Friday, December 13, 2013

Public [Pet] Service Announcement

I've been putting off this post cause it kept sounding like I was saying "look how great I am."  But here goes.

I'm not great.  I just dig on having a pet.  Pets make life more bearable.  We recently lost our pet of many many years, and it was devastating.  I've lost family and it didn't hurt that badly (see - I'm not great).

So we figured we'd look into an animal shelter.  The notion of helping some furry critter who has ended up in a horrid place felt like the right thing to do.  The ones at Petsmart and Petco often come from foster homes and clinics.  The ones at the kennel are often on a list.  A timeline.  A countdown.  Then they end up on an Urgent List.  A nice way of saying Death Row.

So we visited this place in Philadelphia - ACCT.  A giant kennel packed with discarded pets.  Packed.  There are two massive cat rooms, loaded with tiny cages filled with tiny fur-people.  Imagine hundreds of little eyes and mouths trying to get your attention.  A loud and very emotional scene.

I have to say that these folks do their best to keep this place clean and efficient.  They process more than 30,000 animals annually, providing medical care and finding homes for thousands of them.
Here are some stats.

So we see a cat in a cage.  And she's on the Urgent List.  She's overweight and has a bad respiratory infection.  We had seen her online and this was a totally different cat from the photo we carried into this place.  It was a very sad moment seeing something in such bad shape.  They told us that she and her sister had been living with a woman for the last seven years.  The woman had passed away and the relatives kept them for a short while before surrendering them to the kennel.  Two older cats, overweight and with infections.  Her sister had been euthanized a week prior.  And this poor thing was on the list.

Being totally honest and sounding incredibly selfish, this isn't even slightly what I was looking for.  I was worried about her weight and the infection and the vet bill if we took her.  I had fears that she liked to use couches and beds as litter boxes.  That she would claw our faces and hide in closets the rest of her days.  I mean, she belonged to someone else.  She MUST have been a terror.

They opened the cage and this sad creature made a sound and came over to us.  The Universe spoke.

The adoption process was brief.  Due to her age and a "special" that weekend, they gave her to us for free.  We took her to the vet that afternoon and after one short prescription of antibiotics, her infection was gone. 

At home, she hid behind a curtain in our safe room where we kept her.  After a week, we left the door open and she eventually poked around.  After a few weeks, you'd think this lady always lived here.  It's been just over five months and she has been a dream pet.  Digs sleeping on laps, loves to hang with us on the couch, and perfectly house-trained in every way.

Apparently, older pets are a tough sell for adoption agencies.  And I admit to being one of those people who figured it would be a real pain to inherit an older animal.  I'm not sure why I felt that way, since the notion of a young cat crawling up curtains at 3AM is something that would drive me mad.  I dig an older reserved animal.  Still plays and runs around, but hasn't turned our Christmas ornaments into powdered glass.

So my entire point is... consider adopting an older pet.  At seven years old, we have MANY more years with this fine lady.  And that's totally not preaching.  I swear.  Just someone sharing a pleasant experience and hoping to share that crap with someone else who might be shopping for a furry buddy.

Miss Mabel




34 comments:

Rot said...

Though she was on my lap as I typed this entry. The laptop to my left, and my body contorted to face it.

I might be getting scoliosis.

So that's a con to the many pros of owning an older cat. Scoliosis.

There just aren't enough scoliosis jokes.

wicKED said...

So your the Halloween King with the heard of gold. Funny how Halloween fans are also big pet people too. I applaud what you did and hope many more take up that mantle. I myself adopted a 10 year old cat that was, quite literally, on his way to be gassed while I was dropping off donations to the animal shelter. I did not even want a cat, much less a very old one. He is 21 years old not, skinny as a rail but happy as a lark...totally part of our family. Well done rot!

Rot said...

That's great, man.

Memnet said...

I totally get the whole thing of losing a pet and having it hurt more than the loss of a human family member. Enjoy Ms. Kitteh, she looks adorable.

Cranky Amy said...

She is lovely and that wasn't preachy at all.

Memnet said...

Oops, sorry...Miss Molly. :)

Memnet said...

Oops, sorry...Miss Mabel...clearly it is going to be one of those days.

Rot said...

haha. : )

Colleen said...

It's funny you should make a post of this nature.. My husband and I are planning on adopting a racetrack fresh-wasn't-fast-enough-got-the-boot greyhound. We went up to a meet and greet last weekend and I have to say, I don't know how I didn't know about such a great breed for all this time. Now I can't wait to share my life with one! :) it was a great thing you did Sir, rescuing that cat. Oh, and the scoliosis joke... That was funny stuff. ;)

Jay's Shadow said...

That was totally AWESOME. You guys are great.

I also know the horrid feeling of losing a pet. Our last dog had cancer, and we had to put him down. Never felt SO much pain and anger in my life. Never felt like that when a human family member passed on.

We told ourselves that we would wait awhile for another dog, but that was VERY short lived. Now we have a black lab who is totally PHYSCO, but love him to death.

You two saved a cat from sure death, made her healthy and happy.

Rot said...

See how great I am.

Jay's Shadow said...

:D

See, we haunters are not ALL that evil.....

at least not towards pets.

Lisa said...

