People Who Say Money Can’t Buy Happiness Have Never Paid An Adoption Fee

I’d always considered myself a dog person so it was by sheer coincidence that I found myself wandering around the cattery of the local animal rescue centre with my niece one Saturday morning. We had gone there with my sister to support one of their coffee mornings and whilst she browsed in their small gift shop, we took a stroll and ended up in the cattery. I am sure that rescue centres for animal lovers are much like charity shops whereby you can’t go home without purchasing something and this day was no exception.

Any animal lover cannot be anything but moved by cage upon cage of endearing hopeful faces pleading for their forever home. Whilst we were browsing the pens, one of the elderly volunteers who was changing the litter trays remarked to us “cats are funny like that; you don’t choose them, they choose you”.

Hobo

Hobo

Mad as a box of frogs I thought to myself as I smiled vacantly at her and continued inspecting the cages. I had no intention of becoming a crazy cat woman, although that ship has since sailed!

My niece persuaded me to have a couple of introductions with two black cats after all I lived on my own for most of the time whilst Serial Shagger was away serving Queen & country and we had a nice little garden so grudgingly I settled for two black cats whom the volunteer said always struggled to find new homes because of the ridiculous old superstitions associated with them. As I had frequently been called an old witch, it somehow seemed to be a match made in heaven.

The first little cat we met was fairly disinterested in us and remained aloof at the back of the cage so it was then that we were introduced to Hobo who to be fair was a rather large black cat with huge green eyes. The cattery assistant told me that he had been renamed by the staff as he was currently six months old and had already been returned to the centre five times. Regretting our decision somewhat we gingerly stepped inside the pen expecting some mean hissing ball of fur that’s when he jumped up onto the ledge and placed his front paws squarely on my chest and looked into my eyes and touched my nose with his. Image Mobile SAGEM The beaming volunteer who had been watching the proceedings with interest said “that’s the one then”. We completed the paperwork and agreed that we would collect him in a week’s time after I’d had a home check to see whether I’d be able to provide a suitable home.

Exactly one week later after frantically shopping for all things cat, installing a cat flap and buying a lifetime’s worth of kibble, I went to collect Hobo together with my family entourage. Whilst I was waiting for the cattery assistant I again browsed the cages; at the very end one was a small young bald cat who had been named Mermaid. The notice on her cage said that she had been found by a fisherman floating in a sack at the shore edge of the wharf and brought to the rescue centre where they had had to shave her fur because of all the oil and tar. I was debating whether to find a playmate for Hobo and as she wasn’t going to be winning any prizes for the prettiest cat any time soon, would probably be overlooked at the cattery amongst all the other sleek felines, so I asked to meet her.

Unsurprisingly, she was pretty terrified of people but that was to be expected as probably one of her last encounters resulted in her being dumped into the sea. I thought that this little girl needed a home and a chance so it was agreed that she would join me and Hobo a week later when her veterinary treatment had been completed.

As any anxious first time parent will tell you every snuffle, itch and cough gave cause for concern and it was no different with me and the cats; particularly as what I knew about cats could be written on the back of a bus ticket and then there’d still be enough room for the Lord’s Prayer. Hobo settled in pretty quickly and soon became the master of all he surveyed. A week later when Mermaid whom we renamed Chloe came home for the first time, it was then that chaos and disorder ensued. Not the least of which because Hobo didn’t want to share his new-found home with another cat.

I think the first two weeks Chloe lived under the sofa too terrified to come out and I considered returning her to the rescue centre more than once because I was troubled at the quality of life she had when she had been through so much already. Life gradually settled down although there are still nights when we’re woken by them thundering up the stairs chasing after each other to score the first swipe. bear

I am so glad that we adopted our kitties and nine years on they still aren’t the best of friends and probably never will be but they do bring us much joy. Our animal clan has been substantially extended since then and there’s always room at the inn for another needy four-legged pal, even if it’s only for a short while before finding a forever home with another loving family.

I’ve learned that your house will never be pristine clean when you have pets but a house isn’t really a home until you have a trail of muddy paw marks across your newly mopped kitchen floor but for all the love and laughter that they give you, it seems a small price to pay.

Animals have a way of finding people who need them and filling an emptiness we didn’t even know we have

garden 004

48 thoughts on “People Who Say Money Can’t Buy Happiness Have Never Paid An Adoption Fee

  1. Bless you for taking a chance on that poor shaved kitteh! I got two of my three cats from shelters… Neeners, who died last year, was the first, and I was so lucky to get her. Ironically, she wasn’t my first choice, but I am so glad things worked out the way they did. And Methos is such a lover. AT 14 pounds, he is so sweet and such a love bug! YOur kittehs are very pretty!

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    • I know you are a sucker for kitties with a sad tale – we’ve also got an old boy (not just my Dad) with one ear and cataracts who one of our neighbours didn’t want anymore because she had bought a kitten;sadly we live in a disposable world when it comes to kids, old folk and animals

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      • I still don’t get that mentality. First, um, “you didn’t REALIZE it would eventually grow up into a , ya know, REAL cat???”

