Tag Archives: adopt

Volunteering Again


The SPCA announced recently that they were allowing the volunteers to come back. I took that opportunity to trade my 4-7 shift on Thursdays for a 1-4 shift on Fridays. This means that I will be volunteering at the same time I am on call at the Red Cross but I have gone on two calls in six months so I thoght it would be no problem.

When I walked into the cat room I noticed that all of the pods were empty, at least all that I could see.

I thought maybe they moved the cats and didn’t tell me but as I continued I saw a pod with four cats in it. I was pleasantly surprised to find seven of the eight cat pods empty. The next room has the smaller cages where cats are kept in isolation, either because they are recovering from surgery, they have a special diet, or the don’t play well with others.

There were four cats in that room, including a very friendly black cat named Sassy who had a skin condition from a flea allergy. I took her photo but it is too blurry to post.

There were also six kittens in the room in three separate cages, probably separated by litter. There were two black kittens that I failed to get pictures of. There was also a single gold and white kitten who was curious but shy.

Then there was three kittens together in one cage, a ginger boy and two females including one tabby and one tortie.

The ginger kitten was the most outgoing of the three and would come down from the shelf for attention.

The four cats inside the pod were pretty shy except for a white and gold cat named Max.

When Max wasn’t busy catching some rays he was busy looking for attention

While I was there, a man and his two boys came in shortly before a woman. All of them decided they wanted to adopt the ginger kitten but the woman recognized that the man was first and let him take the kitten. Perhaps if he didn’t have two young boys who wanted the kitten, he might have let her have him. Unfortunately, the woman left without a cat.

Another woman, who had been in earlier, decided to adopt an eight year old male Siamese cat named Sage. He was hiding under their homemade cat tree so I had to pull him out and put him in a carrier. I’m sure he wasn’t happy about it then but today he is living the good life.

While I was there I spoke with someone about doing animal transports. It is an on call position that I know almost nothing about yet but she did ask if I would be comfortable handling wildlife and mentioned birds of prey and a few others that I don’t remember. My guess is these are animals that are injured and need medical attention but I don’t know. I have an appointment to meet with her at 7:00 am this morning where I will learn more about the job. I think it will be interesting.

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.

Shelter Cats on National Cat Day


Since today is National Cat Day, a day to raise awareness of homeless pets, I thought I would share some recent pictures I took while volunteering at a local SPCA in Largo, Florida. Most of these cats are very friendly and still available for adoption. If you don’t live near me, I’m sure your local shelter has plenty of cats that would love to share your home with you.

As you can see, many cats need a home and the pictures shown here are perhaps five to ten percent of the shelter’s total.

Lately, my wife and I have considered adopting a female cat to help keep our boys in line but we are currently two cats over our legal limit so I don’t know what will happen. If we do decide to adopt, one possibility is the cat shown below. Forgive the quality but I couldn’t get a decent photo of her face because of low light and too much movement.

This girl came to me as soon as I walked in. She got on my lap and purred up a storm. I was a bit concerned because she was practically skin and bones. When one of the shelter employees saw this she said, “Wow, Mama Girl is coming out of her shell.” This surprised me for two reasons. First, out of several cats in the pod, this one seemed the most outgoing and affectionate. Second, I thought she was still a kitten. How could she be a mother? I was told she was about a year old and had already had a litter of kittens.

I expressed my concern about her weight and the employee said she would make a note of it and watch her. If she didn’t improve they might have to remove her from the pod and isolate her. I hoped that wouldn’t happen but sometimes a bully cat can keep another cat from eating. She brought her a container of wet food and asked me to watch and make sure nobody took it from her, which I did. I then noticed a sore on her front leg which I also mentioned.

I will keep on eye on her for as long as she is there. Hopefully she will gain a little weight. Perhaps if I bring her home Chris could show her how to eat for weight gain.

Meet Finnegan


After her beloved cat, Pumpkin, died, my mother-in-law decided to open her home to another cat in need. This is Finnegan.

He is another ginger boy like Pumpkin but he is also not like Pumpkin. Just like all cats, he has his own personality.

I expected him to be shy around strangers and thought I would have to go look for him under the bed but I didn’t. Instead he came out to greet us. He is a very sociable cat but he is not a lap cat, at least not now. Perhaps when he is more comfortable he will be.

We visited twice since she adopted him. The second time I found him napping on the bed so he certainly feels right at home.

He is also not shy about blocking the doorway.

We brought him one of Floki’s mice to play with. I bought a bag of ten mice and still had a few left so we thought he might want one. He was mildly interested for about five seconds and then not so much.

Finnegan, or Finn for short, got his name because he looks like an Irish redhead. He is about three years old and was once a stray that was brought in after someone alerted the organization that he appeared injured or “beat up.” I don’t know all the details but he is far too friendly to be feral.

Another interesting thing is that he has no white on him anywhere. The tip of his tail is very light but not quite white. I don’t recall seeing a ginger cat with no white. I wonder how common that is? What do you think about Finn or about ginger cats with no white?

Kitten Season


I saw these kittens at my local PetSmart on Thursday. It’s amazing how many need homes. The funny thing is, I was most attracted to the only cat that wasn’t a kitten. She is a Russian Blue with no age listed. Too bad I am already over my cat limit.

These kittens are at the PetSmart in Largo, Florida if anyone is interested.

Good Home Needed


My sister-in-law, Felice, saw my post about the cat I saw at Petsmart. My wife saw it too and two days later we were heading to Petsmart to adopt her. When we got there the cat was gone, which was just as well because we are not in a position to adopt another cat since we are already over our limit and because we are planning to move sometime this year.

