We just finished up January with our 26th adoption for the month. We are feeling happy and proud, even though we won’t rest for long as our fosters continue to bring in kittens as they become ready for the Shack. Looks like we won’t be done with kittens this year before it’s time to start with kittens!
I wanted to tell you my experience of my time with Kenji as we fosters have all of our kittens and cats in our homes and get to know them and their behaviors on intimate terms. Which helps us to have successful adoptions as we strive to match people and kitties according to wants and needs.
“He’s just too much cat for us”, the woman said, as she placed the carrier on the counter in front of me in an I’m DONE gesture.
I looked inside at the little lavender point weeks old kitten inside and thought “Really?” He looked at me, sighed and curled up to sleep.
I took him home and proceeded to be introduced to Kenji. Kenji bit. Kenji scratched. Kenji hid. Kenji refused to eat. Kenji wouldn’t interact with other cats and kittens. Kenji was riddled with fear and had obviously been inappropriately handled. I knew he had been brought to Prescott from CA. But not much more.
So we started working with Kenji and we have the scars to prove it! He tried something new each day with many failures and a degree of mastery. He could be petted and purred. He could curl up near you and be content. He could lead you wherever you needed to go in case you got lost or didn’t remember what you were doing. The biting and scratching were down to a dull roar. And only when he felt he was truly being mishandled. He hid for 2 days when the New Year’s fireworks went off but overcame it.
This morning I woke up and there was no Kenji to lead me out into the breakfast room, announce breakfast to everyone by going crazy on the cat tree, and telling them to sort themselves out in order BEHIND him. No Kenji to curl up beside me after eating, wash himself and contentedly purr himself to sleep. No Kenji to investigate each sound or noise from outside. No beautiful little face looking back at me slowly closing and opening his eyes in the sign of acceptance. Because Kenji was ADOPTED yesterday!
The perfect family showed up, having seen him online and knowing his issues. They had had a cat that was like him with the need to control his environment to feel secure. They felt capable of dealing with his behavior and fell quickly in love. He conducted himself in a very civil fashion as he experienced their delight and excitement with him. They couldn’t wait to take him home.
And so we let go of our boy who had so many hurdles to cross knowing that we had found the best situation we could for him. We released him with love, into love.
This is what we do. When people complain because we don’t approve them for adoption or they can’t procure a cat from us, this is why. Each kitten is hand raised and known by its foster. Each cat and kitten is observed by their foster for unusual traits and behaviors that need help or support. This takes much more time and effort than many shelters who “process” cats on “intake” and move them rapidly thru the system.
We work, have demanding jobs, families, lives, bills, overhead, etc. And yet we find the time to do the work that will make life better for these kitties and their new families.
And you support us in that work and make it possible for it to happen. You are our greatest asset in this work and we value your willingness to contribute to enrich the lives of these forgotten and unwanted Souls who find themselves in dire straits thru no fault of their own.
Thank you for your compassion, sense of justice and untiring support. It means we can successfully continue on rescuing and loving the Kenjis of the world!
Susan and Everyone from the Catty Shack