visit my part of the web:
Kajikit's Corner: http://www.kajikitscorner.com
Allergyfree Eating Recipe Swap: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Allergyfree_Eating
Ample Aussies Mailing List: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ampleaussies/
  #3  
Old March 30th 04, 04:51 AM
Karen Chuplis
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in article , Kajikit at
wrote on 3/29/04 9:01 PM:

CajunPrincess had something important to tell us on 29 Mar 2004
14:17:14 -0800:

http://www.ajc.com/saturday/content/...ws_04b5eec2b30
8f0a9002b.html


RELOCATING 75 CATS IS PURR-FECT FOR MAN
GWINNETT PET LOVER THRIVES IN GIVING FELINES A HOME


My goodness! I can't imagine one (or two) people looking after that
many cats... it sounds like he's doing a good job though. I hope he
can find a good home for them all SOON so he can go on with his good
works.


That guy is a GOOD organizer!

Karen

  #4  
Old March 30th 04, 06:10 AM
Mary
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Default

RELOCATING 75 CATS IS PURR-FECT FOR MAN
GWINNETT PET LOVER THRIVES IN GIVING FELINES A HOME


I used to think you had to be nuts to have that many animals. I used to think
that you must be a hoarder and your place must be a stinky pigsty. BUT, now
that I rehab animals, I can easily see how you can take care of a lot of
animals very well. Right now I have 25 baby opossums, 24 baby squirrels, 12
injured adults. They're all in clean Fish & Game regulation caging, all
healthy, nice and fat, my place smells good, they're quiet. I've seen other
rehabbers with even more animals and they do a great job taking care of all of
them. It can be done with organization. My first season I only had 3 and I
thought that was a lot, now it's nothing. I think people should be able to have
as many animals as they can adequately care for. Some shouldn't even have one
animal, some could have 100. Some kennel people can care for tons of animals,
why not a private person if they're devoted.
 




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