Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Secondhand Cats

Once upon a time, not long ago, there were two cats named Apollo and Bagheera. Apollo and Bagheera were brothers and they had been raised together since they were kittens. Now they are ten years old and somehow circumstances changed for their human family and they weren't wanted any more.

They were fortunate that their family contacted a rescue group that would even give them a chance -- most organizations that would have taken them in would have euthanized them due to their age without any evaluation as to adoptability. That is a sad part of the story because indoor cats can easily live until they are 15 or 20 years old and these boys had no health or behavior problems. The family locked the boys in the basement while they waited for them to be adopted.

APOLLOA very nice family was looking for a cat (or maybe a pair of cats) because their 17-year-old cat had recently died. They searched on and came across Apollo & Bagheera. The boys were older than they had planned, but they seemed like a good match and they needed a new home as soon as possible. Apollo was described as "an outgoing, affectionate cat who purrs when their two year old daughter "wrestles" with him. He craves companionship: when he finds himself alone in the house, he cries out until someone calls his name." Bagheera "is the caretaker of the family: if his human family members are sick or sad, he immediately knows it and stays close by, preferring to be in their lap. He is also very tolerant of small children."

The family visited the cats and were very sad to see them living alone in the basement, so they brought them home as soon as possible.

BAGHEERAAs is often the case with a pair of cats, one is more outgoing and the other is more shy. Apollo is the bolder and braver of these two brothers and Bagheera is shy, but doesn't let himself get left behind. The former family and rescue organization had been prepared to split up these boys. That would have been so traumatic for them, especially Bagheera, after living together for their whole lives.

Two cats are better than one anyway. They keep each other entertained and comforted. It is always a good idea to start out with a pair because sometimes adding a cat to your household later can be difficult.

EVAN AND THE BOYSApollo and Bagheera have a new best friend. His name is Evan and he is a very small boy. Cats who aren't used to children are often frightened of their quick movements and louder, higher-pitched noises. Apollo and Bagheera were already experienced with children. The family reports that "Apollo adores Evan. Follows him and plops down at his feet-- even when Ev is being a noisy little boy. Bagheera is a little less sure, but he is devoted to Apollo and so follows along." As you can see, they all sleep together in Evan's little bed.

Think of all the happy endings out there just waiting to happen if we can work a little harder to put the right people and pets together. A purebred pet is no guarantee of the good health, good behavior and love you expect from your pet.

When you are thinking about getting a pet, always consider fostering to see if you are ready to make the commitment. And, you just might get a free trial on your perfect pet!