Let’s talk about cat adoption. My next cat will be the ugliest, oldest, least-adoptable cat in the shelter. You know that plain black cat in the corner with no unique markings? The one who’s been waiting patiently, purring his best but getting passed over day after day, month after month? Or the poor kitty who needs to eat special food or visit the vet more often for an existing condition that is otherwise under control? Or that old lady feline who has been waiting patiently and living her life for years at the shelter, but has never known a couch or a bed?
Put all those together, and you have my next cat.
I imagine it’s going to go something like this, when I walk into the shelter when it’s finally time (I am already one over the cat limit at my condo, so this is future planning):
Me: Hi. I’m here to adopt the cat no one wants. Can you please point me to him?
Shelter volunteer, after she digests what I said: Oh my goodness! We’re so happy you’re here. I know the perfect cat. We all absolutely love him and he’s the best cat ever, but he’s been here for two years and he hasn’t found a forever home yet.
Me: He sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to meet him!
Then the shelter volunteer will take me through the room, past all the cuter cats with silly spots or funky stripes or neato patches over their eyes, to my next cat.
And then I see him, and I know. My heart goes out to this precious cat, the one who is loved by all at the shelter but has never cuddled up with a human in bed. The one who gets a few extra treats, extra sympathy pets, the one everyone there has just fallen in love with because they’ve gotten to know him … but potential adopters don’t have enough time to do that, so they choose another.
He’ll look at me with wide eyes, and I’ll look back, and he’ll just know, too. He’ll perk up, turn on the purrs, and come right over to me. And then I’ll pick him up and cuddle him and wonder why in the world no one has scooped up this amazing cat yet. We’ll keep looking at each other, and the shelter volunteer will start to get tears in her eyes, because she just knows, too.
When we get home, I’ll set him up like a king. If he needs steps to get up the bed, he’ll have them. If he needs his food finely filleted, I’ll do that. If he can’t see and needs to adjust to his new area, I’ll make sure there’s nothing dangerous around and introduce him to his food bowl and litter box. If he needs to go to the vet for checkups more often than a normal cat, I’ll be his personal kitty taxi and we’ll go as much as he needs.
But mostly, I’ll give him all the love he deserves and tell him he’s perfect and beautiful and how lucky I am to have found him. I’ll thank him for waiting for me and smother him with kisses. And whether I have 10 years or 10 months with him, I’ll make sure it’s the best time of his life!
I see so many adorable kittens every day, and while I have nothing against adorable kittens, I wish everyone would be able to open their heart to older, “uglier,” or special-needs cats. They have the same-sized heart inside and can love you just as much — and maybe even more!
Won’t you make your next cat the ugliest, oldest, most unadoptable cat, too?
Here is Lieutenant Dan’s Petfinder page. He’s in Cocoa, FL. He’s in no pain and just needs someone patient who preferably has tile floors.