Saturday, September 22, 2012

Petfinder's Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable Pet Week


As a former breeder, I thought about how I should talk about adopting 'less adoptable' cats, knowing that one of my greatest fears is that one of the kittens I bring into the world will somehow end up in a shelter, dumped there without me knowing; turned over with no history, no explanation of any behavior or health issues so that even if it does get adopted, the new owners may not take care of it either...

In fact, that happened to me once but luckily the story has a happy ending, but part of it was because I pursued finding this kitty...The original owner had two kitties from me, a mother and her daughter. The daughter kitty developed a urinary tract disease called FIC (Feline Interstitial Cystitis). The owner kept in touch with me and cared for her cats well, with help and advice from me.

Then she suffered a series of nervous breakdowns and was hospitalized on occasion and eventually moved in with her son and daughter-in-law. Through all of this, she had friends take care of her cats when she was unable to.

But on the last time she was hospitalized, her son took the kitty with FIC to the shelter and just dumped her. He didn't tell them of the FIC or give them any information as to how to get in touch with me (as I would have arranged for them to come home to me).

When she got out of the hospital, she was devastated and afraid to call me as she knew how much my cats meant to me. But after many months, she got up the nerve to call me. She told me that the shelter had adopted her out, but of course they couldn't tell her to whom.

I was sad though could not be angry, except with her family, but fortunately in the town she lives in there was just one shelter. But it had been over a year since she was relinquished to the shelter and I wasn't even sure if she had really been adopted or if that was some story her son made up to make her feel better.

I wrote to everyone on the shelters contact list...AND one of the veterinary assistants at the shelter hospital had adopted her and she called me! My heart rested easier! We talked and talked, and she is happy and healthy and her new owner now knows how to get in touch with me should they have problems! And the other kitty this woman had from me, passed away a few months later from congestive heart failure, and in a way I was relieved, as I didn't have to worry about her any longer. She didn't have a easy life either...

...And the next two kitties could have just as easily ended up in a shelter, too, as their owner was having their home foreclosed on and was having to find someplace to live. But she contacted me, saying she was needed to give up her cats to be able to afford to live and finding a place that accepted pets was difficult.

She flew Skiddy and Trevor back to me and they were both older with health issues and I thought I would have them for the rest of their lives, as I couldn't ask someone to take on caring for their heart and asthma issues.

But a woman contacted me a year or so after they came back home to me, and she was looking to adopt a Cornish Rex through rescue and I told her about them, not really thinking she'd want 2 old cats with major health problems...

But she came to meet them and me and decided to adopt Trevor, but I was reluctant to let Skiddy go as she was frail and I thought Trevor could still have some good years left...As it turned out, about 6 months after she adopted him, he was diagnosed with nasal carcinoma (he had lived most of his life in a home with heavy smokers!) and had to be euthanized before a year had passed.

Skiddy remained with me and lived out her days in comfort and ease (she was painfully shy, so she was my 'guest bedroom kitty' and she was happy and content there).



SKIDDY


TREVOR

Then everyone who has been following Curlz and Swirlz for a while knows of Nani...Nani, the first of my cats to don the Pink Kitty Wig fame and who will always be my 'Avatar'...



Nani has a rescue story of her own to tell, too. I did not bring her into this world but brought her into my home to be a future momcat. She was a very successful show cat but when she retired to become a mommy, we found out she had developed HCM, the inherited heart disease that took Pixie and Luxor and Kismet from us.

Her breeder did not accept responsibility for her, and so I spayed her and was fortunate to find a young man who was willing to adopt a second Cornish Rex and care for her health problems...but 12 years later I get a call from this man, now married to a woman with multiple dogs and cats and he said Nani was aggressive with the cats and he needed to give her up.

Again, I was glad he contacted me, instead of turning her into a shelter. I didn't bring her into this world, but I was there for her, this time paying for her flight home to me as he refused to accept that 'penance' for not giving her a furrever home.

When I got her back, she had multiple setbacks--she developed fatty liver disease and was difficult to treat due to her severe heart condition. But she pulled through that, and was happy taking 'Skiddy's' place as the guest bedroom cat, because yes, she would stalk and fight with my cats, too...but I wouldn't have given her up because of that!

As it turned out, a couple nearby that have a cat from me, had a friend who was looking to adopt a Cornish Rex, but because of her involvement with small dog rescue, she wanted one that no one else would adopt...

Oh my, could I let Nani go? Knowing her heart problem was so severe that she could succumb to it at any time. Could I feel ok about her living with kids and dogs and would she be happy?

But they lived close by, and they came to meet her and fell in love with her. I said ok, we'll give it a try, but that they would just be 'fostering' her and I would take care of her medical care. Nope, they wanted to take that on, too!!

