On Liking Homo Sapiens

On Liking Homo Sapiens

humanMany people become involved in animal welfare because they don’t like humans much. No offense to any of you, but homo sapiens is not my favorite species.

It is also common for people who have worked in animal welfare for a long time to say that they like people even less as time goes by. Presumably because they see more of the horrible ways people can treat non-human animals.

But, after 12 years of doing this, I like people more than before. How can this be?

Here’s my secret: I started with very low expectations. The truth is that I didn’t expect to find much good in my fellow humans. And, while I have seen my share of cruelty and neglect, I have also seen an amazing amount of human kindness.


We have had many cats who we “knew” would be with us forever, due to medical or behavioral issues. But we’ve been amazed again and again by … well, humans.

People have adopted paraplegics, diabetics, unfriendly, ugly and otherwise “unadoptable” cats. I started to make a list, but, frankly, it would be too long for a blog post. Instead, let me just tell you about the most recent example.

A few months ago, a series of unfortunate circumstances led two senior feline citizens to Tabby’s Place. Zachary and Patches were 19 years old. Admittedly, they were in great shape for that age, but 19 is pretty ancient for a cat.


We welcomed them and moved them into the Lobby, where they could get more human attention, space and food (think of First Class on an airline). Within a week, however, two volunteers fell in love with the two old felines and decided to give them permanent homes.

Thanks to volunteers C and P, these two old-timers are comfortably ensconced in loving homes. And, my opinion of homo sapiens has ratcheted up one more notch.

6 thoughts on “On Liking Homo Sapiens

  1. I have noticed that the ones that really pull at the heartstrings – old cats like these two, or like Levi or Ruby (both now sadly departed), or with major disabilities like Tanzy or D’Artagnan, are adopted by wonderful people who have more love and patience when it comes to cats than I ever will, and I am very much a cat person.

    I do feel sorry for some of the cats with issues that are moderate but manageable, and seem to pass under the radar of would-be adopters because they are either not in 100% good health or not so vulnerable that they pull at people’s heartstrings. Mario is one that comes to mind, and I venture some of the FIV+ cats are also in this group. Other people no doubt have cats that they think should have been adopted already and wonder why they haven’t.

    I know that Tabby’s Place has had months in the past where reduced adoption fees were offered, as was the case for the black cat discount a while ago.

    Perhaps some other adoption fee reductions can be made to find forever homes for some of these deserving cats that seem to “fall in the middle” – maybe one for older cats (12+ years old, maybe?), or for long-time residents (at TP longer than say, 3 years?) or for FIV+ cats.

    Not that it would be terrible for a cat to spend the rest of its days at Tabbys Place — it would be wonderful — but not only would they be happier in a forever home, it would of course open up a space for another to be saved.

  2. Hi Uncle Jon!

    Great blog post today! But then I’m biased since I’m one of very lucky Special Needs alumni of Tabby’s Place.

    Your blog is very timely for me since tomorrow is my 5th birthday and without Tabby’s Place and the love of you and Auntie Sharon I doubt I’d have even made it to my 1st birthday.
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

    I miss you and all my friends there. Some I still get to see and some I sure wish I could. I even miss bobbling into your office and trying to climb up your leg until you’d pet me.

    Please give everyone kitty kisses from me. I’ll think of you tomorrow and if I could, I’d sure share my birthday treats with you!! I love you!

  3. Zachary and Patches – what a wonderful story! Thank you for this happy post. It is good to hear about older cats finding new forever homes, but I am always happy knowing that some cats will be forever loved and safe and spend the rest of their life at Tabby’s Place. That makes me love people!

  4. Zachary asked me to thank you for this wonderful blog about he and Patches. He wants everyone to know that he and his new BFF, fellow Tabby’s Place alumni Sneakers, are getting along splendidly! Zachary is a wonderful addition to our home. Thank you Tabby’s Place for bringing us together.

  5. I’ve been a volunteer at Tabby’s Place for almost a year now and like everyone have been through the good and bad in life. One of the things that restores my faith in humanity every time I walk through the doors is the care the staff and volunteers give to the cats. There is kindness, warmth and love in Tabby’s Place .. thank you to all for everything you do.

  6. Patches is going to give me at LEAST five more years. Maybe more. She’s just got way too much personality to go any less. There are too many cardboard boxes out there that she hasn’t slept in. She can’t even consider the RB until she’s snoozed in ALL of the boxes.

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