Some people are dog lovers and others are cat lovers. No matter what kind of pet you choose, many of them need lots of attention and be prepared for the expenses. I’m not a dog person so, I’ll be focusing on my life with cats.
I’ve had many cats in my lifetime of all different ages, some strays and some rescues. I will tell you one thing, they are all different. I have 2 cats currently, 1 is 15 years old and the other is 1 year old. There are major differences between the 2. My 15 year old cat is blind in both eyes, he doesn’t like to play or be outside. He doesn’t eat much and he drools a lot.
My 1 year is old is a handful. He loves sleeping during the day and going absolutely crazy at night time. He’s constantly demanding food and to go outside. If he doesn’t get to go outside at night time, he runs all over the bedroom knocking things over, playing in the litterbox, sliding random toys across the floor, running into the door, jumping over trashcans and pillows, in and off the bed and well you get the picture. He’s absolutely obnoxious.
A lot of people think that kittens are cute. You won’t feel that way when you’re killing your wallet buying milk and listening to them meow 24/7. Then those kittens turn into rambunctious terror furballs who get into everything and keep you up all night. Don’t count on getting a break until they are senior cats. It will absolutely drive you insane to have to deal with a cat. Cats love getting into trashcans and jumping up on counters. The only way to train a cat to not do that, is to spray them in the face with water, you must be consistent or they won’t learn. Some people might say “That’s abusive”, no it’s not abusive, it’s the only way to keep them from tearing your house apart. You’re not hurting them, you’re training them. To abuse an animal would be anything that would alter their state physically for life or cause their death.
If you think you can handle all of these things, by all means get a cat. Oh and I almost forgot to mention, 1 year old cats love to hide behind anything bigger than them, then when you walk by, prepare to be pounced on. Good luck with your new cats, you’re going to need it.
The main reason I’m writing this blog is because I was motivated by watching a TV series on Netflix called “Animal House”. It’s a show about a no kill shelter in New York called North Shore. The other reason I’m motivated is because when word spread that I take in pets that are no longer wanted, I became the drop off place for unwanted pets, primarily puppies. It was horrible to see how many people discarded their pets at my doorstep as if, they were just trash. It’s also sad that many pets are considered property under the law and nothing more.
I have adopted several animals from shelters and currently have a couple of animals that I adopted from people who couldn’t take care of them any more. Normally, this would be considered fostering and I have done a lot of that but, I plan on keeping the remaining animals I have left permanently. I currently have a cat that a woman didn’t want any more and though I knew virtually nothing about him, I decided to take him in because he needed a good home. I was told he was 14 years old but, later found out through a post she had made, the cat is actually 16 years old. I also was told that the cat couldn’t be kept any longer because the neighbor was allergic to cats and then found out she has 2 other cats that she’s keeping. So anyway, it’s a long story but the point is, when you’re adopting any kind of animal whether it be from a person, a rescue from the street or in a shelter, you never know what kind of health problems the animal may have and you certainly don’t know his/her true temperament.
In my case, I had to take the cat to the vet to find out if he was healthy or needed to be euthanized. The first 2 weeks he was here, he would not come out of hiding and he hissed every time we got near him and I thought “I can’t deal with this”. Come to find out, the cat is blind in both eyes and couldn’t see who was approaching. Finally, we had, had enough of his hiding and not socializing and forced him out of the room he was hiding in and shut the door so that he could no longer run back to that space. The entire day I would pick him up and carry him to the couch or to my bed and pet him and have him lay down so that he could get used to us without hissing. He kept us awake the entire night upset that he was being forced to socialize and to get used to the cat we already had (also a rescue). The next day, to our surprise the cat started socializing as if he had known us forever. He got on the bed, he walked through the house, he nudged my arm for me to pet him and got along well with the cat we already had who’s much younger than he is. It was amazing to see the turn around so fast and I think a lot of it is, us not allowing him to hide anymore and you know something, he doesn’t even bother going to the door of the bedroom he used to stay in.
