How is it possible that we would overlook one of our wonderful felines? Well, we really don’t, but sometimes potential adopters do.
I started volunteering at Tabby’s Place late in 2003. Not long afterward, we were visited by a couple of women from another shelter. I spoke enthusiastically of our hopes for quickly adopting out most of our residents, so I was surprised and dismayed when one of the women told me not to expect to find homes in short order for many of the darker-colored felines. When I asked what she was talking about, she said that, in her experience, darker-colored cats (mostly black or grey cats, or dark tabbies) tended not to attract adopters. She had never been able to discover the reasons behind it.
Six years and change later, it seems that this visitor was at least partly correct. Tabby’s Place has some darker-colored residents who have been with us for much too long. I’m not talking about felines with serious medical issues or personality problems—just young-to-middle-aged, healthy, good-natured cats who happen to be dark-colored.
Regular readers of this blog will have noticed mentions of Sylvan, a darker brown tabby who, unaccountably, has not yet found a home. It’s true that he was very shy when he came to us, but he’s become so friendly now that it’s hard to imagine this is the same cat.
Another example is our Sarafina. About six years old, this beautiful black cat has been with us for years now, and we can’t imagine why. Sarafina loves a gentle tummy rub, she’s super-affectionate, and she’s got a big, loud purr. She’s a silly, happy extrovert, who actively seeks attention and will follow you as you move around her suite, hoping for just one more “skritch” on either side of her neck. She even gets along with other cats. Sarafina could stand to lose a couple of pounds, so she’s in our Weight Management Suite. But no matter how many people see her, she gets passed up for cats that have showier or lighter-colored coats. Maybe we ought to get her a little white hat, to prove she’s one of the “good guys”!
Surely the most important aspect of any adoption should be the cat’s personality and whether that will fit into your living situation. If you’re thinking of adopting, do consider a darker-colored feline; they can be just as delightful as any calico or marmalade cat.
On behalf of the long-term residents of Tabby’s Place, thank you for your consideration!