Felice thought we were looking for a kitten and told us this little fellow was available.

Siamese cat up for adoption

Another Siamese cat was tempting but we said no and the cat went to another family.

Fast forward a couple of days and we hear that he was returned but the details were sketchy at first. I still don’t know all the details but I heard that they let their kids give him a bubble bath and I think he was mistreated in other ways too. They gave him back because he kept hissing at them. Well, duh!

This cat, named Dublin, needs a home. He is located in Pasco County, Florida, which is northwest of Tampa. I posted an appeal on Facebook and Twitter and got a lot of response but none from somebody close enough.

I received more details today in an email from Felice:

Dublin is a year old and a little purr bucket.  He has been fixed, tested and had all his vaccines.
A woman from Canada had been feeding him in her trailer park where she is a snowbird.  She came in to get him fixed but was going to leave him in the park when she left for 6 months.
We told her that would not be right because he had come to depend on her and so we took him in.
We are looking for a loving, forever home and to be a strictly indoor cat.  Anyone interested would have to be able to provide their animal hospital’s phone number because we will be checking to make sure they take care of pets they have and we might even be delivering him to their home.
The last home he was at was horrible so we are not interested in a repeat of this.  Many thanks.

 

I know it is a long shot posting this here but if anyone is seriously interested in Dublin, please let me know.

 

Cat at Petsmart Desperate for Attention


I bought cat litter this morning at Petsmart and couldn’t help but check out the cats in their adoption center. I had no intention of adopting a cat today but I feel bad that they are stuck in small cages so I thought they might like a little attention. I could not have imagined how desperate one of the cats there was for that attention.

She is an 11-month-old female and she really needs a home. The one-year-old male next to her was also needing attention but he was not as obvious about it.

This cat is at the North Clearwater, Florida location. If anyone is in the area and is looking for a pet, I think she would be a great choice. If you know someone in the Tampa Bay area that might be interested, please share.

Photo Friday: Abbey and Alex


Today I want to do something a little different and post a photo from the past, well before Chris was born. I actually took this picture on my birthday, July 9, 2005.

This was the first picture I could find of our two cats, Abbey and Alex, so I think we had just adopted them. Back then Abbey was called Stirling and Alex was called Sloan. We actually adopted Alex but we couldn’t take him and leave his sister behind so we took her too, which was an excellent decision. While we had Alex out of the cage at the PetSmart shelter, Abbey pooped and left it unburied. It was the stinkiest poop we ever smelled and it seemed to remain that stinky throughout her life. Also, her habit of not burying her stinky poops remained too.

Here is Abbey trying to figure out how to get at the fish while Alex looks on.

cats and fish tank

Black Cat Day


Today is Black Cat Day and as I write this, my black cat, Puck, is on my lap being very “kneedy.” We celebrate black cats today because they need our help. They are often overlooked at shelters because of their color or because people associate them with evil or bad luck.

After adopting two black cats, I can assure you that is nonsense. Since having Puck, and before him, Flash, most of my “bad luck” was a result of my own stupidity. Both of our black cat’s have been very sweet, and a little shy too, but they were, and are, well-behaved and wonderful to have around.

Cats Chris and Puck for Black Cat Day

If we didn’t adopt Puck, Chris would not have a best friend.

If you are looking to adopt a cat, today would be a great day to go to your local animal shelter and  give a loving black cat a good home.

 

Meet Floki, Our Newest Addition


I felt a little bad Sunday after we went up to my sister-in-law’s vet’s office to look at kittens that needed a home and then left without one (If you didn’t read my last post you can find it here). Rose felt bad too and called her sister and asked about seeing the second male Siamese kitten.

The two cats were being fostered and Felice chose the one she thought was more friendly and brought that one in to be fixed. Rose wanted to see the other one so the foster parent agreed to meet us with the other kitten at the animal hospital, where the first kitten was still staying,

When she arrived, Felice put a ribbon around the neck of the fixed cat so we wouldn’t confuse them and then took both kittens out. The big gold cat was there to greet us again and was a little bit like Baby Huey.

Kittens and catKittens and cat

After checking out both kittens, Rose came to realize that the first kitten we saw was the better choice and he was not sickly like she first thought. It was like she was seeing him for the first time and was convinced he was the one, so we put him in the carrier and headed home after briefly considering taking his brother too. Of course, we knew we were pushing the limit with four cats, especially since we are only allowed two.Kitten in carrier

On the way out we had to pass by this scene, which was very hard to do.
Kittens in cage

We were happy to hear that this girl’s potential adopter is not as bad as we thought. While she will be an outside cat, we were told that she will be living on a farm with other outside cats that are well taken care of. Apparently, there is a part of the barn that is set up for them. I sometimes think Frankie might be happier living in a place like that where he can come and go as he pleases. I then see him lying upside-down on our bed and I think maybe not.

The kitten cried almost all the way home, and it was a long trip. I heard Siamese cats are very vocal and this confirms it.

I thought introducing a kitten would be less stressful for our cats because kittens are not a threat. I noticed when we introduced Puck, a kitten, Chris was happy to have him but when we got Frankie, an adult cat, Chris was not happy about that.


This time Chris and Puck did a little growling at the kitten but were mostly tolerant. Frankie, however, wanted the kitten gone. He spent his time hissing at him and trying to whack him. Fortunately, the kitten was small enough to get into places where Frankie couldn’t reach him.

Our kitten Floki

Floki and Chris

I wanted to tell the story in one post but preparing the pictures and videos is time-consuming, and I have very little spare time these days. I will finish this tomorrow, hopefully. I will say that as I write this, Frankie is mostly over being mean to the kitten but he is still jealous and needs attention.