An Adoption Manager Hits a Cat You’re About to Take Home: How Would You React?


My husband and I missed having a big cat in our lives. His childhood cat, Booger, was around 17 pounds in his prime, a healthy and sassy Siamese mix who made me fall in love with cats. When I saw a large cat with the same name on a local rescue’s adoption page, I knew I had to go meet him.

I took my mother-in-law with me to meet Booger at a local cat rescue. Booger was large and sweet, though he made it clear he wasn’t fond of being handled. I liked him but met some more of the rescue cats first. We went to the “big cat” room, and that’s when I spotted him — a huge tabby sitting in the middle of the room on a log. Two Dollar, as he was called, let me pick him up, and he reached up and gave me a little kiss on my nose. He seemed very laid back, and being that he was from a cage-free facility, he was accustomed to sharing his space with other cats.

Two Dollar on his perch at the rescue. (Photo by Meghan Lodge)
Two Dollar on his perch at the rescue. Photo by Meghan Lodge

I told the lady I’d be back, because I had to talk it over with my husband. We went back the next day so that my husband could meet the cats. This time, we were escorted by the adoption manager. I asked to see Booger, but she wouldn’t allow us in to the room.

“Those cats aren’t adopter friendly,” she said.

I explained I had just been to visit him yesterday and found him sufficiently friendly. She ushered us on past to the room where Two Dollar was.

She asked us a little about what we were looking for, and we told her about my husband’s childhood cat and how we wanted another large cat. She immediately launched into a diatribe about people overfeeding their cats and how unhealthy it is to have an overweight cat. She left the room, and my husband and I were free to get to know Two Dollar.

From what we had been told, Two Dollar had been there for almost a year. He had come to the rescue with another cat after his owner died. Although we were pretty sure we wanted to bring Two Dollar home, we still needed to discuss it privately. I told the adoption manager we’d take the adoption paperwork and have an answer in the next hour or so.

“No rush,” she answered flippantly. “He’s been here, like, a year; nobody is coming for him.”

Deuce, formerly Two Dollar, in his bathroom-turned-safe-room at his new home. (Photo by Meghan Lodge)
Deuce, formerly Two Dollar, in his bathroom-turned-safe-room at his new home. Photo by Meghan Lodge

I picked up my daughter and returned to complete the adoption process. Seeing my 2-year-old, who was very excited to see all of the “leedle-lees,” the adoption manager raised a brow at me as though she was about to make another speech based on assumptions.

“She’s used to cats,” I said. “We teach her to respect animals and their space.”

That must have been satisfactory, because she went back to working on the adoption paperwork. Two Dollar still had to get a checkup from the attending veterinarian, as well as his vaccines. That’s when things really started going downhill. I heard Two Dollar start growling and hissing as they were getting him positioned for his vaccines and trimming his claws. I looked around the corner just in time to see the adoption manager hit Two Dollar, saying, “Stop that! Stop it!”

In shock, I didn’t say anything, but I’m sure my facial expressions gave me away. I hadn’t completed the adoption process yet, and I wanted to make sure he was going home with me.

A sleepy Deuce lounging on the bed in his new home. (Photo by Meghan Lodge)
A sleepy Deuce lounging on the bed in his new home. Photo by Meghan Lodge

“I don’t think you want this cat,” said the adoption manager. “He’s not a good cat.”

I reassured her that we very much wanted him.

“Well, maybe you should just come back tomorrow to pick him up when he’s calm,” she responded.

If she believed I would leave him there for one more second, she was mistaken. I understand that she didn’t know me, but she also didn’t ask questions to find out my level of cat expertise. She wouldn’t have known I had other pets unless I volunteered the information, as neither she nor the adoption paperwork asked that question. I told her I fully planned to adopt Two Dollar and take him home that day, and that I had a secluded room set aside for him with all of the necessities so that he could slowly and comfortably transition into our household.

Deuce relaxing with his horde of new toys. (Photo by Meghan Lodge)
Deuce relaxing with his horde of new toys. (Photo by Meghan Lodge)

With the adoption process complete, I hurried out the door with my daughter and Two Dollar, who we renamed Deuce. The more I thought about that adoption manager and the whole situation, the angrier I got. I began to regret not confronting the woman immediately, but I was happy I had gotten Deuce out of that place. I contacted the director of the rescue, and she responded that she would have a talk with the manager.

The real irony of this situation? After essentially assaulting my new cat, the adoption manager reviewed the adoption agreement with me. Stipulation No. 3? “The prospective adopter agrees never to strike or otherwise harm the cat.”

Have you ever had a bad adoption experience? Tell us about it in the comments!

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