        And also… ..I hope someone ditches her because she’s turned into an old bag. lol

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  2. I have twice been quite determinedly chosen by cats as the provider of their forever home. Both were absolute characters, who coincidentally detested each other, but as it was their choice to be there, together, what could I do? They brought us much joy [and hilarity] for many years and have been greatly mourned since their departures. I enjoyed this post very much 🙂

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  3. Dallas, what a beautiful post … about your 4 legged friends. Wonderful that you helped the needed. And I think money can buy love …. At least when it comes for the suffering animals around the world.
    By the way they don’t have to pay back in love … for help with their needs. A heartfelt post and the photos talks for themselves. I had took care of big male cat many years ago or .. he decided to move in with me … mostly for piss me off. He didn’t really like me. Gave him the name Whiskey … and two years later I found a little tabby(apricot & soft grey) female kitten and she got the name Zoda. He didn’t like her neither, but a show it was … now they both are gone. Miss them so at times.

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  4. Dallas, you and your mum and da have a big, big heart (one big collective family heart) and I’m so glad you are sharing the love with so many. I love cats and wish I could take in a few more, but, I just can’t handle more than the one I have. She’s attached to me, but we give each other space (she’s an indoor cat, but I let her out on the porch when I’m in the garden), and she has her issues with the litter box, but she’s part of the family, and families have to deal with all the perks and flaws of it’s members. Saturday is International Peace Day, so your post is a nice contribution to world peace! – Kaye

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    • Having just one animal is a handful, fortunately we share the load and when you have a cupboard full of cat food already it would be churlish not to share it with any others that had been neglected or abandoned. Sadly, in our neighbourhood there are a lot of folk that lose interest once these animals grow out of the kitten stage

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  5. This was an extremely moving post and so good on you for taking in these wonderful kitties and giving them great homes. We currently have two ourselves (both rescues) our tux Jack is 22 years old and I know it can’t go on forever much as I want it to.

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  6. Thank you for giving these cats a home. I can no longer go near anything like an animal shelter because it breaks my heart. We’re already at maximum capacity for cats but would give them all a home if we could.

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  7. Our cat was a rescue cat as well. For the first month she lived under the sofa and as she’s black, all you could see was 2 large green eyes looking back at you. That was nearly 11 years ago now. She’s still very anxious and always on high alert ie no-one is ever going to catch her unawares but with us she’s more relaxed. She is highly suspicious of all strangers and prefers to hide rather than meet them. She’s our very special rescue cat.

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  8. I cried after reading this post. Seriously! It was a happy moment but I kind of still feel sad for the other cats who can’t find their comfortable homes. I have one who was a stray cat before I took him in and ruled over my abode. Nevertheless, he gives me so much joy and contentment. God bless you and your huge heart for cats. 🙂

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  9. Well pointed, great story. In my Romania, people who own a business and haven’t a dog must pay an annual tax for whatever the government is doing or pretending as a doing regarding to “dogs”. How that sounds? Anyway not long ago, a dog killed a 4 years old kid and romanians got nuts want to shoot each every dog. My question is where was the mother of the child? Why we have to exterminate a breed because one was a killer? And why we have to pay that annual fee?
    Going back to kitties, one day I said I want to have a cat. Later in the evening I found it on my stairs, dirty, skinny and crying. Guess what, I adoped her, witouth paying a tax! What a irony!

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  10. Our household is currently without a dog, but with the exception of our 15 1/2 year old calico, Ally, whom we got as a kitten from a family with a “free kittens” sign in their yard, every pet we’ve had has been a stray or from a shelter — and we couldn’t have asked for any family member to be more loyal and loving than they have been.

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  11. I saw this quote th eother day, It truly applies to you & yours. It’s well deserved of all call lovers… “You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats.” ~Proverb

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  12. Love your kitties! Right now I have only two, both adopted in Singapore and only a couple of weeks apart in age and best of friends. They are entirely indoor cats and spoiled as can be. At times in my life I have had up to five roaming my home. Thank you for rescuing and sharing the story and pictures, just a delight to read.

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  13. I always classed myself as a dog person Dallas but after 3 months living with 6 adorable cats they have sneaked into my heart and into my bed at 6am to let me know it is breakfast time. I know I will miss them when we say goodbye in another 5 weeks time. They all gallop up and down the long passage and sound as though they have gum boots on.

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  14. Great post! I love this story. My best kitty ever was a little hairless grub found on the sidewalk with her eyes still closed. We raised her with baby formula in a baster, and she turned out to be a sleek beautiful black cat, first in a dynasty that ruled our household for many years.

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  15. We must have known each other in a past life. I too rescued an older abused cat. It took over a year before she would walk around the house in my presence and another before she would actually walk up to me and let me pet her. I got her as a pet for my other cat whose other friend had died and he was in need of company. Thank goodness they both took to each other on the spot. He gave her the support she needed and she him. She is still scared of people she does not know and noise but is really loving once she does know you. I know her life is better for it and she was in the shelter for a long time because no one wants an older cat. She is around 16 now and does not seem like she will be leaving this world for a long time. Just glad I could make her life better for whatever she has left of it. I am a crazy cat lady and proud of it!

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  16. So happy you found your babies. All my kitties and dogs have been older rescues. At one point when my children were younger, they whined about never having a kitten or puppy.
    And no cat lover is crazy, Crazy.

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  17. You are such a kind hearted softie, bless you Dallas! I am a cat person, but our constant shuttling, does not leave room for pets. So miss their purring warmth on my lap sometimes. We reared four generations of cats – all black – before we moved into this apartment!

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