They gave Nani a loving home for over a year, before her heart gave out, and they found her lifeless at the bottom of the stairs one morning. We all morn her loss, but we all feel glad that we 'made her acquaintance' and that she had a happy life in her 'golden years'...



Here's some links to posts about Nani, including her Memorial post:

http://furrydancecats.blogspot.com/2010/02/fenway-nanjizal-bay-of-furrydance-july.html

http://furrydancecats.blogspot.com/2010/02/help-nani-win-photo-contest-pleeze.html

http://furrydancecats.blogspot.com/2010/02/nanis-winner.html

So, there are my 'Rescue' stories on four kitties I accepted lifelong responsibility for. I kept my promise to be there for them their whole life. It is part of my contract that if for ANY reason, someone has to give up a Furrydance cat, that they contact me so I can bring her back to the home they were born in.

I think most people who have filled out my 4 page adoption application and waited many months for a kitten and I have gotten to know well BEFORE they get their cat, know how much my cats mean to me. But people change, lives change, divorce happens etc etc and oftentimes the pets come out on the losing end, too!

I have lost track of 2 cats due to divorce, and I still keep looking for them, googling names, searching facebook, calling the references they listed on their adoption applications...to no avail. But I will never stop thinking of them or checking on Petfinder and craigslist and stay active on all the Cornish Rex Yahoo groups just in case they show up there...but in 22 years of breeding cats, those have been the only 2...

I always get sad when I see Cornish Rex in rescue, because to me it often signifies that the breeder was not there for that cat, either because the person giving it up did not notify them, of they had no interest in taking the cat back, or did not keep in touch with the person they sold the cat. I have also been involved in rescuing 3 cats that I did not breed, because the breeders were not 'there' for their cat. And I was able to rehab and rehome all three and keep in touch with their families still!

Once I started looking around on Petfinder, looking for just one special needs kitty to talk about, one that kept being overlooked...it was pretty overwhelming how many kitties in need there are!

So, this year I narrowed my search to Sphynx, and found these two bonded girls, Franny and Zooey. Their profile said No dogs, No kids, No other cats. And they wanted them to go together. 


Those requirements certainly would make them 'Less Adoptable' so I picked them to 'present'  on here on my blog as so many of our followers are taken with this breed, and just because they are purebreds, doesn't make them any less needy of a furrever home.




If you think you might be interested in these Sphynx in need of a furrever home, here is the link to their Petfinder page:

9 comments:

  1. Excellent post. Truffle and Brulee's breeder has in her contracts that cats go back to her if the owner no longer can keep them. She drove over 12 hours once to "rescue" two of her cats from a shelter after one of the owners just dumped them there. She has no idea what happened, but the shelter workers could see on the paperwork (the owner scratched out the breeder's name) that they came from SC and the shelter workers researched silver shaded persians in SC and found her. They are now happily placed in new forever homes. We think it's terrible that any cat is deserted or not cared for.

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  2. Beautiful post, Teri! I don't have a doubt in my mind, that you are a very, VERY, responsible breeder >^..^<

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  3. That must be one of the more nerve-wracking aspects of being a breeder, the thought that something may happen to one of the kittens you raised and not finding out. That is why I am glad I have a blog - my breeder can visit it any time and see how I am doing!

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  4. We thinks this is just amazing! The sphynx are just lovely. Disco has opened Mom's eyes to sphynx kittehz and how adorable they can really be. She says some day she'll prolly adopt a less adoptable one. AFTER Princeton calms down. MOL!

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  5. what a splendid post Teri! I know that you are an awesome breeder in every way! Someday we hope to have a little old sphynx kitty for Lapdaddy...we never give up hope that just the right one will come to us...
    Love ya!

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  6. Those sphynx girls and lovely and we hope their forever family finds them soon.

    YOU are the type of breeder that we are pleased to call a friend. You love the breed, do so responsibly and always take responsibility for those that came from your home. We hope those 2 cats you lost track of are well cared for.

    Cheers!!

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  7. If more people felt as responsible for pets they brought into the world or adopted out, breeder or not, we wouldn't have a pet overpopulation problem. I love happy adoptions!

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  8. A great post Terri. If only all breeders were as caring as you.

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  9. Me haz two fings to say. We hatez dat you shows the nekkid kids adoptable page (cos it's not in our state) and we lubz that you show the nekkid kids adoptable page (cos they need good homes too). At the rate That Psychotic Woman keeps bringing home kittehs she won't NEVER have enuff rooms (less we move That Scrappy Cat somewheres (which I personally vote for alla time but That Woman gibes me such an ebil eye!)

    Loves and caresses and face swipes & butt rubs and curly tail entwinements to my Beloved Mr. D!

    xoxo
    Ms. Stella O'Houligan

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