Monday, August 29, 2011

A new kitka?

Bob practically tithes to this group. Now I know why.
Many of you know that we lost our dear cat Buddy over the winter. Bob didn't want to get a new cat right away, so Red Kitka has been solo since February. I knew this wasn't good, but Bob was not ready to talk about a new cat, so I stopped mentioning it. Finally this summer, we started new cat discussions. Red Kitty seems lonely, and we both feel that animals need to have friends of their own kind.

A trip to AID
So today, we visited Animals in Distress (AID), an organization that Bob has supported for years. Frankly, I was afraid that no cat would measure up -- meaning, I'm picky about what I look for in a cat. I want a cat that is...
  • Charismatic -- I don't care about looks so much, or injuries, a missing leg or missing an eye, but I want a cat I connect with. A cat with a soul.
  • Low maintenance. 
  • Good natured and well behaved -- no scratching, no hissing, no destroying furniture.
  • Female. Just because.
  • Young, but not too young. Maybe 1-3 years old.
Have you ever visited a shelter? I haven't. Animals in Distress is a converted physician's office suite, renovated for cat occupation, and there are at least a ten rooms containing eight to ten cats.  Kid playpens housed special needs cats.  The place was crawling with volunteers, and the cats were healthy and content.

 So many cats! I have my requirements list, but...
We went from room to room, and I noted a few names of young, healthy, sweet cats, any of whom would be suitable, but I was at a loss as to how to pick one from among them. Then...

They took us into the "senior" room. When the volunteer made this reference to the room's name I almost didn't go in. NO OLD CATS!   The volunteer assured me that there were some young cats in the room, so I went in.  As I crouched to pet a calico youngster, I felt a chubby presence behind me. A big, orange,  beachball  of a feline was burrowing into my leg. I sat upright and turned to him, I could tell immediately that he was older. He had the face of an old soul.

"Pick me up, already."
Usually with strange cats you have to be a little on guard, but this guy was a pillow with legs.  Tommy (his shelter name) was mixture of sweetness and grumpiness. The picture on the right pretty much sums him up.  He knows one sentence, and it's "Pick me up, already."  I looked at more cats that day, but they didn't leave the same kind of impression.

I wanted to know Tommy's age, and they pulled his history chart.  It as indeterminate but probably 7-8 years old. Tommy was estimated to be three or four years-old when he was first brought to the shelt by someone who found him on the road, in skin and bones condition, in 2007.

I didn't even bother to do the mental math to calculate his age. This cat has lived at the shelter since 2007.  Half of his life.

Bob found the shelter experience a little overwhelming, and only went into one room before he decided I could pick. He did ask the volunteers which of the cats we were looking at was most in need of a home. Our guide admitted that she was elated to see Tommy on our list. He was a good cat, she assured us. 

Next steps
When we filled out the paperwork we were allowed to list two cats. Tommy was at the top. We have to go through an interview and a home visit, which I don't think will be a problem. The home visitor will have to be impressed that Bob screened in and modified our back porch for the cats' exclusive use.  We have three carpeted cat trees in our main living area.

Wish us luck. I just want to get Tommy, né Russell, home.

Anyone else looking?
There were three or four cats that I think about with concern. Look at these sweet faces. They have no one to dote on them. No wonder people become hoarders.



  1. Aww, Tommy looks like a character! I bet he will feel like the luckiest cat on earth when he goes home with you!

  2. Oh my, going to a shelter to pick one out is always so good, but so hard. I picked out my two mousers last October from the local shelter. On one hand I was elated that I got my two perfect girls - and then I went to my car and cried for all the other sweet, sweet kitties that I couldn't take home.

    Tommy looks like a wonderful soul. I bet he'll fit in perfectly at your house!

  3. It is very cool of you to adopt a kitka who is older than you originally wanted. I bet Harv had some influence there. ;)

    I am guessing that Bob is so sympathetic with the kitties that he could not bring himself to choose. It was very nice of you to step in to help, like you did with Buddy.

  4. Charisma is a big part of the bonding with a cat. Our two barn cats have it in spades (and in very different ways). I think Tommy does, too. Wishing you good luck in getting quickly approved (not that you need it with that list of preparedness).

  5. Awww! We recently adopted a barn kitty. He was a house cat reject because he had bad litterbox manners, but he is an AMAZING barn cat! We see him with at LEAST 1 mouse daily, plus he's friendly and loves people.

    He had his paw abcess recently and we coughed up around $300 for our barn kitty, and we don't regret that at all. He's such an awesome fellow and he adore him! (Plus our two inside princelings! We have a breeder reject persian and my husbands frumpy old fart of a cat, lol!) They're both wonderful!

  6. That is so sweet, I sure hope he gets to come home with you.

    Our favorite cat (yikes don't tell the other one!) was taken in at age 8 as well, and now we couldn't imagine life without him. What he lacks in energy and activity he more than makes up for in personality.

  7. Just last week we rehomed one of our cats to my mother-in-law's hobby farm because she wasn't happy being an indoor cat, and we've been debating how soon to get a new friend for our remaining cat. I will take the bottom two that you posted. Can you airmail them? ;)

    Fingers crossed for you and Tommy/Russell!

  8. Sorry, McCauley is my second choice in the event Russell is ultimately taken by someone else (don't think he's on anyone's list, but ya never know). Maybe Bob and I renovate and add some more square footage -- play room for the cats?

  9. Oh Tommy looks JUST LIKE our beloved barn cat Firepaw! (The Paw, as we call him, lives at our friends' barn with his bestie Miss Kitty. We pay for all of their vet expenses and food, and our friends provide the love, the care, and the shelter. The kitties kill small furry things. It's a great deal all around.)

    You are a good soul to consider giving Tommy a home despite his age. I hope he gets lucky enough to live with you!

  10. What exciting and wonderful news! I am crossing my paws that Tommy/Russell will be home with you soon! My Mommeh used to volunteer at a cat rescue shelter and it is always a happy, happy day when a long-term resident finds a Forever home.

  11. What a great post!! I do volunteer work for the Lexington Humane Society (KY) to help them with their "hard to adopt" pets. My husband and I had a GREAT time with the adult cats in the "cattery." LHS is a no kill shelter so some of these guys have been there a long time. I'm happy to donate my time and talents to get some of these great guys and gals adopted. We almost walked out with a cat that fell in love with my husband. We still talk about that cat but we already have two cats ourselves. Here's a link to the blog I do for the LHS:

  12. Geez, I cry like a baby when I go in any sort of shelter. I love the fluffy orange guy. Reminds me of my barn cat, Big Head, a former orange tom cat who came with our property. Big head was super shy until one day we got close enough to pet him and since then he is the biggest lover of my barn crew. Thank you for adopting!

  13. It's probably best to keep me away from a cat shelter because I'd end up bringing too many of them home!

  14. I am keeping my paws crossed that everything works out for you and Tommy! He looks like an awesome cat. So do those others... but I can tell that Tommy is supposed to come home with you.

  15. I like Russell's suave come hither look. We are getting a new barn cat Friday. Someone needs to home a cat and caught me in a week moment. I'll have to tell Jeff the Farmer's Almanac is predicting KY to be overrun with mice this winter and I am just being prepared. I am glad Bob is ready to share his home with another sweet kitty soul. Good for him and good luck to all 3 of you!

  16. Oh my gosh, Tommy speaks through that photo. You can tell he is special!

  17. Orange males are the best. My vet confirms it :)

  18. Yellow cats...just something about them...loads of personality! We had our yellow cat, Mittens, for 14 years - still miss him :)


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