As June ends, we also come to the end of the American Humane Association’s national “Adopt A Shelter Cat Month”(http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/programs/special-initiatives/adopt…). However, those who rescue cats will probably tell you that every month there are many cats out there looking for loving homes. Most rescues show their available cats through sites like Petfinder (http://www.petfinder.com/index.html). Some rescues also have adoption days where people can meet some of the cats and kittens who need homes.
To mark the end of Adopt A Shelter Cat Month, this article shares some happy tales from two cat “parents”, and myself. All of us found the furry member(s) of our families through rescues.
Amanda Rush lives in Netcong. Her cat is the first one pictured in the slideshow. Here’s Amanda’s story:
“This is Betsy, who came from B.A.R.K.S. [Byram Animal Rescue Kindness Squad] on June 6, 2009. When I first met her, it was at an Adoption day at Lafayette Village. She stood out from all the rest as she was the youngest and stuck her paw out through the cage to me, and we made eye contact. I told her, ” I’ll be back to get you”. I didn’t adopt her that day as we had a family baby shower being held in the restaurant at the Village, but it always stuck in my mind as to what happened to her. After being away for about a week, I looked on the B.A.R.K.S. website and she was still up there for adoption. Well, right away, I called B.A.R.K.S and said, “I want her!” She, of course, is a spoiled part of the family. She has not been my only cat. I have had some previously. I lost my beloved Domino prior to getting Betsy. He was 17 years old, but he is still here in ways. When I watch Betsy and the things she does, I know Domino is showing her what to get into and how to act. He, too, was a black and white cat. So now “Betsy Boo”, as my mother calls her, is part of the “Rush” family and will always be.”
When Dottie Wolfe’s long-time cat companion Oreo died, she was devastated. But the Stanhope resident opened her heart and home to another cat, an amber-eyed calico. Here’s their story:
“There is a pet adoption group that holds bake sales outside of Sam’s Club every month, so I stopped there to ask about available cats for adoption. They steered me to Pet Smart, where 11th Hour Rescue [a rescue in Rockaway]always has animals for adoption. I visited with some of the cats that day and filled out all the paperwork (worse than applying for a job). They told me that they would contact my vet on Monday, but if had known I could have brought Oreo’s paperwork along with me. I went back on Sunday, and several of the cats responded to me, but there was one little calico that pushed against the bars of her cage and yelled, “Take me! Take me!” So I took her, and within an hour she took over my house and my life. Her shelter name was Galaxy, but that quickly changed to Amberina, because of her beautiful amber eyes. I’ve been very lucky – from the very first when I sit down, she’s on my lap and when I go to bed, she’s in the bed with me – just as a cat should be! I haven’t had to deal with her hiding or cowering in a corner in fear. I was also fortunate that she received a clean bill of health from the vet(and every time that I take her to the vet, I see my parents turning in their graves, because the reason to have a cat instead of a dog was that you didn’t have to take them to the vet!) The main thing I’ve had to deal with is that she constantly tries to get out. We are working on her learning what ‘treat’ means, so that if she should disappear that will bring her running. Another benefit of adopting from 11th Hour at Pet Smart is that I got a lot of great coupons and saved a lot of money. Not that I had to buy any new cat toys – my house is full of them! And as long as Amberina has Mommy’s shoes to play with, she’s happy!”
Personally, my first “happy tails” were named Kelly and Kabuki. My brother and I rescued Kelly, and Kabuki was adopted through K.I.S.S.[Kitties In need of Someone Special, located in Hopatcong] When Kelly died, my brother (who I share a house with) and I felt that Kabuki needed a companion.
My brother wanted a long-haired red female. That’s what Kelly had been. I wasn’t sure about that. My heart was so broken, but I did say if he wanted to get a long-haired red female cat, it would be ok. He started looking online, but had no luck. Our vet had once told us that a low percentage of red-haired cats are female (and my brother wanted a long-haired one, too). Thus, it might be a while until my brother found a cat, so we started looking in a new direction. One day, he saw online a tiger-striped female named Taffy, that he thought would be just right for me. She was at K.I.S.S. and we made arrangements to adopt her. A couple days before we were going to bring Taffy home, my brother was still online looking for a red-haired female cat, when, he happened to look at the K.I.S.S. website and saw a write-up for a cat name, Wanda. It described her as “Taffy’s sister”. That was it. We couldn’t just leave Taffy’s sister behind. Coincidently, just as I was about to contact K.I.S.S., its director was calling me to ask if we could find it in our hearts to take Wanda. Wanda didn’t have perfect markings and might be overlooked for adoption. It also appears the two sisters were close. That was it, Wanda was coming with us! Later, after bringing them home, I heard someone nudge my bedroom door open as I was trying to take a nap. I felt a cat jump onto the bed. I looked up and it was Wanda. She came right up to my face and licked my cheek. I could sense her saying, “thanks for adopting me, too!”
What about my brother? Did he ever get his red, long-haired female cat? It so happens that about a week after Taffy and Wanda had been with us, my brother was surfing cat adoption sites and there she was on the K.I.S.S. site: Goldie! Not only was she a long-haired red cat, she was also a Hemingway cat. What we soon found out is that writer Ernest Hemingway had many polydactyl (more than five toes) cats on his estate, and thus polydactyl cats are called “Hemingway Cats”. Goldie has six toes on both her front paws and “floats” when she walks. She knows she’s special…and she is.
Kabuki has since passed away, but Taffy, Wanda, and Goldie help make our house a home.
Have you got a happy tale of adopting a NJ rescue cat? Would you like to share it? Send the tale (about 200 words) and a jpeg (no more than 512K) to Ewalker738@juno.com At the end of each month, I’ll publish a few of the happy tails I receive. Pass the word!
Rescues like BARKS, 11th Hour Rescue, and K.I.S.S. have adoption days where people can meet the cats ready for adoption:
BARKS has adoption days at several locations. For its calendar visit its site: http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/NJ123.html
11th Hour Rescue has adoption days. Check it out on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eleventh-Hour-Rescue/152809369832
K.I.S.S.’s adoption days are at the Petsmart at Rockaway Mall. For more information go to: http://members.petfinder.com/~NJ372/index.php