From the Desk of Cindy. . .
|ANIMALS OFTEN END UP BEING HUMAN’S
By Cynthia Albright Kecskes
Dearborn Press & Guide Newspaper, OPINIONS, Page 6A, September 29, 2004
After losing my 20-year-old cat, I swore I would never put myself through the possibility of losing another pet. But one day another beautiful cat worked his way into my heart.
I kept trying to have someone adopt him, but it just wasn’t happening.
Five months later, when I was very sad after my mom died, I was holding Saber and he kissed me upon request, never having done so before. Everyone at the shelter said I should take him home to foster. Everyone at work said it was "fate" and meant to be.
So, a year ago I adopted this big, gorgeous, black longhaired Ragamuffin. He is so cute and funny and I realize that I didn’t rescue him, he rescued me.
Why not take the chance and rescue a wonderful companion cat. After all, as Julie Roberts said to Richard Gere in "Pretty Woman," he just might "rescue you right back."
The Dearborn Animal Shelter has so many cats and kittens available for adoption. There are many older cats that often get overlooked by potential families. A cat that is eight-years-old is just middle-aged--plenty of years left to be a loving companion, especially for a senior citizen.
The advantages of adopting an older cat are many. When visiting them at the shelter, you can judge what their personality type is, e.g., shy, assertive, lap-sitter, kisser, etc.
I would like to present a few that are currently available, along with some of my observations:
Dudley: Male/neutered, front de-clawed, 6-yr-old, black and white domestic shorthair. This loving, sweet guy just adores people. He will walk right out of his cage into your arms. While being groomed or petted, he will knead you and gently purr. He tends to drool when he is happy, but it makes him all the more endearing.
Dusk: Male/neutered, 8-yr.-old, black domestic shorthair. This tall, handsome fellow talks to you and then, when being held, will fall asleep in your arms. He has huge green eyes and was sweet the very first day he arrived.
Kasey: Female/spayed, all-paw-de-clawed, 8-yr.-old, silver and black domestic shorthair. This lovable cat is very sweet and pretty. She likes to be combed and petted and is calm and affectionate. She purrs, kisses, head-bumps, kneads—very much a lap cat.
Boots: Male, 3-yr.-old, gray and white domestic long hair. Great purring lap cat with a calm demeanor that just loves belly rubs. He’s got adorable "chipmunk" cheeks.
Maximillion: Male/neutered, 4-yr.-old, tiger and white domestic short hair. He’s a big, loving kitty that was turned in to the shelter because his owner developed allergies.
Mokey and Spike are currently in foster care, but still available for adoption. These 12-yr.-old housemates are large, male/neutered and front de-clawed. Mokey is a black domestic shorthair and Spike is a tiger and white shorthair.
I could go on-and-on. There are many more wonderful cats available at the shelter and in foster homes. Please check out Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter (FFDAS) at http://www.dearborn-animals.com/ to see pictures of these kitties.
One thing I have learned from my nine years volunteering at the shelter is that these animals have so much love to give.
Your Home to an Older Pet
In August 1995, I became a Friend for the Dearborn Animal Shelter (FFDAS), volunteering my time in the shelter’s cat room on Saturdays grooming, naming and socializing kitties. I am what is known as an official "cat cuddler." And I love every minute of it.
This January, my cat succumbed to old age. Lucky was a beautiful 20-year-old green-eyed, black cat. This was the most heart-wrenching of losses, as he was my companion and brought me such joy.
Many older cats end up at the shelter, either as strays or owner-turn-ins. Most potential adopters desire kittens. Unfortunately, the Dearborn Animal Shelter is not able to accommodate a large number of cats. Therefore, as space runs out, it is the older cats that must make the final sacrifice.
This is such a waste, because older cats make great pets. Just because a cat is 8 or 10 years old, doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of years it can give a family companionship, fun, entertainment and love. They are just middle-aged, with a possible life span of 22 years.
With an older cat, you can determine what their personality is. Kittens are cute, but they grow up, too. One other advantage to adopting an older cat is that you do not have to go through the "Velcro-kitten" phase, when the kitten does not know how to control its razor-sharp claws and becomes permanently attached to your clothes or curtains.
Three weeks ago, a scraggly, old, fat, green-eyed, black domestic short hair was abandoned at the shelter. She is spayed, four-paw declawed and about ten years old. I named her Destiny.
She was badly in need of combing, which she loves. She purred loud and gave me kitty kisses. As I held her, I realized that in order to honor Lucky, it was my destiny to foster older cats. Destiny, oh my gosh, I had named her Destiny! I informed the shelter manager that if it came to a decision about Destiny’s fate, I would foster her until space became available. A couple of weeks later I was told there was no space at the shelter and Destiny was the next to be euthanized. I picked her up after work.
We are entering our fourth week of co-habitating. She is very sweet, loves to be held and sleeps on my lap. She has already decided that my son’s chair and bedroom are hers. Her coat is nice and shiny. I think she is learning her new name. In fact, she is sleeping right next to me as I am typing this.
There are many other older cats at the shelter needing loving families: Jasmine is a BBC (big, beautiful cat), 7-year-old tortoiseshell domestic short hair (DSH). She purrs when you hold and pet her. Her brother, Sebastion, a neutered DSH, gray and white, friendly male is waiting with her. Booter and Casey are male, neutered and front-paw declawed.
Ten-year-old Booter is a DSH tiger and 5-year-old Casey is an orange long hair. They had a home, but their owners got a new puppy and he didn’t like the cats, so they were dropped off at the shelter, no longer wanted. These two would love to be adopted together. Then there’s Maxi and Baxi, and Michelle, and Connie, and Homer and... Too many to name.
I urge you to consider adopting an older cat. They make such wonderful, loving companions. And they don’t ask for much: food, water, shelter, a litter box and some love. Please visit the Dearborn Animal Shelter, 2661 Greenfield near I94. Or call 313-943-2697 and ask about the adoption procedure. Or check out the web site at http://www.dearborn-animals.com/.
Getting back to my original reason for writing this column. I am looking for someone to adopt Destiny. She’s litter-box trained. Doesn’t have any claws—can’t ruin the furniture or scratch anyone. Absolutely adores being held and combed. Purrs like crazy. Sleeps in my lap. Loves people. Likes belly rubs. Follows me around. Comes when called. A really good kitty. Hmmm. Don’t you think she would be a perfect pet? Is she your Destiny? I hope I have convinced someone out there. Or, maybe I have. Is she my Destiny? What do you think?
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