*a post by the mom
Among the other things I do for the rescue, I process applications and contracts. Recently a juvenile (about 7 months old) male kitten was adopted, returned, adopted and returned. All no fault of his own - the first adopter was over 70 years old and after having him for a couple of weeks decided he had too much energy. The other couple own a restaurant and decided after a few days they didn't have enough time for a pet.
It's hard not to be judgmental. I get that people want pets. I think pets enrich our lives. But I really wish more people would do a little research and put some thought into it.
Thankfully we do not do same day adoptions, so we have taken the "spontaneous" adoption issue out of the picture.
I honestly think that the whole "cats are an easy pet" myth is part of the issue. People seem to think that they adopt a cat and it will lay around their house all day and not be much work. We work very hard to mitigate that myth but yet it persists.
For whatever reason as well, people seem to think that the volunteers with our rescue don't seem to know what we are talking about. We will try to give them advice and point them in a direction and yet they will insist that they know best. If we truly believe the cat will be in danger, we can refuse the adoption, but sometimes we have to let them fail.
The best advice I give people coming in to adopt is to take your time and let the cat pick you. Have a seat and see who comes over and wants attention. See who catches your eye or who asks for pets. Don't base it on the picture on the website. Prepare to be surprised.
The thing that I don't think people really take into consideration is that it takes time to adjust to change for these animals. It can take a few days up to a few months for ANY pet to adjust to a new home and new schedules. Plus it is can be so hard for cats to be adopted and then returned. They don't understand why their world has been turned upside down so many times.
Things to consider:
1. Pets are a lifetime commitment. This can be 15 to 20 years. Through weddings and dating and kids and moving....you make a commitment to that pet.
2. Kittens are nuts. There is just no way to get around that. Getting a pair can help and we will suggest that - at least they have each other to play and wear each other out. But they will get into things. They will test gravity. They will wake up in the middle of the night.
3. All pets need work. Cats will need daily care. They need mental stimulation. They need annual medical care and vaccines.They get sick and may need emergency care and that can be expensive.
4. They need love and affection. Life doesn't exist in a vacuum. The more you put into the relationship, the more you get out of it.
That said, I certainly understand that life can be hard and pets need to be returned. All we ask is that you try to make it work, try to find that pet friendly apartment, try to take an allergy medication. And don't lie to us about why you are returning a pet....we've been doing this long enough to know better.
Before even sending in the application, think about these things: cost of supplies, cost of medical care, time during the day you have to commit to a pet. If you rent, have you checked with your landlord to be sure you can have a pet. Are the pets in your home up to date on wellness care and vaccines per your vet?
Before you bring them home: do you have supplies? Do you have a carrier? Do you have a safe space set up for them in your house with their things where they can spend at least the first few days?
There is no rush. There are plenty of adoptable cats out there. Make sure you have your life and priorities ready and in place before adding to your family. Then reach out to your local rescue and be prepared to bring home some love.
A compromise could be getting an older cat instead of a kitten. Kittens are work and they get into everything. The other day, I opened my refrigerator and the kitten was in there staring at me. She also loves to jump out of the bathtub and scare the @*#($ out of me at random times. Oh. And she likes to climb in the couch. But I love her dearly.ReplyDelete
This, a thousand times, this! I often do adoptions from home* and I LOVE adopters who ask me a million questions. The ones that don't ask any make me nervous. And it's why I love our adoption counsellors; they ask a lot of the tough questions before the adopter even gets to me. But returns still happen. (And yes, we're grateful to have them returned, considering all the alternatives!)ReplyDelete
*our rescue doesn't have a shelter; we do adoptions from foster homes and from stores
Oh, the times I've been at an adoption event, and advised an inquirer the fee for adoption.ReplyDelete
Then, they make some snarky remark about being able to get a cat for free, why would they pay?
Holding my tongue was hard, but a slow breath and some explaining never seemed to make a difference.
Actually, hasn't this whole pandemic thing proven that humans are STUPID?!?
Why any cat would want to live with us, is unimaginable, but I'm glad that they do.
Since I do volunteer work at an animal shelter, I agree with your post 100%. People adopt animals without thinking or doing research. And then if there's a problem, they think it's the animal's fault. I don't think so! I think Eastside Cats said it all - humans are STUPID!!ReplyDelete
Excellent post. I feel so bad for cats that get returned. My rule is once it is in my house, it is here forever no matter what uissues arise.ReplyDelete
BRAVO on this post; and you are SO right about letting the cat pick his person. I can remember as if it were yesterday, sitting on the floor in the surrender room among probably 20 cats.....and each was busy with his/her own thing.....except... tuna and sauce ~~~~ ♥♥♥
Such a good post ! But here you are probably preacching to the xhoir.ReplyDelete
It takes a lot more work to adopt a cat into a family than most people realize. But then, people also have children without proper consideration either. My human wishes people would just THINK! So that innocent beings don't have to suffer for their decisions.ReplyDelete
Love the post. I too wish people would THINK before they bring home a pet and take the time to determine if the cat they think they want has the right personality for them.ReplyDelete
Great information! People need to THINK! Pets are forever and are a commitment.ReplyDelete