10 Reasons to Adopt a Cat

Cats make up approximately 70% of shelter population. It’s sort of obvious what you should do…ADOPT! Don’t Shop! There are many advantages when it comes to adopting cats from shelters. Many are already spayed or neutered. They are also current on their shots. Shelter volunteers are there for one reason: the good of the animal. They aren’t interested in a profit and any donation you make goes right back into helping more animals in need. I love cats, how about you?

by Julie E.H., Animal Rescue Site blog
theanimalrescuesite.greatergood.com

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Wink

as told by Kim Kemple Cott

winkWink came into our lives one day when my mom, Helen, was attempting to adopt a different dog than Wink.  Six months after her rescue dog, Zac the Vizsla, passed on, my mom starting looking with very specific criteria: the dog had to be a small, manageable size and had to be a rescue.

I’d been helping her search for a month by contacting local SPCAs and humane societies and by checking on www.petfinder.com (as of this writing, petfinder.com is featuring 332,076 adoptable pets from 13,476 adoption groups nationwide).  The right dog hadn’t shown up yet.

A friend suggested we try a particular rescue organization in the next county over.  I called my mom, picked her up, and we headed out there.  We got lost en route, stopped to ask for directions, were given directions to a different rescue, and got lost again.  After getting lost a third, time, we asked a police officer.  He wasn’t sure where the rescue was but said that he’d find out.  He pointed us the right way and we arrived after having wandered through much of the county.

We walked up and down the aisles, drawn by so many sweet animals.  We settled on a little brown dog and went to the front desk to provide them with the kennel cage number.  While we were waiting in line, my mom noticed a small black dog sitting in the office of one of the shelter workers.  My mom and I looked at each other, both somehow knowing: this was the dog.  My mom asked about him and was told he was up for adoption; he’d just had his eye removed the day before (kids had beaten him  and he was found lying under a front porch).  One of the shelter workers had taken a particular interest in this Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix, named him Eduardo, and cared for him personally.

As part of the shelter’s adoption process, my mom’s landlord had to be called to verify that he allowed pets.  He was unreachable.  This was a problem, because we really, really wanted to take the dog home that day.  We explained to the shelter worker that the landlord had already given verbal permission, that my mom had a previous rescue dog living there, etc.  The worker looked into my mom’s eyes, then into mine and said she’d be back shortly.  We waited anxiously.wink black and white

She came back, stacking the adoption papers into a tidy pile, saying, “Everything is in order,” and winking at us.  We smiled conspiratorially, signed the papers, picked up the pup, and headed home.

He was tentative and scared at first, but well behaved, and he bonded quickly with my mom and me.  Mom named this sweet creature Wink.  She took him everywhere to help him socialize with people and dogs.  So many people were kind to him.

One day my mom took him into a consignment shop.  The shopkeeper said, “We don’t allow animals in our store.”  Mom smiled warmly, leaned in, and said, “I know, and isn’t it so nice that you let me bring him in here.”

•   With so many good, adoptable pets available—and with an average of 1 in 4 pets in humane societies nationwide being purebreds—why not consider adoption rather than supporting the supply-demand cycle of pet breeding.

•   From the American Humane Society: It is a common myth that pet overpopulation means there are “not enough” homes for all the shelter animals. In reality, there are more than enough homes, but not enough people are choosing to adopt from a shelter. Seventeen million Americans acquire a new pet each year—more than double the number of shelter animals. Only 3.5 million people, or about 20 percent, choose to adopt their new pet. The rest choose to buy their pets from pet stores or breeders, or they choose a variety of other cheap or free sources. 

Despite increased public awareness over the past 40 years about the need to spay and neuter pets, 35 percent of pet owners in the U.S. still choose not to do so. Many among this group intentionally choose to breed their pets, either for profit or for what they mistakenly believe to be a “fun” experience. Others choose not to spay or neuter out of ignorance, believing that their pets won’t breed accidentally.

The Raleigh Dama

raleighI was born under a porch where I nestled with my mother and siblings in the cool, shaded dirt.  We stayed put when she left each night; she didn’t tell us to do so, but she made it clear somehow.  We weren’t inclined to wander anyway—there were odd sounds at night beyond the latticework that separated us from the world.  So we chewed on each other, and climbed on top of each other, and silently curled around each other, awaiting her return.  She came back before first light.  We nursed happily and slept.

One morning there was commotion outside our hideaway.  Our mother stepped in front of us, tense.  There was a wrenching sound, then the latticework fell away and sunlight streamed in.  A man and woman stooped down and peered at us, making friendly little sounds.  My mother, wary, moved toward them, her thin body silhouetted against the glare.  She sniffed their hands then allowed them to pet her.  She turned to us and meowed, and we came to her.  The man gently scooped all four of us kittens up at once in his arms and placed us in a crate.  He called to my mother, who looked at us in the crate, glanced to the side toward freedom, looked at us again, then climbed into the crate.  We pressed against her body on the jostling ride.

We came to a place of meowing cats and barking dogs and talking people.  A woman carried us to a cage in a back room.  Another woman draped our mother across her shoulder, petting her, and brought her to join us.  There was a bowl of water, into which I dipped my nose and sneezed repeatedly.  There was a bowl of food that my mother ate, all at once.  There was a soft blanket on which we slept and passed the time together.

People came and went—tall people and little people, high voices and low voices, kind hands that pet us and fed us.  My mother grew less boney.  We grew bigger.

An older man came one day, white haired and angular.  He opened our cage and petted each of us with exquisite tenderness, then the spoke to our mother.  They regarded each other for some time, as though something was passing between them.  Before he took her away, he held her near each of us.  We touched noses with her, and then she was gone.

Two days later, two of my siblings were adopted by a young couple, and three days after that, my remaining sibling was adopted.  The cage had a lot of space to move in, but I missed the sense of belonging and deep comfort that came from my family’s nearness.  The people who cared for me were kind, picked me up, and spoke to me, but mostly they were bustling about caring for so many cats.

At night the shelter grew quiet and peaceful.  The moon came through the bars of my cage, bluing the floor and my black fur.  In its soothing light, I slept deeply.

One day a woman came and paused before each of the cages.  I liked the way she moved, like a blade of tall grass in the wind.  She lay her open palm against the door of each cage and talked softly to the cats.  When she came to my cage I stretched my arm out toward her and blinked slowly—the language of cat love.  She asked someone if she could hold me.

When the door swung open, I walked into her outstretched arms, settled in, and reached up and touched her face with my paw.  She laughed, a lovely, silvery sound, stroked my fur, and said something to the shelter person.  I went home with her.

Sometimes I dream of my mother and siblings, a far-off memory now.  In my dreams each of them has someone to love.

Some have the mistaken belief that shelter cats aren’t adoptable, that they’re in the shelter for behavioral and other problems.  Generally this is not true.  Cats land in shelters because 2% of lost cats ever find their way home… because unscrupulous owners abandon them…because their people die…. Please consider adopting from a shelter.  There are 70 million homeless cats in the U.S.

About www.untoldanimalstories.org —We tell animals’ stories from their perspectives.  Gentle in our approach rather than shocking, we invite connection, compassion and, from that, action.  We also provide tips on what you can do to help animals, and seek new action ideas, as well as animal and rescue stories, from you….  Please write to us at untoldanimalstories@gmail.com