In mid December, my husband and I made the significant decision to add two more cats to our home.
We visited our local Animal Shelter and made our choice after going over all the details, expense and joys this would bring us.
That’s how we came to know Miss Jules. And her brother Jack.
In case you missed that post a few weeks back, the two 9 month old kitties we choose arrived at the Shelter in July of 2014 at just 2 month old. Brother and Sister.
They were marked as “Strays” but were more likely dropped off by someone who couldn’t handle the kittens.
Each year, in the U. S. alone, about 3.5 million cats are taken to shelters across the country for care. Of those, 1.5 million are then euthanized eventually. The shelter in our county shares their building with the Police Animal Services and has a ‘no kill’ policy for the animals kept there. This policy is rare though for an animal shelter in the U. S. and we appreciate the many, many hours and dollars spent in behalf of these abandon pets in our area.
So many across the U. S. are not as fortunate in their care and resources. In fact, the day we were there at our shelter, we over heard the desk clerk saying that they had more than enough volunteers for that site. They were happy to have processed over 35 cats for adoption in the previous weekend as well. Fantastic.
But luckily for us, no one had put their bid in for our pick and now Bob and I are the proud parents of Jules and Jack.
I say parents not in any way to compare what we’re doing to the real responsibilities of raising a child. Bob and I don’t have children though and for us, this is similar in its emotions and does create great effort and reward for our marriage. We’ve had pets in the house pretty much since we’ve been together but these two cuties have made a special dent in our hearts already after just a few weeks.
When we picked up ‘the twins’ as we call them, we were well aware that their having lived in a small, 3′ x 5′ cage
which included the litter box, food bowl and a small round bed, for months, that freedom would take some adjusting to for our kitties. They basically didn’t know much else of the world other than being together, limited play and food, and knew nothing of the outside. The Shelter had labeled them on the cage door as “Pair” to avoid separating them after so much time together. We’re so glad we were able to bring home both of them and can’t imagine which one we would have chosen separately now.
Miss Jules was the more subdued of the two from the start. Even in the cage, you could see her reservation to touch and play while her brother eagerly nibbled and begged for attention through the bars. Jack is quite the snuggler and was the first one to let us pet and play after bringing them home. His personality is so far from her’s and yet they are totally comfortable sleeping, eating, playing together as a pair they seem like one at times. The new house with all the space and comforts is allowing them to get more unattached for sure and each day they spend time apart. Miss Jules in fact has fallen somewhat in love with our older cat, Mr. Floyde, chasing and rubbing against him any chance she gets. The new man in her life I guess. The 3 are getting along MUCH better than we’d anticipated after just a few weeks which is such a relief; Something to definitely consider if you plan to adopt and have existing pets in your home. We kept the twins separated from Floyde for over a week and then gradually let them explore the whole house and introduced them to him in small bits of time until they were comfortable in the same room without fighting or running to hide. Floyde is in his second childhood now with the twins and plays and romps with his new pet-mates. He’s even allowed Miss Jules to take over his favorite napping spot on our bed which is no small sacrifice I’m sure. I think he’s a little in love as well. You can see by the pics here that Jules is quite the charmer with those big eyes and a face that would make any boy swoon. We are happy that he’s got a new interest and something to add a lot of fun for him while Bob and I are away at work so many hours….something to consider if adopting.
According to the American Humane Association, the most common reason why people relinquish or ‘give away’ their pets is because their home does not allow pets (29%), not enough time, divorce / death and behavior issues (10% each). The most common reason for cats are that they are not allowed in the residence and allergies. Please keep all this in mind when you adopt. Considering adding a pet to your family should be a well planned event, never an impulse action and certainly never one that you can’t financially afford.
And if you already are enjoying a pet in your home, here’s some great tips from American Humane. They believe that the percentage of animals reunited with their owners would greatly increase if more pets were properly identified:
- Be sure your pet wears an identification tag, rabies license, and city license. Include your name, address, phone number and pet’s name.
- Keep licenses current, as they help shelters locate pet owners.
- When moving, put a temporary tag on your pet. Include a phone number of someone who will know how to reach you and/or your cell number.
- Don’t assume that your indoor pet doesn’t need tags. Many strays in shelters are indoor pets that escaped.
- Purchase special cat collars with elastic bands to protect your cat from being caught in trees or on fences.
- In addition to ID tags, consider getting your pet microchipped. Always remember to keep this information current and provide an emergency contact.
One thing they are both enjoying the most: room to stretch!!
Ahhhh, the life of a cat is beyond compare some days…….
Think about what goes into caring for an animal in your home. Think about how much work, fun and emotion can go into each day and what animals give back to us. Do you have time and strength for one, two in your home? The last two pets that Bob and I brought into our lives lived 12 years for my Sophie and 17 years for our Taz who we lost 2 years ago now. Sophie road with me for work almost every day for years. She stayed with my parents when we were away like a grandchild almost. She was as important to me as my own family members. On some days, more.
Do you have what it takes to enjoy a special pet for yourself? It’s not an easy decision at all. The expense alone can be more than some, many, can take on. Our cats have all been inside pets which significantly reduces veterinarian visits in most cases. But you may not be able to make that happen at your own home. The joy that a pet can bring is beyond words. And yet, at 4:30 am, when I’m scooping out the litter box so that my cats can have a bit more clean experience for the day, I’m wondering is all this really worth the trouble? Of course the answer (when I’m done maybe) is yes. Yes for me, maybe not others.
This post isn’t to chastise, deter or otherwise dissuade ANYONE from bringing an animal into their home. It’s also not meant to pat ourselves on the back for having adopted a pet but merely an education for those who may be considering, or hoping to someday add a pet to their lives, or an additional pet. It’s a big decision and one that should never be taken lightly in hopes of providing the best home for your new companion.
And I wanted to introduce you to my little Miss Jules.
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