Showing posts with label Cat Adoption. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cat Adoption. Show all posts

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Your New CAT: Why Are the First 24 Hours So Important?

The cage was small, but the people were nice and Tiger felt safe. He was fed, petted and regularly groomed. Still, it wasn’t home. Tiger had been ‘home’, and still had vague memories of the woman who had cared for him and the other cats who lived with her.

Then he had been taken to this place, and had been here so long he had almost forgotten ‘home’, and the woman.

There was uneasiness here, though, and Tiger felt it. Something was about to happen. Something bad.

English: Animal Rescue
Animal Rescue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Then two humans came in. He was put in a cage with them. He jumped up in the woman’s lap. He was put in a dark place that bumped and jostled. He heard strange, scary noises. He howled, and a male voice answered with noises he couldn’t understand.

Then there was light. And TERROR!

A small hand reached for him and tried to grab him. There were people he didn’t know; they all approached him. There was another cat that arched and spat.

Then, horror of horrors…

There was a dog!

Tiger fled. He fled down a long corridor and bolted through the first open door he found. He hid in the darkest place he could find…among soft and hard things he didn’t recognize. He heard voices. He heard the dog bark, and he shuddered. He heard the child’s high pitched voice, and a woman’s voice…which were easier to bear.

He hunkered down and remained as invisible and silent as he could.

ADOPTION IN HASTE

The staff of animal shelters greet people looking for new pets with both joy and misgiving. People walk between the cages, looking over each cat, and the staff hope they will select a cat that has been there for a long time.

But they know what the people are looking for; they are looking for kittens, not adult cats.

If there are no kittens, the customers will sometimes reluctantly choose an adult cat as a “consolation prize”, pay the adoption fees and cart him or her off…

Only to return the cat two or three days later.

“I’m sorry, but this cat just didn’t work out. We couldn’t fit it into the family.”

Or…

“This cat is just too wild. We need something tamer, something that will fit in.”

“What happened?” The staff member asks.

“The cat bolted and hid. It took us three days to find it, and when we finally did, we had to chase it all over the house before we caught it. We need something tamer; something that will fit in better.”

So go the sad tales of the returnees… but wait, it can be worse for cats adopted in other ways.

“The landlord won’t let me keep her, could you please take her in?”

People who adopt strays off the street, or a friend’s cat, many times don’t realize the full extent of the things they need to do for their new cat…

In Part 2 We’ll discuss those things.  Adequate preparation would have saved Tiger -- by safely and easily introducing him to a happy home…

Copyright 2006 John Young


Thursday, June 23, 2016

A BLACK CAT is Just a CAT

When my old cat died, I decided to pick one out of the Humane Society.  They had named the first cat I saw “Batman”, and I fell in love with him on sight.

I took this picture of Lilith, a black cat fou...
I took this picture of Lilith, a black cat found as a kitten in a supermarket parking lot
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
But when I brought him home, I discovered he didn’t quite have the courage of the comic book hero. I made some mistakes which resulted in a month long struggle to coax him out of his hiding place to join the family.

I renamed him Bear, and he is wonderful cat, but my guests seem a little uncomfortable when he comes into the room.  After all, he is completely black.

He is a black cat and some people are afraid of Black Cats…

The Black Cat in History

Historically, black cats have been associated with omens, bad luck and, well...evil.

The poor unfortunate kitties have been used in rituals, and were supposedly the "familiars" of witches. Anarchism has used the symbol of the black cat, as has Wicca, the modern day expression of Witchcraft.  Superstition has associated bad luck with having a black cat cross your path.

All-in-all, the black cat has been getting some really bad press for centuries, and all of that is not easily overcome in just a few short lines of this article.

Scaredy Cat

A very highly sensitive cat, our new black Bear was far more scared of us than we were of him, and we made a number of mistakes in the first hour of his introduction that practically destroyed our chances for introducing him to our home.

The process of first finding Bear where he had hidden in the house and gradually coaxing him out of his hiding place to join the family was long and agonizing. It took over a month, and I had almost despaired that we would ever acclimate him.

Patience won out, though…

Superstition Dispelled

Since then, Bear has been rolling around on my lap enjoying his daily pettings, sleeping in my bed, yowling at the females he sees from his perch in the kitchen window and just generally bringing a lot of joy to our lives.

He is here to dispel the notion that a black cat means bad luck.  He is one of the sweetest cats you'll ever meet, and there's absolutely *nothing* scary about him. And I can tell you for a fact that no bad luck is connected with Bear.  He's crossed my path innumerable times, and so far I haven't experienced anything one might think of as "bad luck".

I have to say, though, that on Halloween night he seems to be scared of his own black shadow. But I try to keep him calmed down and happy to be where he is...in my lap purring as loud as he can!

Copyright 2006 John Young