Sometimes, your pet chooses you, and the lovely Miss Mabel clearly did!
My Chester chose me. I was looking at another cat at the Humane Society and I couldn't resist these orange paws reaching for me each time I walked by. 12 years later, he's still the most CAT kitty ever, even when he tries to groom my hair & face at night.

Rot said...

Nice : )

Mark Faucett said...

Always telling my wife that we are a culmination of the decisions we have made in our lives. That's one decision that speaks volumes about you. It's a " jewel for your crown" Rot. Good for you.

HalloweeNut said...

Aww, she looks like a sweetie. Good on you for adopting her. Oh, and kudos for the October Dreams reference.

The October boy said...

We are now on our third shelter dog and would not have it any other way. One only lasted 6 months, ( we knew that going in) but I think her last 6 months was
her best in years. Good post Rot, especially at this time of year.

Willow Cove said...

She's awesome. And so are you two guys! She's in good hands now.

Sara said...

We've always been dog people. My dad is deathly allergic(ok, ALMOST deathly) to cats so it nixed my dreams of having a kitty and then I loved on. But I'm all about pet adoption.

We had to put our dog of 17 (!!!) years down in August. It was bittersweet.

Adoption (of the animal variety or even of the people variety) rules rules rules.

You are AWESOME. ;)

SPOOKSHOWS.COM said...

Cats are wonderful. I had to euthanize my giant yellow lab and his sister, a Maine Coon Tabby cat, within a year of each other. It destroyed me. I was going to a hardware store in Burbank that has resident cats just to interact with them. Now, I have a cat again, and she looks just like yours, exactly the same colors and very similar markings.

Steve Ring said...

No pets. Wild bird feeder and peanuts for the neighborhood squirrels. Losing pets is too painful.

Jeanne said...

Huzzah to you! There are too many discarded pets in this world! (that's why we have so many...)
And I applaud you for going to a shelter to adopt one. Not an easy task.
Miss Mabel is lovely and I know she will be right in the midst of next year's haunt, helping like only a Kitty can. :0)

Amy said...

I'm about to let my wife read this, and I am 100% certain she is going to be crying before she finishes the first paragraph. We have 2 jet black strays that showed up on our doorstep 10 years apart.

She's a cool looking cat! For some reason her face reminded me of a pumpkin.

Autumnleaf said...

Miss Mable is beautiful! And one of the luckiest cats on the planet.

Rot said...

You should smell her fur.
Like fluffy towels.
In a wizard's closet.

ShellHawk said...

You old softie! ;)

Shani said...

Awwwww.....I'm so sorry to hear that you guys lost a pet. It's the worst feeling in the world! We've lost 3 dogs in the past 3 1/2 years (we had 4 at once....and lost them due to old age) It was devastating to say the least.

Cudos to you and the Mrs. for adopting an older cat. Older pets are wonderful (we currently have a 14 yr old Dal) You absolutely don't sound like you're trying to toot your own horn. Congrats to you both and enjoy that little lady. She's adorable!!!

Gwen Grimm said...

She looks like my Juki. All our pets are adopted/saved animals. The last three cats we saved when they were dumped on our drive way because we live in the middle of nowhere and it sooooooo much easier to leave them to die in the forest. :-/ one of them I sure was abused, you can't touch his face, and he's just got the body language of being beaten, so we just let him do his thing and love him when he asks for it.

Jeff said...

In May we had our 13 yr old collie/ shepherd mix put down due to cancer. Originally she was owned by my sister in laws neighbor. They treated her like garbage, leaving her outside all night in the rain, locked in the garage for days while gone. We had spoken about getting a puppy and finally while visiting I had enough. My exact words were " Hi, if you aren't going to take care of Lady, we will."" Um.... okay". My family was stunned. The owners were arrested a few weeks later for drug trafficking. Lady became my walking companion and best friend. I couldn't have asked for a better one. She was the perfect, perfect dog. We had agreed to wait a couple years or so before considering getting another, but early this summer I came home to find a little, black bundle of fur that somehow came from a Wal-Mart parking lot. I was a little mad, but came around and Maisy has come a long way in a short time. So now I'm an ex grunt with a lap dog, certainly not the bull mastiff I had my eyes on.

girl6 said...

ohhh hello miss mabel,
it's so Lovely to meet you!.
you are so Grand a Beauty with your Gorgeous face & Soulful green eyes..i am so happy to hear you have come Home to your momkat bean & Rot.
they'll take care of you now.
& i know Bastet is very Happy too.

i could gaze at miss mabel's serene beauty alllll day. :)

Darkrose Manor said...

The respect that we had for you and Bean has now been amplified by about 1000%. As the human pets of 3 rescue cats and 1 large rescue doggie, I can honestly say that they saved our lives... despite the Scoliosis. LOL! Kudos Rot, and kudos some more.

Rot said...

Thanks, guys : )

Adam said...

Our Boston Terrier is adopted. She was 5 when we got her. I insisted on the breed and my wife insisted we adopt. I had MANY reservations of getting an older dog, health, temperament and weather or not she would even like us. Almost 4 years later she is our world. Hands down the best thing I have ever done in my life. I wouldnt change a thing

Rot said...

Awesome, man.

We find ourselves wondering about her old life a lot.
She was so overweight and her fur was matted and grimey.

Now she's thinner and has a perfect coat. Sad to think how it used to be for her. Especially considering how sweet and gentle she is. And how much she loves being on laps.