Hear ye, hear ye: Petfinder.com has dubbed today (August 12th) Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Day.
If you ask us at Tabby’s Place, nobody’s unadoptable, and every day is adoption day. Nevertheless, I love that Petfinder is shining the spotlight on the underdogs (and, especially, undercats) today.
According to a Petfinder survey of shelters and rescue groups, the hardest-to-adopt sweethearts include shy cats, kitties who need to be the only feline in the house, and cats with chronic special needs. Sadly, topping this list of “less-adoptable” pets are senior catizens.
But we need only look as far as the Tabby’s Place Community Room to find a veritable retirement club of stellar seniors. (I’m honored to share my office space with these golden oldsters on a daily basis.) Frail but feisty Molly (14, and napping on my desk as I type), sweet-as-maple-syrup Franny (14, currently asleep at my feet), the unsinkable Mr. Grey (12+) and the amazing, acrobatic, don’t-call-me-old Hillary (20, and still running frequent laps across the file cabinets) may not be what every adopter is looking for. That’s all well and good – more traditionally “adoptable” youngsters need and deserve homes just as much.
But, each of these “less-adoptable” love bugs has spent a lifetime honing his or her snuggle skills. With rare exceptions, I do believe it’s true that cats mellow into great gentleness in their golden years. Ancient-but-still-kittenlike Hillary, for instance, was a terror until about age 18, at which point she decided that humans aren’t so bad, and belly rubs are even better. You can see what a vicious beast Hillary is in the photo with Jonathan at left. 😉
So what about the next “less adoptable” category: gotta-be-the-only-one wonders? Feast your eyes on Tiny, our big, majestic marvel of a boy. Now, there’s no arguing that Tiny’s traits do limit his pool of potential homes: he positively abhors cats, and we need to treat him with anti-aggression medication just to keep the peace in Suite C.
But Tiny has no shortage of love for his species of choice: human beans. Give him your undivided affection, and Tiny is your buddy, happy to snuggle and even happier to play and roughhouse with you. I hear that, just this past weekend, a very kind family visited Tabby’s Place and soon found their hearts in Tiny’s pocket. “Less-adoptable,” perhaps. But unadoptable? Never.
That brings us to the Special Needs sweeties. It’s no secret that we have a soft spot the size of Texas for these cats at Tabby’s Place. There’s no question that they aren’t the cats for every adopter; it needs to be just the right love match between a TLC-needing feline and a huge-hearted human with the patience and resources to care for her needs. But when that match is made…oh, what a day. The bond that grows from precious time spent tending to a cat’s needs simply can’t be matched. It’s a sweet secret that Special Needs adoptions have a way of blessing the human big-time - and, they’re a pretty sweet deal for the feline involved, too.
We’ve seen cats with everything from paraplegia (the famous Bagheera) to diabetes (Amstel! Caesar! Malcolm! Dia!) to that most unglamorous-sounding condition, inflammatory bowel disease (including Ringo and Li’l Bea) adopted into amazing homes, to the great blessing of both cat and adopter. I’d be willing to wager that bodacious FIV+ Fuzzy; dainty, dentally-afflicted Mrs. Jinx and a host of others have forever homes in their future.
That brings us to the shy cats. Now, some cats are most definitely not shy (helloooo, Bugsy). But a fair number of sweet, sweet felines are pretty darn frightened when they first meet you…and, understandably, that doesn’t bode well for adoption.
But, other times – those glorious other times! – big-hearted folks are willing to see the sparkle beneath the shyness in a Mary, or a Rumor…can the shy but spectacular Pirate, Ginger and Sylvan be far behind? Methinks not.
Regardless of what methinks, this much is true: these are, quite simply, spectacular cats. Head-bumps and three purrs to Petfinder for helping to open hearts to the less-adoptable lovies today. We’ll keep doing our part to sing their song every day. Thank you guys for believing in every one of them and loving them.