By JOE VAN ZANDTENBERGCBC News’ Chief CorrespondentJOE VANNETT, CENTRE FOR HEALTH AND SAFETYA FARM, COLUMBIA, AlbertaA cat who has lost its home has a new home, thanks to a little-known law that allows owners of small animals to adopt them if they can prove they have to move.article The cat, named Dora, was adopted in May by a man in Alberta’s small rural town of Canso who was looking for a way to raise money for a new veterinary clinic.
The man, who asked CBC News not to use his name because he is afraid of the backlash from cat owners who say they are unable to adopt small animals, said he is not worried about the reaction from some cat lovers who believe the law is discriminatory.
“I think that’s just a little bit of prejudice,” said Dora’s owner, Mark Soderberg.
“A lot of people don’t know what a cat is.”
Soderberg adopted Dora from a shelter in the area, but he said he has to be realistic about his chances of finding another cat.
“People don’t understand what a small animal is, and a small cat is a very special animal,” he said.
“You have to be really careful with them.
You have to have a little empathy for them.”
Sophie, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is a 2-year-old black and white kitty who lives with Dora.
She said she has no idea how long Dora will be in his new home and she cannot imagine a day where she doesn’t see him.
“I feel like she’s my life right now,” Sophie said.
“Theres no reason for me to keep her.”
But she does know that sometimes you have to make tough decisions when your pet is in a new environment.
“If we are in a town and we need a place to stay, we can go to a shelter.
We can stay in a motel or whatever,” Sophie explained.
“We dont want to live in a city.
We dont want a house.
It’s a bad situation.”
Sobering as the situation is, Sophie said she does not regret adopting Dora and is grateful to have someone to help her.
“He is a wonderful cat,” Sophie added.
“And I dont know how long I can keep him.
Ive never seen him go so long without food or water.”
The Alberta Veterinary Medical Association is helping to pay for Sophie’s medical expenses.