Should I adopt a cat? A letter to help you decide...
A thank you from the family cat...
About a week ago, I found an interesting letter on the table from our pet cat, Henry. This is not the original, that one was smudged with foot prints and snack crumbs. Looks like he wants to help promote animal shelters, I'm not entirely sure, but we sure do love him!
My name is Henry, I’m about 3 years old in human years, which makes me the equivalent of a 17 year old in cat time, I think I’m a Maine Coon mix, but I never met my biological Feline parents and my memory of them is pretty foggy. It’s hard to remember being a baby once you start growing up. I’m a pretty handsome Mackerel tabby though, and if you Google “Maine Coon images” my photo pretty much appears. I have tufts of hair between all my toes, I’m quite furry and fluffy, and I have beautiful black feet and stripes throughout my silky smooth coat. I have large expressive ears, nice teeth, and a big full tail. I think my eyes are one of my best features. When my photo is taken they gleam like lasers. I weigh about 14 lbs, which is not heavy and not slim for my breed. I'm the purrrrfect weight! Sometimes I stick my tongue out because I think it’s funny. Or I run sort of bunch up like a raccoon to trick people. Ever since I became a teenager, looking good has been important to me, so I do my best to look handsome and sexy all the time while maintaining a stellar personality and sense of humor.
I used to live in Parma, Ohio until my first Mom could no longer take care of me. She ended up taking me to Parma Animal Shelter. She lied to the shelter when she dropped me off. She told them I was a stray that lived under her porch; I never lived under a porch! That would be uncivilized! And being outside or even in a car for that matter terrifies me! I become a nervous wreck. I think the shelter knew I was an indoor cat. After-all I have great teeth and my fur is silky smooth and well cared for and I tested negative for FIV and HIV. My Mommy didn’t want to get rid of me, I know she loved me; I think she told the shelter I lived outside so they’d take me as an owner surrender, otherwise they would have rejected me. My Mom cried and cried in the final moments when she said goodbye. I cried too, on the inside. Everyone knows cats don’t shed tears like people do. I was really nervous and scared when she left me. I still don’t entirely understand why I had to go.
The shelter was an ok place. It took me 3 days to get used to being there; for that time I hid under a blanket, other cats stared at me and made fun of me. I didn’t care. I was sad and heart-broken from losing my family. And it was a very loud place with all the dogs barking, cats meowing, and the various smells were overwhelming.
Lots of cats are still living at that shelter and dogs too. They need homes and friends and love. If you ever want to save an animal that is lost and needs love, you should go there; 6260 State Road Parma, OH 44134(440) 885-8014, or even consider donating to them or another local shelter. I always overheard the staff talking about help they need and being short on funding. They rely on good hearted people to help all those animals.
When I got to the shelter, they poked at me a lot. They gave me a bath, trimmed my nails, and looked at my private places to see if I was neutered (which I am! It’s humiliating to have a stranger poking around down there). They also updated my vaccines, treated an ear infection I had, and gave me flea medicine. I was pretty fixed up after all of that! I actually enjoyed the bath because water is a strange and curious thing to me.
Parma, Ohio Animal Shelter
- Parma Animal Shelter
Parma Animal Shelter
I tried to play and make friends at the shelter, but I think most of the other cats were jealous of me.
I was allowed to walk around freely on the adoption floor because I’m a friendly and timid guy. A lot of cats were not allowed to do that, because they’d start fights and be really mean to others. I had a crate, but just went in it to sleep and to be left alone when I needed that kind of time. The shelter staff used to flirt with me, they always commented on how good looking I was. “Oh Henry, he’s so handsome and such a good boy!” Stuff like that. But even though being at the shelter wasn’t terrible, sometimes it would get depressing. I was lonely. I missed having my family and my old home. By my fourth week, I was starting to wonder if anyone would adopt me, and I was developing a kennel cough.
Then on Tuesday October 16th, my new mom came! I heard her at the counter asking about me. She said she saw my photo online through the shelter and just had to meet me. At first I didn’t have much hope that she’d actually adopt me. Other people had been in and out of the shelter, and never took me home, I’d been through this before. I didn’t even like most of them anyway. One older lady upset me by pushing too hard on my tummy so I scratched her on her hand, she didn’t adopt me after that.
Anyhow, I was hanging out on top of a box on the adoption floor when my new Mom came in. She looked short and thin, and had long hair and big shoes. She asked a volunteer where I was, and they just pointed to me. She came near me and crouched down. I got right up, and let her pet me and sniffed at her. She smelled pretty good. I heard her ask to spend time in an adoption room with me. So once again I was scooped up taken to a private adoption room, I was really hoping this was the last time that would happen! I heard my new Mom tell Judy or Janet, I can't remember (the adoption specialist) that both her other cats died in September, and that her and her husband buried them in their backyard. One died from a Thyroid disorder and the other had an undetected heart condition. She was crying when she said this. Something about her missing one cat especially, his name was “Naps”. I decided to lie on the floor & let her rub my tummy. I started to purr really loud, one…to show her how good my motor worked, and two…to try and comfort her. I also flashed my irresistible sexy green eyes and rubbed on her leg. Once she started rubbing my belly the conversation kind of sounded like “blah blah blah blah”, that seemed to go on for quite some time. But then I don’t know what happened, I was put back on the adoption floor and she left. I thought for sure I was leaving the shelter that day.
