The economic crisis continues to affect everyone, causing more and more dogs and cats to be given up by their families as they lose their jobs and their homes. This means more older pets than ever before are finding themselves in shelters and rescues, where many will live out the rest of their days without a loving family to call their own.
A few weeks ago, two kitties were surrendered to the rescue I volunteer with, Save-A-Life: Tiger, a male brown Tiger Tabby, and his litter mate, Crash, whom we renamed Lilly, a sweet kitty who looked like a Tabby/Siamese mix. Lilly was extremely frightened and cried loudly as we put her into a cage. I was able to reach in and pet her to calm her down. She then began displaying a very sweet and affectionate personality and a need to be loved and touched. She was very grateful for the love and comfort I offered to her. I wanted to crawl right into the cage with her and hold her. Tiger was put in the cage right next to hers. Although he didn't cry, his body language told us that he was just as scared as Lilly. His tail was curled tightly around his body, and he turned his back to us. But he, too, responded positively when I reached into the cage to pet him.
Usually Diana, who owns the rescue, waits a week or two before bringing the adult cats back to be shown at the Petco adoptions, in order to let them settle down and regain some sense of security. But these two were different. There was something about Tiger and Lilly that made both Diana and I think they needed to be shown right away. Diana brought them back to Petco the next day. Tiger and Lilly, while still scared, were very eager to receive love and attention from us and often nudged their noses against our hands to ask for petting. A nice couple came into Petco to look at our cats and pick out a new addition to their family. After holding many of them, they both felt a strong pull toward Tiger and Lilly. They adopted them both, keeping brother and sister together.
This story has a happy ending. But they don't all end that way. The lucky ones find new forever homes. The not so lucky ones get to live out their days in a rescue. The unlucky ones don't get to live out a full life at all.
Please consider adopting an older cat or dog. These often overlooked pets will give you a lifetime of love and affection given a second chance at having a family to call their own. If you live in Los Angeles, please visit Save-a-Life's Petfinder Page or come to the Westwood Petco some Saturday or Sunday between 4 and 6pm. We'll help you find your new best friend!