Q: My friend took in an antisocial cat, giving this declawed and formerly abused animal a good home. Now, my friend has cancer and not much time to live. He can't find a home for this cat. I don't believe the cat could survive outdoors. Any advice?
-- T.G., Cyberspace
A: "I am so sorry for this situation," begins Dr. Michael Moyer, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, and American Animal Hospital Association president. "No question, if you know this cat, it would be in the pet's best interest if there's some way you could keep it. However, I suspect you wouldn't be writing this letter if that were possible. Perhaps, there's a friend who could take the cat. With all the sociable cats available for adoption -- except for maybe a shelter that specializes in special- needs cats -- it will be challenging to find a shelter to accept this cat. It's certainly not in the cat's best interest to be just let outside.
"Perhaps, if you think about it and do some research, you can find some support in your community, such as a pet food bank, so you could keep this cat to honor your friend. That would be the best thing."