But then to my surprise, she came back the following day with a tall thin man that had a jolly laugh and a handsome face, and a little boy with a big head and large hands for being so small. Back to the adoption room I went. I let them all pet me and really got my motor going. The little boy was gentle with me and I happily let him pet and scratch me and even hold my paws.
This is where my life at the shelter ended and I finally found my new forever family and home!
Comfy Cat Creations pet furniture solid wood
- Comfycat Creations Home
The only place to get Cat furniture. Hand made, solid wood quality
I was quiet on the car ride to my new house, and when we arrived I had to hide again for a few days. I had too much anxiety and didn’t know my way around. I prayed my new family would treat me nicely and never abuse me or hurt me. And they haven’t!
Let me fast forward to the present day…..
My 2nd Moms name is Becky, and the other two humans, large and small both appear to have the same name which is Brian, this confuses me sometimes. The big one seems to be my Dad. I hear them say how I’m the most gentle and timid cat they’ve ever had and how I am so tolerant of the smaller Brian. Sometimes my mom talks to me in this odd voice, and calls me nicknames I don’t particularly like, so I don’t respond to her, except when she calls me “Big Handsome Henry” I like that. The larger Brian will call to me in an old lady voice, and for some reason I just can’t help but run to him when he does that.
I love my new home, so much more than being at the shelter. I never want to go back there. I have a large litter box, my own crate in the basement in case I get sick, I have a nice scratching post, a cat condo all to myself, toys, bedding and blankets, special hairbrushes, and I heard my Mom say she is getting me a drinking fountain! My favorite brush is called a “Furminator” it really helps get rid of extra fur. I get big hairballs, and I love the time I get with my Mom when she brushes me, we’ve bonded really well from that time. I get moist food once a day, and sometimes two of these crunchy snacks that I love, they taste like cheese puffs. I like to eat coconut oil too, but only the healthy organic kind, I like when my Mom rubs it into my fur too, feels good.
The Cleveland APL
- Cleveland Animal Protective League
The Cleveland Animal Protective League is a charitable nonprofit, independent of any government support, which serves the abandonded, homeless, and abused animals of Greater Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. We provide pet adoptions, humane investigation
My Dad put my cat condo in front of a big window, so I get to lounge there and I love looking at “Dough boy” the neighbor’s dog he’s a Pit-bull so I don’t dare go outside, he’d probably eat me. I like to play fetch with the rings off of milk cartons, and I store my toys in my condo. I also like to be in the bathroom when Mom gets ready for work, or when anyone showers. I’m not brave enough to jump into the shower, but if someone takes a bath, I like to sit on the tub ledge and put my paw in the tub. Or I sit like a meatloaf on the toilet seat. My Mom and the small Brian are always picking me up. I don’t love this, but I tolerate it. I like when they kiss me on the nose though. And sometimes I hide under the little Brian’s bed or nap on his bunk bed. I guess I’m kind of nosy, but when my family does things around the house I have to be there and supervise what is going on. Mainly I need to make sure they are safe, but also need to know what it is they are doing and help if I can. I purr all the time and really loud because I’m a really happy boy to have such a great new home and family, I figure if I purr loud enough they’ll know this. Sometimes I just purr because I enjoy hearing myself do it. I follow my Mom around the house all the time. Sometimes she cleans so much I get exhausted following her from room to room. I like to sit in laundry baskets and boxes if there are any lying about, and I inspect cabinets. Once I got locked in the bathroom cabinet for 4 hours until my Mom found me that was scary! Usually I can open doors on my own, and I suppose I should knock more often but don’t. But I can’t get out of cabinets on my own. At night I sleep in my Moms bed. She always has a heater on and it just makes me so comfy and cozy, and she has the best blankets too. We watch Netflix together. Sometimes she snuggles me in this one furry blanket and wraps me up like a baby, this gets me excited and sometimes I hump my Mom and Dad too. I’m not sure why. Usually I just hump my Mom. She gets mad at me when I do this, and usually shoos me off. I try to climb back on her arms or legs and get shooed away. She is just so pretty; I guess I forget that she is my Mom and not my girlfriend.
I’m so glad this is my forever home. My Mom promised me she’d take care of me forever, and I believe her.
If you can find it in your heart to give an animal a home, please do it. You can’t save them all, but even just one would make a huge difference. Any local shelter could use your help! I hope my letter motivates people to help their local shelters. My Mom also donates monthly to the Cleveland Ohio Animal Protective League.
Well…that’s my story, and I’m a happy cat. Check out my photos, they are proof that I have a happy life.
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