Sunday, 29 October 2017


The 29th October of each year is a very special day to me- it's National Cat Day (or so I am told by Google) and if there's something I love in life, it's cats. So much so that I adopted three of them. I love seeing social media swamped with cute cat pictures on this day (and indeed any day of the year) but it always fills me with a sense of cat broodiness and the whole 'just one more' *cue Puss in Boots of Shrek eyes*.

Look, I CAN'T HELP IT IF I JUST WANT TO SAVE ALL THE CATS! But alas, my house is not big enough and the catio not vast enough to accomodate a fourth furry friend. There is something I can do, however, and that is speak about my cat adoption experiences and encourage you, if you are looking to expand your family by four paws (or three, let's not rule out any tripod cats), to check local shelters as opposed to buying a pristine little kitten who would otherwise find themselves in a home very easily regardless.

It is worth noting that shelters do actually have kittens too, so if you really do want a teeny little mite, don't feel you won't find a new buddy at the shelter that fits this description. Plus, as with the majority (if not all) shelter cats, at least in the UK, they'll come to you ready vaccinated, chipped, flead, wormed and tested for any nasties. Some shelters even give you vouchers for free neutering or spaying if the kitten you choose it too young for the procedure at adoption. 

With cats old enough to be desexed, the majority of shelters again will do this prior to putting their cats up for adoption, meaning the adoption fee you pay will be much less expensive than if you were to buy a cat elsewhere and have to pay for this yourself, as well as chipping, vaccinating and so on.

I personally have adopted from two separate charities and their approaches differed slightly.

Boris was from the RSPCA and they conduct a home visit prior to letting you adopt. My other two boys are from a small local charity called Cat Rescue Fylde. There was no home visit here but your location is checked for suitability for the cats, i.e. if you live on a busy road, it may be that a house cat is more appropriate for you. 

There was an adoption fee for both charities which was very reasonable given all the amazing hard work they do and all the various tests, etc. that they run your cat through prior to putting them up for adoption. I think that this is the case with most, if not all charities. They need funds to be able to continue doing all the wonderful work they do after all.

I'd always known I would adopt rather than buy privately as for me, I think that while all kittens are cute, getting an adult cat means that you get to see the personality of your potential new housemate prior to deciding whether he/she is the one for you. This for me was the most important part.

With that, I only think it fair that I share with you some of my favourite personality traits of my boys, as well as some cute as hell pictures because papping my cats is up there with my favourite things to do in life.

I had seen Boris online prior to meeting him and I must admit, it was love at first sight. He had the wildest eyes you've ever seen, dodgy legs and a big kink in his half mast tail. Never in my life have I seen so much characted captured in one picture. Upon meeting he did not dissapoint and our deposit was put down in readiness for the home visit, which we passed, before he came and joined us in his (and our) new home.

Boris has definitely mellowed out over time, particularly since we brought Gulliver home and he has a playmate during the day while I'm at work. He was getting bored and playing up in the evenings prior to this. Hiding underneath washing and swiping at legs as you walked past.

He loves being outside, so as an indoor cat, we decided to built a catio in the yard for him to go out for supervised play in. He also loves laser pens and chats away to the little red dot whilst playing, and headbutts. He always smells like biscuits and is definitely the most understanding and intelligent of the bunch; except when he's eating cardboard like a complete tool. Because WHO EATS CARDBOARD?!

Gulliver is the nerviest little cat, scared of almost anyone who comes into his home and very easily unsettled. Behind closed doors though, he's a little horror. He makes alien noises, doesn't understand personal space and loves nothing more than grinding his gums against you in affection. He was overlooked  by many in the cattery given his timid nature but to us, he seemed like the perfect little brother to Boris. Someone Boris wouldn't feel intimidated by in his own home, but that would play with him and that Boris could train up and show the ropes to. He chews his way through biscuit bags and food sachets, climbs on everthing, has the saggiest little tum I've ever seen but is the most affectionate and needly little boy.

He has a tendancy to be a little boisterous and really comes alive at night. He hates anything with a smell and will screw his little face up and back away. He refuses to stand in his litter tray and instead perches on the edge, often resulting in the knocking out of all the litter, usually in the middle of the night - creating a right drama, but he always comes back to bed for a cuddle and it's bloomin' adorable.

Sandy is our old boy. I only went to the shelter for one cat as a companion for Boris but I couldn't choose between the only two gingers in the cattery and so I will admit, Sandy was a bit of a self indulgent adoption. He was old, lazy and very shouty in the cattery setting and I knew that he more than likely wouldn't play with Boris but he was so snuggly and commanding of attention and good lord I was not about to deprive him of that. Unfortunately with Sandy, he is littered with health issues - a heart murmur, kidney disease and the odd seizure. We are very fortunate in that we took Sandy as a permanent foster and the resue centre pay for his vets bills. It may be that if you take on a cat with a pre-existing condition, your local shelter might consider the same, as these cats really face an uphill battle to get adopted. Their age is already against them as it is. But that's one of the things about our Sandy that makes him so special - he looks ancient. Like he has seen much of the world in his time. He's a bit saggy in places, has about five teeth left and waddles round in his furry trousers at a snail's pace. You can imagine our surprise when one day he started to bolt round the house at lightening speed, play with toys and climb on shoulders. At first he didn't get on with the youngsters, but now (providing that Gulliver isn't too full on) he does enjoy involving himself in play and grooming with them. He's greedy and is forever trying to steal people food, despite his special renal prescription food costing a fortune (so ungrateful), and loves nothing more than having a good old fashioned conversation (he yells, waits for some kind of noise back from you, then yells at you again). He squeezes fingers in his paw, washes your nose in the night and is an all round lovely addition to our family.

I cannot recommed adoption enough, of cats, dogs, or any other animal. It's honestly one of the best things I've ever done with my life and something I will always support others to do.

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