What is A Hero?

A hero does not have to wear a mask and cape or be a firefighter or soldier. According to Google, a hero is “a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” I was thinking about that on Thursday when I was volunteering at the SPCA.

I had recently changed jobs and moved into a cat counselor position because the 4-7 shift on Thursdays opened up. Previously, I worked on Mondays or Tuesdays when the shelter was closed but now I have the opportunity to interact with people who are looking to adopt. While I was there, a couple adopted a cat that was about ten years old. I told one of the other volunteers that I thought people who adopt older cats are heroes in my book because they could just as easily adopt a kitten, or young cat, that would be with them for many more years but instead they choose to give a cat (or dog) a loving home to live out their remaining life. That is an attitude that I admire greatly and said that I would love to do that but it is hard because we are already over our one pet limit.

That got us talking about an eleven year old cat named Jezebel that was at the shelter but in a cage by herself instead of in a pod with other cats.

I opened the cage and started petting her and she loved it. She was starving for attention and just seemed so sweet. I looked at her chart which said that she had been there since October 23rd. That was almost four months stuck in a small cage by herself. I asked if anyone knew why she was isolated from other cats but nobody knew for sure. Her chart said she was aggressive with another cat which was why she was surrendered.

I thought maybe it was just one cat that she was aggressive toward and maybe that particular cat was the problem and not her. “Did anyone try to put her in a pod with other cats before isolating her?” I asked.

Nobody knew so I went to the adoption office and asked them but they did not have specific records and it sounded like they just assumed she was an aggressive cat and stuck her in a box by herself. I feel bad for her and part of me wants to go back and adopt her but another part of me worries that we might be bringing trouble into our home.

What do you think? Any advice for me?

Update: My wife and I went to see Jezebel Saturday afternoon. She let me hold her for a long time while I listened to an employee tell me that she was the aggressor. I decided to put her to the test and walked over to a cage with a cat that wasn’t sleeping. The two cats sniffed each other for a few seconds and then Jesebel let loose with a few rapid-fire whaps at the unsuspecting kitty. That pretty much ended her chance of coming home with us which is really too bad because she is such a friendly cat otherwise.


34 thoughts on “What is A Hero?

  1. Brian

    Some kitties love humans but just don’t get along with other kitties, our Angel Precious was that way which is why she lived in her private suite. There really isn’t an easy way to tell though unless you’re really prepared to break up a fight. She is a cutie though.

  2. onespoiledcat

    Might be good to see how she is around other cats first……….she’s so pretty and looks so lonely. She just needs some love and attention and maybe “company” – nobody has bothered to find out if that excuse given for turning her in was even true. If you DO decide to take her home your list will be going on that “hero” list………………………..


  3. cat9984

    I’m not sure that shelter labels are always accurate. When we wanted to meet Snoops, they told us she was very shy and didn’t get along with other cats. When we met her privately, she roamed around the room, looking at everything and was happy to get the attention. When Kommando came to live with us a few months later, Snoops mothered her like she was her own kitten. Would they let you to have her in a room there and see what happens if another cat is introduced?

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      They will let you bring your dog there but not your cat. I think they will let us bring her home for a trial but I would hate to then bring her back if she was a problem.

          1. Charles Huss Post author

            Chris was fine with Abbey and Princess but now Frankie and Floki have never seen a female while living with us. I don’t know what happened before they were living with us. We adopted Floki as a kitten but Frankie was 3 years old when we got him.

  4. Catwoods

    I’ve always found older kitties to be such sweeties! But this is a difficult question indeed. You never know how cats will relate to each other, they can be so unpredictable.

  5. claire93

    would be good if someone at the SPA would agree to at least try Jezebel with another cat, and see how they interact. Even if I wouldn’t suggest you adopt another cat (since you’re still over the limit) it would be a better life for Jezebel if she could be moved into a pod with other cats for company. It probably isn’t increasing her chances of ever being adopted either, being stuck in a cage all on her own.

  6. The Island Cats

    It can take time for one cat to warm up to another. Putting Jezebel up to another cat to see how she would react really isn’t the best indicator as to how she would do with other cats. But it is a crap-shoot. She may be one of those cats that really needs to be an only cat. And we hope she can find that home.

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      She is a very sweet girl and I understand that she would probably react differently to different cats in different situations. I just felt that considering she was very quick to whap another cat made me a little nervous about bringing her home to three other cats.

  7. databbiesotrouttowne

    I know we are days late on this reply; would it be possible for you to foster her, that way she’s out of the environment she’s in. you might be able to judge her personality a bit better that way;
    shelter life isn’t always a true picture of a cat/dogs personality ….we hope she does find a forevers regardless ♥♥♥

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      That is an option but it seems more likely now that she is an aggressive kitty, at least with other cats, so it may not be wise. I will keep an eye out and if nobody adopts her soon I might revisit it.

  8. Timmy Tomcat

    Some cats are just not good with others while some grow into not being good with others. Our Rumpy takes steroids for his Asthma and it amps him up and he then picks on the others (Rumpy is easily 4 pounds or more bigger than anyone else.) It is a shame as he is an easy going cat most of the time but gets a bug up his butt and goes bad. Would he be an “aggressive cat?” Sadly I suppose so. We applaud you giving it a try.

  9. indianacats

    Probably putting them face to face is not a good introduction. Maybe a gradual intro where there are hiding places and you extend it over days. I’ve heard you can put one in a separate room and let them get to know each other for a while by smelling each other under the door.

  10. Pingback: Shelter Pets Still Need Homes | Bad Cat Chris

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