It seems that no good deed goes unpunished these days.
The little black cat was skinny, desperate for shelter (she slept in a damp flowerpot on the front porch until we brought her in), and obviously had issues with human handling. I worked with her to get rid of the biting issues and made a lot of progress with her muscle tone and got her into a healthy weight.
When I finally got her in for a checkup the doctor was unpleasant, a hard sell on an expensive care package for what would be an indoor cat. She didn't even check the cat's ears for mites or her temperature and seemed to want to launch right into what would make her a large amount of money. I could tell right away she was the type that would take advantage of new pet owners with little experience with what shots an indoor only cat would need. There wasn't another person lined up for a vet visit there when I came in either, and I can see why.
I informed them the cat was a stray, and in what seemed an afterthought the vet assistant came back in after the doctor left to go tally up her expensive care package. The assistant scanned the cat and to my utter shock she was chipped.
That itself was devastating. She was a shelter cat and had been chipped by the shelter. Thinking that maybe her old owner had moved away and was truly missing her and would want to be reunited I was prepared for the long healing and heartache that would come for me after. The call was made to the number on the database.
Pain of losing the cat was going to be bad enough, what was worse was having to turn the cat over to her previous owner who had neglected her in the first place. It turned out the old owner was in my own neighborhood, and she seemed to hardly care at all when the cat was returned, yet she did not want to renounce ownership to me.
I'm going to be angry about this for a long time. The poor cat...