During the winter…… during a routine trip to the shelter to pull dogs I ended up in the cat room. BIG MISTAKE for a softie. It is a room with maybe 50 small wire cages each holding one cat, the slightly larger cages hold two. It was overwhelming.
I must admit going into this room was a mistake, my heart sank and I wanted to take them all home……..or at least let them all out. 🙂 I LOVE dogs but I also love cats. I am always worried about bringing a cat to our house because of the dogs. Not so much that the dogs would harm the cat, but more that the cats would hide under a bed in fear of a house full of dogs. I dont want to traumatize the little buggers.
I walked through the cat room slowly, reading the cat cards on front of each cage….Name, age, reason for surrender and often a little something about the cat. “Boo’s” card read, “Likes Dogs”. I said to myself “LIKES DOGS?….Yeah, but what about 5 of them? Bet you wouldnt like 5 of them….” I kept walking, observing, talking to them….wondering who had been there the longest. Boo had been there over half a year…..I couldnt fathom being in that tiny cage for 6 months, only coming out in a small cardboard carrier for the cage to be cleaned. Cats have always represented free spirits to me and all of those cats being confined to such a small space just broke my heart.
Now, this shelter loves it’s cats, dont get me wrong….they have a ton of them, and they run a prison cat program…….an awsome program, however all of those cats in those cages really hurt me. I found out from my friend who pulls from that shelter more than I do, that the cats who had been there the longest were in a different area. She said, “If they live here more than a year, they go to the cat room”. Cat room? *I wanted to see the cat room.
The cat room was a small room, with a window that faced the entry of the shelter, and a screen door that faced into the shelter lobby. It housed maybe 10 plus cats. They had scratching posts, beds, toys…….but I couldnt stop thinking about the fact that they had all been there a year or more. I imagine that room felt like a mansion compaired to the tiny cage that had housed them for a year, but even the cat room felt small to me.
I slid through the entry door, holding back a cat who was just waiting to escape, and sat in the middle of the floor. I quickly became the most interesting thing in the room to most of the cats. They had to sniff me and check me out one by one. One hissed and skurried off, but most were interested in me long enough for me to pet them and give them a little scrach behind their ear. Upon approval most slinked off to a favorite blanket or spot, however one remained……purring loudly and kneeding my Carhart jacket all over. I mean it was a full on love fest in the cat room. I sat in the room for almost an hour and was loved on the entire time. I asked one of the girls who worked there how long this cat on my lap had been there and said said, “Oh I think 3 years or so”………I said, ” THREE YEARS???”
My heart felt like it rolled out of my chest and into my lap. Three years in the shelter waiting on a family. I couldnt belive it.
Someone brought a dog into the temperment test it with the cats while I sat there with a cat on my lap (2 feet away) and she never flinched. She gave a hoot less about that dog, turning her attention and glaze back at me with that squinty eye look that only a cat lover understands…..She said, “Oh I already love you” and continued kneeding me.
My friend returned to the cat room and said “who’s that on your lap?”…….I just smiled and she said, “Is she going home with us too?” I said “Yep”…….”Her and a black cat named “Boo”.
So now I guess you can call me the cat Rescue Mama now too….. 🙂