Maddie’s Fund will present the largest national free pet adoption weekend ever, June 1–2, 2013, and the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals will be presenting this awesome event in the New York City area on June 1 and 2! Thousands of cats and dogs will be available FREE to qualified homes at more than 50 participating shelters and other adoption locations, and at two large, outdoor adoption events in Manhattan.
The Mayor’s Alliance and Maddie’s Fund asked me to blog about this event, and to share the joys of adopting shelter pets. Only one of the three of us was adopted directly from a shelter (Boodie was a foster and her story is here, and I am a breed cat). That leaves Binga, so I thought I would tell you her story, and why shelter cats are awesome family members.
In spite of appearances, trust me, the humans are very happy to have her here — even though they weren’t actually looking for her and were only rescuing her because they did not want to leave her in a kill shelter. The original intention had been to find a home for her.
It was October of 2000, and the humans had befriended a neighborhood cat, a black kitty who seemed to like their house more than his own. He turned up missing for a couple of weeks, and since my human didn’t exactly know who he belonged to, she went to the nearest animal control to see if he had been taken there. She did not see him, but she did see a very friendly young black cat who she fell in love with. The shelter did not allow black cats to be adopted near Halloween, but said she could come fetch him November 1. While she was looking at the cages of cats, there was also a small tortoiseshell kitten who would not leave her alone. She kept begging for attention, sticking her paws through the cage, and grabbing my human’s hand and licking her fingers.
My human did not want to leave this kitten in the shelter, so she asked her boyfriend if he thought the vet clinic where he worked could find a home for her. He figured they could, so they came down to the shelter and got her out. She weighed enough to be spayed, so after her surgery, my human picked her up and drove her to her boyfriend’s work.
She had rescued this kitten with no intention of ever keeping her; she just did it because she couldn’t bear to leave her in a place where her life was in danger. On the drive to the clinic, the kitten was yelling to get out of the carrier, so she pulled the car to the curb, and let her free for a few minutes. The kitten whose life my human had saved happily crawled all over the dashboard and purred playfully. It was a magical moment. My human has, by choice, never had children, and she says this is the closest thing she ever felt to unconditional love.
Two weeks later, on November 1, my human showed up at the shelter, ten minutes after it opened, to adopt the black cat she had seen… and he had already been adopted! The woman who originally brought him in only did so to make sure he didn’t belong to someone else. Since no one claimed him, she came by before the shelter opened, waiting to give him a home. “I’ve never seen two people want the same cat,” said the guy at the desk.
My human went home and called her boyfriend at work. “Bring that kitten home,” she said. And that is how Binga wound up with them. She was tiny — this photo is small, and a terrible scan of a color print, but you get the idea:
A friend of the humans came to visit and he did not think much of tortie cats. He said she looked like a “tore-up kitty,” and Binga bit him on the nose! Her favorite game as a kitten was to wake up the humans by attacking their faces. Eventually she outgrew that. But she has never outgrown believing that the rules do not apply to her.
And except for that one guy, Binga loves everybody and greets all visitors, whether they are friends of the humans, or handymen, or selling something. She is a combination of social butterfly and outlaw… who was once a throwaway shelter cat.
There will be thousands of shelter pets up for adoption at the Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days event June 1 and 2. In addition to New York City, there will also be adoption events in San Francisco, CA; Santa Clara County, CA; Alachua County, FL; Dane County, WI; Alameda County, CA; Contra Costa County, CA; and Washoe County, NV. The goal is to find homes for all the pets from these shelters! If you live in one of these areas, stop by… and tell everyone you know!
Note: This is a sponsored post but it is clearly a topic I am passionate about, and I am more than happy to spread the word.