I was born at a cat rescue six months ago and I’m lonely because my brother and sisters have all been adopted. I didn’t mind living here while they were around. It was fun playing and napping with them. The only unpleasant thing were those horrible “adoption days,” when they would take us, along with a bunch of other cats, to some big pet store and leave us in little cages for hours. My siblings would just hang out like it was no big deal, but the trip always scared me so I’d spend the day hiding in a corner of the cage. Over a period of weeks, everyone in my family got adopted, one by one, except me. I’d love to have a home with people to play with me every day — the volunteers here at the rescue are nice, but there are so many cats and they don’t have much time to devote to me. Am I hopeless case?
Alone and Not Loving It
The “adoption” process can be tough, especially for introverted cats like you. It favors more outgoing cats, and those who adapt easily to different surroundings. The ones who hang out, sticking their paws between the cage bars and playing with the passers-by are always the first to get picked. Humans look at the cats hunched in the rear, with their backs facing them, and think they are sick or something. A lot of times, it has nothing to do with health — it’s just that they’re frightened, or hate being moved around, or the small cages just remind them too much of the horrible pound they may have spent time in. When your siblings get adopted and you’re left behind, it’s easy to get depressed, which makes the situation even worse.
Nobody can expect you to turn into an extrovert overnight (maybe not ever), but I can give you a tip that will help you get noticed without taking you too far out of your comfort zone: make eye contact. Here is an interesting fact about humans: unlike other creatures, they enjoy it. For them, eye contact is not seen as a challenge or play for dominance, but as a way to connect. So whenever you have to go to one of those pet store “adoption” days, even when you are scrunched in a cage corner, make sure now and again to take a look at the humans hovering around you — and look them in the eye. Not like a stare down — just check them out. This will spark their interest, and they will be more likely to assume you are shy, not sick or vehemently antisocial. It will take time, but if you persist, eventually you will find a patient human who is willing to take you home and give you a chance. Good luck!