A Shelter Cat Finds a Forever Home
When we started thinking about adopting another pet, we talked with the kids well before we set out to find one. Our 5-year-old proclaimed that we would name our new pet Darth Vader. Since we already had a pug, and we were wanting a companion for her (and a solution to the mouse problem in the basement), we decided a cat would be the best idea. If we were lucky, a cat would scare off the mice and make a great friend to our pug and our kids. Plus, a cat seemed like less work than a second dog, as independent as cats are.
Hubby and I spent a whole day researching the various animal shelters and humane societies within fifty miles. Not only were we determined to adopt a cat from a shelter, but we wanted to choose the right shelter. We eventually decided to travel out of state over into Maryland and visit The Humane Society of Kent County. The Humane Society of Kent County is an open admission shelter, which means they welcome any animal that is in need of their care. As long as they have room, every animal is guaranteed a clean, safe and cozy place to live until they find their forever home.The adoption paperwork was available online, so we printed those and filled the questionnaire out at home, then emailed it over to the shelter so they had plenty of time to review it before we arrived.
When we visited the Humane Society of Kent County, they allowed us to bring our pug and all of our kids with us, to see what cat might be friendliest toward our family. They led us right into the room where they kept the cats, with a huge window that overlooked the lobby. Several cats were roaming back and forth through a cat-opening that led to a large closed-in area outside where they could get fresh air, climb and exercise. I liked that the cats had access to the outside and a view of the lobby, where they could see friendly human faces.
There were a few cats very eager to check us out, they were supersweet and fantastic with the kids. Some of the more timid cats were still in their enclosures. We were allowed to take one of them out at a time to see how they'd behave around the kids and our dog. They were all in great shape, obviously well taken care of while they stayed at the shelter. One or two cats didn't want anything to do with the kids, but the majority of the cats weren't bothered by us at all and snuggled up right against us, loving the attention.
We were happy to see how much attention the cats received from the staff, and visitors in general. There were two girls from Washington College standing in the room with us, who told us how they loved to come visit the animals all the time. That was great to hear.
A member of the staff helped us get to know some of the cats and recommended certain cats with personalities that would be compatible with kids and a dog. She was so helpful and we really felt that she knew the cats enough to know which would be best for our family.
While the kids were petting and chasing playful cats around the room, a dark shape caught my eye in a bottom corner cage. It was a big cat I hadn't noticed before, with lovely long black fur and bright green eyes. When I took her out, she was happy to let me hold her. Her tail was very long and she whipped it over my arm, reminding me of the Cowardly Lion. Of course, I was in love instantly. Our 5-year-old immediately decided this cat was Darth Vader.
Hubby, however, wasn't quite sold. He really wanted to make sure we found the perfect cat that would get along with our big, active family. The kids took to Darth Vader immediately, so we spent a lot of time with her on the floor, seeing how she interacted with each individual and our dog. She was friendly but not overbearing and liked to sit and watch us back from her favorite spot on the scratching post. I could tell she enjoyed her space but also loved attention when she wanted it. Finally, Hubby agreed that we'd found a pretty cool cat.
Since we were pre-approved to adopt, the adoption process from then on was pretty easy. We filled out some more paperwork, agreed to have to her spayed by a certain date, etc. While I was completing the adoption paperwork, an older gentleman brought in a huge pack of paper towels as a donation. It was great to see a member of the community stopping by to offer supplies.
Gratefully, we took Darth Vader into our car and took her home. Our dog was so excited to have a friend that she spent a few days following Darth Vader around the house wanting to play, which the cat never seemed to mind at all. Since then, the cat has been a joy to have in our family. We haven't seen a single trace of the mouse in our basement since she arrived!
Many thanks to The Humane Society of Kent County for such an enjoyable pet adoption process and for all the hard work they do with the shelter animals.
EJ Curran is a Delaware mom. This post is adapted from her blog, Four Little Monsters, at FourLittleMonsters.com.