By Mary Anna Violi | @MaryAnnaVioli
Several weeks ago, my daughter forwarded me an e-flyer from our local Humane Society. The erstwhile animal shelter was holding a one-day cat adoption from 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Since over 120+ cats were overflowing the facility, with another 300+ awaiting space in the new building, the 120+ strong could be adopted with the usual fees waivered, and taken home the same day if the application passed muster. If a person did not bring a cat carrier to the Humane Society, a cat transport could be purchased on site. If one adopts a cat or dog from the Humane Society, one must sign off that the animal will be taken to a veterinarian within seven days of the adoption. This equates to paying the veterinarian, and paying for any subsequent whatever the “vet” may find, for example, gingivitis, fleas, a heart condition, or nothing.
I admit that I miss my thirteen-year-old Maine Coon cat, Fellini. He was euthanized at a reputable animal clinic in May 2015 due to an aneurysm that had left his hind feet and lower extremities paralyzed. He was my feline writing muse and I loved him dearly. At age three, I selected my first kitten from my Uncle Ed’s. His cat had given birth to a litter of three kittens. My parents thought it would be fine for me to have a pet. My mother was cat fancier, and she had converted my father into a fondness for felines. I have had one to two cats ever since. For people who have never known the joys of a pet, and who constantly say, “I don’t like animals,” I say, those individuals are missing out on some of Nature’s greatest happiness. Studies have now shown that a pet cat or dog comforts college students suffering from anxiety and stress, soothes assisted living and nursing home residents, and provide companionship for the elderly and the not so elderly. At the end of my workday, no matter how good or dismal it has been, my pet cat has been there to greet me, exuding cat happiness by purring.
Not expecting to find another Fellini, for he was unique unto himself, off I trekked that sunny Saturday afternoon with a friend to look over the feline landscape at the Humane Society. I didn’t even take a cat carrier with me because I felt ambivalent about encountering a cat. After all, Coco Chanel is now our solo house cat in residence. I had decided to go to the cat event because the suspicion that a large number of “leftover” cats might be euthanized to make way for those on the cat waitlist. If a cat happened to connect with me, then I could fulfill my humanitarian role of saving a rescue cat. If not, I would make a nice donation to the shelter. As it happened, I donated a large, unopened bag of Iams Senior Cat Food that day since Fellini never had a chance to eat it.
Suffice to say, the newly christened Valentino chose me. He is a most happy addition to our family. I highly recommend adopting a rescue cat or dog.
Ciao for now.