The UPS driver looked a little befuddled when he walked into Howl on Chestnut Ave., in Baltimore yesterday afternoon.
“There’s a cat out here in a carrier,” he told Robin McDonald, owner of the natural pet-supply store.
She followed him outside and lo and behold, there sat what appeared to be a Maine Coon mix in a carrier with a note: “Very nice cat. Please help! Jean-Pierre is his name.”
He looked skinny and scruffy and his hair was sparse, but McDonald brought Jean-Pierre into the shop and opened the carrier door.
“He’s super affectionate and cute,” she says.
He’s also vaccinated and neutered, and while he has a good case of fleas (which has already been treated) and has lost hair, a vet exam found him perfectly healthy.
“He’s going to be gorgeous,” says McDonald. “We’re looking for a foster for him, and one of our customers has anonymously sponsored him already to pay for his health costs.”
In 10 years owning Howl, McDonald says she’s only had one other pet show up at the door like this.
“Someone came in and left a dog a few years ago,” she says. “We don’t encourage it. We just don’t have the resources. But we will help -- when we get customers who find cats or dogs, we donate things as we can.”
Jean-Pierre, who’s been rechristened Hobo, will go to a foster home once one’s found, and McDonald says she plans to work with a local rescue group to help find him a permanent home. The veterinarian he saw this morning thinks he’s about a year and a half old.
“He’s very sweet," she says. "I’m sure this wasn’t a behavioral issue. Someone just couldn’t take care of him.”
He showed up between 2:00 and 3:00 yesterday afternoon, McDonald says. She hasn’t gone out of her way to find out who left him at the shop.
“Whoever left him couldn’t keep him, or they wouldn’t have done it,” she says. "We’re not going to pursue that. They could have abandoned him, but they tried to put him in a place where he’d be found by an animal lover.”
And while Hobo will find a loving home and is safe and sound, McDonald says she doesn’t anticipate making a habit of taking in unwanted pets.
“We usually direct people to animal rescue groups,” she says. “This doesn’t happen often, and I really hope it doesn’t happen again.”