The point in telling you all of this is because, I want you to understand that you never know what type of animal you’ll actually be getting, they are a lot of work and sometimes you’ll even feel like giving up but, you have to make the time to welcome the animal in your home and make the animal feel like you really care and that you can be trusted. The problem with most animals in shelters is that have either been abandoned or abused and possibly both. The animal isn’t likely to trust you regardless of their past situation and working with them to rehabilitate them is a lot of work and patience. Often times people get pets out of just wanting one and don’t consider everything that’s involved.
The animal, particularly dogs with previous bad behavior, will continue that behavior after you bring them home and it can be extremely troublesome and stressful, to change the animal’s mindset and behavior. They may chew your carpet, tear down your breakables, snap at you or even run when the door is open. Learn as much as you can about the animal prior to adopting him/her if possible. If you go to a shelter or the local pound, make sure they give you all the information about the animal including his/her behavior while they have been there and anything you can find out about the condition they were found in.
If you have never had a pet before, start with a small pet that you know a little something about, whether that be from online research or knowing someone with a pet. Don’t feel rushed to make a decision on which animal to take home. Walk around each cage and spend at least 10 minutes with the animals that you really like. If you’re adopting an animal that you found on the street, be sure that you have the time to rehabilitate that dog/cat before taking it home and make sure that it doesn’t present a health hazard or is dangerous. Some animals can be okay until you get them in your vehicle, that’s when the trouble can really start and make sure the dog/cats overall condition looks good before bringing it home. If it only looks like it’s starving, that’s better than a dog say with the mange.
Please share your rescue/adoption stories below and as always, thanks for reading my blog!
Recently, I got a cat that’s an adult from a married couple who could no longer keep him. We had to drive quite a ways to pick him up and he had never been in a car before. We realized trying to bring him home that it was going to be a tough ride because he was not at all happy about being in a car. Finally about 30 minutes into the ride he started settling down. He lived in a very small apartment and was allowed to be outside roaming the parking lot any time he wanted to. He had never had any immunizations, seen a vet or been neutered. We brought him home to a house nearly 5 times bigger than the apartment he lived in and the first thing he did was run and hide behind the couch. I had known that he probably would do that because I have had cats before. We finally managed to get him out from behind the couch, I put a soft fleece blanket over an extra pillow that we have and laid it on the floor. He wanted nothing to do with the pillow and decided to sleep on our bed the entire night. The next day he laid around the entire day and decided to lay in a torn up trash bag in our closet with only his head sticking out. We left him alone assuming that he would come out eventually. Later that night he began meowing at the door and scratching at the door. He wanted to go outside just like he was used to doing and of course we couldn’t just let him out because he doesn’t know how to find his way home and we don’t have any tags for him yet or even a collar.
So the next day, we took him outside in our backyard which has a large wooden fence all the way around and we watched him carefully. At one point he ran under my legs and jumped all the way on top of the fence and was getting ready to jump over it when I grabbed him. We knew that we couldn’t just let him outside. Most of the time he just lays around or stares out the window but, sometimes he comes around being all annoying and wanting constant attention which I can’t give him constant attention because I have a toddler in the house who has autism and he needs much more attention. I would imagine that some of you will judge me and say that I shouldn’t have gotten a cat to begin with but, I really wanted my son to have a small animal that he could grow up with and maybe even help some of his autism characteristics and I have heard that cats can be very loving and gentle with kids and people who are sad.
Tonight has been the most unusual night of them all. He got up on our bed and squatted over my husbands blanket, was trembling very badly and jumped off the bed and he left behind a small wet spot that didn’t seem like urine. So now I find out that he’s “in heat” and I know male cats don’t go in heat but you know what I’m saying. So now we need to take him and get his shots and get him neutered. He’s also been jumping up on the toilet in our bathroom and jumping up on the tiny windowsill in our bathroom and falling to the floor. I’m not sure if he actually knows there’s a female cat outside or if he’s just hoping there is. Either way, I probably should have looked for a cat that’s already been neutered rather than just asking for any cat.
If you have cats, especially rescued cats you will probably understand all of these frustrations that we’re having right now adjusting to life with a new cat. If you don’t have cats but you’re considering getting one, get one that’s neutered or spayed already.