Shelter's 4,000th Adopted Cat Gets the Royal Treatment

 |  Dec 23rd 2010  |   0 Contributions


Linda Pappas, 5, holds Princess, the 4,000th cat to be adopted at the Salem Friends of Felines shelter. Photo by Carol McAlice Currie

On Tuesday, a black-and-white kitten was amazed to find herself the center of attention as the Friends of Felines animal shelter in Salem, Ore., celebrated its 4,000th cat adoption.

Princess, a frisky black-and-white kitten, had a rough start in life. A shelter volunteer found her alone, the last of a group of littermates being given away by a person outside a local supermarket.

The volunteer brought her to the shelter, and Shelter Director of Operations Jeanie Sloan fostered the tiny bundle of fluff for two months.

"She was too small to adopt out at the time, so I kept her until she was old enough to get all her vaccines and be spayed," Sloan said. "I find that my house is now a lot quieter at night. I guess I always knew she was a special kitten."

Once Princess was ready for adoption, Sloan brought her back to the shelter, where she lived a fairly ordinary life until the Hernandez family arrived last Friday and started looking at cats.

The staff and volunteers could barely contain their excitement because they knew an auspicious moment was near.

Once the family settled on Princess, the staff rang bells, applauded and began their celebration.

The four-month old kitten wasn't the only one shocked by all the noise and commotion. Jesus and Heather Hernandez and their 5-year-old daughter Linda weren't sure what the big deal was, either. But once the shelter staff told them that Princess was the shelter's 4,000th adoption, they adjusted quickly -- especially when they heard about the prizes they'd won, including a $20 gift card to South Salem Pet Supply.

"We didn't have any idea of what was going on," Heather Hernandez said. "But we knew she was right for our family, and so it was meant to be."

The Hernandezes also learned that the Willamette Valley Animal Hospital was sponsoring adoptions last week, and instead of paying $75 or more, they paid $25 to adopt Princess with the animal hospital picking up the other $50 of the fee.

On Tuesday, Princess and her entourage returned to the shelter for the cat's well-deserved publicity.

The royally named feline's humble origins showed in her discomfort with all the attention. Despite having been showered with a carpeted cat perch, a deluxe cat carrier, a litter box and litter, and lots of food, toys and treats, her eyes and head darted side to side constantly, and she settled down only when she was in Linda's arms.

"[Princess is] full of energy and loves to play with Linda and [her three brothers]," Heather Hernandez said. "When Linda isn't chasing Princess, the cat's chasing her. And when Linda lays down, the cat will come and lay down, too. She has really made herself at home with us."

As Princess and the Hernandez family prepared to leave, Sloan mentioned that the shelter hoped to find forever homes for another 1,000 cats in 2011 so that they could shower another cat's family with attention next year.

"We hope to be celebrating 5,000 adoptions around the same time next year," Sloan said.

Jesus Hernandez, who said Princess is the family's only pet, said, "Let us know when you get close, and we'll pick her up a sister."

[Source: the Statesman-Journal]

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