A MEMBER’S LETTER ABOUT CONSIDERING A OLDER CAT.

LAURA

Six years ago, we had lost one of our cats to cancer and wanted to find a new cat that would get along with our remaining cats. When people think of getting a cat, most look for kittens. Kittens are fun and obviously great entertaining pets. However there are many older cats that also need homes and there are not as many people willing to adopt them. But they do make wonderful devoted pets.

We did not just go out to get a kitten. We wanted to find the right cat. We looked at many before Laura picked me to adopt her. I was at the original Animal Friends of Connecticut Shelter when a "not very pretty", middle aged cat walked over the furniture and bumped heads with me. She did this several times and was very cute the way she acted. I was at the shelter several times over the next few weeks and each time I was there, Laura did the same thing. In addition, to not being very pretty she was also BLIND. Our house is not set up for a blind cat as it would be too easy for her to get hurt, so I tried to find her a home for her with someone else. I even tried to place her with a friend who was legally blind and would be able to relate to Laura‘s blindness. No success.

I finally made the decision to bring Laura home to see how she would do in our house. I attempted to integrate her as I had previous cats but very quickly realized that was not going to work. Not knowing where she was and unable to see, Laura was very frightened. She disappeared for two days and we were unable to find her. As the house is totally cat proof, we knew she was inside somewhere but the question was where. We finally found her hiding under a built-in sofa and realized that we were going to have to try another approach. We purchased a large cage which we placed in a very busy area in the house. Laura lived in the cage for several weeks adjusting to the sounds of her new environment. We then began opening the cage door when we were home and Laura began investigating the surroundings. Each day she would venture a little further from the cage and run back to the cage when something would scare her. After a not too long a time, this older, not pretty, blind cat was wandering the entire house.

One evening I was getting ready for bed and Laura discovered my pillows. She wanted them for her bed. She jumped up and curled up on the pillows which is where she has now slept for the past 6 years. Each evening when I get ready for bed, I tap the railings a couple of times and call her and Laura trots over to the bed and jumps up on the pillows and goes to sleep. During the night she will get up occasionally, but each time she gets up or comes back she will make a little squeak and bump heads, just as she did at the shelter the first time I met her.

Laura is the most wonderful cat. I know she enjoys having a home and people to love her. She is also very spoiled and she knows it. Adopting Laura was one of the greatest things I have done.

When you are considering getting a new or another cat, consider adopting an older cat or possibly one with a handicap. They need homes very badly and can bring you much joy.

P.S. Laura is also a fan of the Uconn Women’s Basketball team. When I watch a game, Laura will come sit beside me and listen to it in its entirety and this is the only show on television that she listens to.