For the last two months I haven't spent much time volunteering at the shelter. For 5 weeks I was trying to get my two cats to accept a third cat. It did not work out, and I was upset that the adoption failed, that I would not have my "ideal" three-cat family, and that I brought turmoil into our house.
After a few weeks of getting our two cats back into their normal routine I read an article about adding a cat to the family that reassured me that I didn't make a bad choice about tyring to rescue a third cat. It made the point that you can pick your friends and you can pick your cats, but you can't pick your cats' friends. That's exactly what happened in our house. I may have wanted a third cat, but Raven didn't. She is happy living only with Sammi, and that's the way she needs it to stay.
Having made a committment to volunteer, I decided it was time return and continue what I set out to do. It may not be much, but giving a few cats a little attention and breaking up the boredom of their day may help keep them healthy and happy while they wait for their forever home.
I spent four hours in the shelter socializing with the cats. I was surprised at how many kittens were in the shelter again. Apparently this is the late-season wave of kittens and there were so many little faces mewing for attention! There were plenty of adult cats too. Along with another volunteer we had time to get about 15 cats out of their cage for petting and playtime. They were all so eager for attention and happy to walk around a room, jump up on a bench, and stretch their bodies. Giving those cats some much needed attention was rewarding, and reassured me that this is a worthwhile use of my time.
As the shelter was about to close, I spoke with a couple with two young children. They came in looking for a dog but decided a cat would be better for their family. Their son was less than 2 years old and their daughter was about 4. The little girl started crying when she learned that she couldn't go home with a kitten she had taken a liking to. I knelt down and explained to her that after they chose a kitty, she would have to wait a few days while we made sure the kitty couldn't make any more baby kitties. During that time, her mom and dad could get ready for the new kitty by getting food and bowls and toys. I had brought in some cat toys, so I let her choose a few to take home. It made her happy to be leaving with something. It wasn't a kitty, but it was toys for her future kitty, and that made her happy.
Spay & Neuter graphic courtesy Tangri Adapt A Rescue