The Story Of A Shelter Animal
Four years ago I adopted a little black kitten with eye problems, my small but big friend Sam. Due to his eye problems he’s a real indoor cat. Sam is partially blind in one eye and they keep watering, so he can’t see 100% especially in the dark. He goes outside on a leash every day to get some fresh air but after 10 minutes he prefers to go back inside. Even the curious neighborhood cats aren’t interesting enough to play with. Untill recently anyway. The last couple of months Sam started to show some interest in playing with these cats. But after four years they have had enough of their failing efforts to play so now THEY don’t want to play anymore. Sam’s response to this, showing from his body language and the disappointed look in his eyes, were enough for me to consider finding him a friend. After thinking long and hard if this was the right choice (did Sam really want a friend in ‘his’ house?) I decided to go for it and go search for a fitting friend.
Because I truly believe in adopting animals from shelters and I’m absolutely against keeping puppymills and the like in bussiness, the choice to take in a shelter cat was really easy. Last Saturday was the day; a trip to the shelter with my sister and brother-in-law to see if they had a cat that would fit with Sam’s personality. That was my only condition, the cat had to fit Sam’s personality. Age, colour or sexe did not matter. If they didn’t have a cat like that in the shelter at this time, I had decided to wait untill they did. Which, unfortunately, means I wouldn’t have to wait very long, shelters are filled to their capacity with more animals coming through the doors every day.
Walking into the shelter I was nicely greeted and after a short conversation to find out what I was looking for, the search for the perfect match in the shelter began. They only had a limited amount of indoor cats and since it wouldn’t be fair to ‘lock’ an outdoor cat indoors I only had a few cats to look at. I ended up looking at a very pretty 6 year old overweight female cat and even though she’s adorable she didn’t seem to fit with Sam. I really hope she finds a forever home soon.
There was also a nest of kittens in the shelter, they were a little ill so not ready to be adopted out yet, but kittens are always sweet, cute and lovely. I did take a look at them, but let’s be honest, kittens usually find a house rather quickly for the previously mentioned reasons. So I decided to pass on a kitten and continue the search.
Suddenly the lady from the shelter had an idea; she still had a young black male cat, a little weary around people but very playfull around other cats. That sounded great so we went to look at him and hear his history. When I saw him I knew this might be the right one. And that’s where the story of Pax the shelter cat begins.
Pax (nameless his entire life until Saturday) was born from a stray cat in someone’s backyard. The people in the neighborhood couldn’t/wouldn’t continue to take care of the strays and Pax and his brother ended up at the shelter. He is 9 months old now and spend his whole life, minus a few weeks, in the shelter. His brother and him were adopted out for a while but quickly returned because “they played too much and made a mess”.
Stories like that make me angry, WHEN you decide to adopt an animal, think about the concequences first! Animals do play and yes, can make a bit of a mess, but isn’t that common knowledge?! An animal is not a toy that can be returned or exchanged. It’s a living creature that needs good care, love and attention. This is exactly the reason why shelters are overloaded with orphaned animals. People don’t think before adding a furry member to their family and because they don’t spay or neuter their pets. Yes young animals are cute, but they don’t stay small forever, if good homes can’t be found off to the shelter they go, not fixed of course just like the parent who probably will be having more babies only to repeat the above.
After sitting with Pax in his ‘home’ for a while and studying his behavior (he went to sit in the back but was friendly, curious and kept staring at me with his big yellow eyes) I knew this was the right friend for Sam.
So last Saturday I added a 9 month old black male cat to my family, who now listens (ok not really…) to the name Pax. His brother was no longer at the shelter and this scared beauty deserved a forever home too.
Once we got home both Sam and Pax had to get used to the new living arrangements but so far so good. They play together and Sam seems happy with his new friend (and Pax too). Pax is still skittish but a little over 24 hours later he already asked for cuddles and a bellyrub!
I can only say this; if you consider adding an animal to your family, think about it long and hard before you make that decision so animals don’t have to go (back) to a shelter. Please also look into adopting one rather than buying one. Shelters are filled to their max with wonderful and sweet animals that deserve a forever home!
If you can’t get another family member but would love to help out ahelter animals, check with your local shelter to see how you can help. And check out Paws 4 A Cause they have awesome ways to help out St. Tammany Humane Society a wonderful NOKILL shelter in Covington, Louisiana, USA. They can really use your help.
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