Are you ready to take in a kitten or cat? Have you and your family thought about it, or were you carried away by a cute picture, a friend’s cute pets, or a fleeting moment of loneliness? If so, wait, turn the thought over in your head and heart for some more time before taking such an important step. Some of the things you must consider are:
Who will care for your new pet? Are you home sufficient hours to feed, play with and spend time with your kitty. If not, do you have a partner or family member WHO IS AS COMMITTED TO THE PET AS YOU ARE and who will do the needful? If you live alone, make sure you are not trying to get yourself some captive company, because you need to think of the many hours your cat will spend alone while you inevitably go out on work, to meet friends, to party, or to go on holidays.
Are you prepared to spend on your pet? Taking on a new family member does not stop at feeding…your kitty will need litter (if an indoor cat) a cat carrier to ensure safe vet visits, toys, veterinary care…if you have no one to leave your cat with when you go out of town, please factor in the cost of boarding her somewhere safe (happily, boarding options are finallly opening up in all our cities) and don’t forget that every pet MUST be sterilised, a one time cost that is absolutely essential. There is no point in relegating your pet to the lowest rung of your spending ladder, compromising on its care and happiness while you place everything else higher on the priority list…do consider all this first and try and analyse whether you are ready for the commitment.
Do you or your family have any kind of history of leaving pets behind when you shifted house, or sending away an animal because you were allergic to it, or of passing on your pets to friends who wanted them? If so, you are probably never going to be ready for the forever commitment needed to adopt a pet and are best off not doing so. Unless you or your circumstances have changed completely.
Pets are family and rescued kittens go on a seesaw that takes them from rescue to loving foster homes and then they must go through the stress of rehoming…that stress is only worth it, if it is to a really loving home and FOREVER. Also, if there is any family member likely to object, please do not “try it out” but address the issue upfront before you take a kitten into your home. If you live in rented premises, are you willing to look only for places that accept pets, and not give them up because you happened to decide to shift somewhere they do not allow pets? That would be terrible. And never ever gift a pet to someone as a surprise, it never works out simply because so much thought and preparation is needed first. Try flowers or chocolates instead.
Do you have a back-up for when you need to rush out of town or stay away longer than expected? Work out something with family members, friends, domestic helpers, colleagues, so that if that day comes, you are well prepared. And remember, even if you adopted your cat from a shelter, the shelter should be a part of its past..you really must not try and board domestic pets at shelters when you leave town, your pet will be terrified. Your best option is always to leave kitty safe at home with someone visiting to feed and check on her.
Remember the old marriage vows? If not, let us remind you.
To have and to hold from this day forward…..your baby, your family member, not just when all is going well, not just as long as it is convenient, but for always. Because to lose their home, is not just confusing, but traumatic, terrifying, and in our eyes, simply tragic. If you really love and get to know cats, you will feel how sensitive and loving they really are, you will see their pain and confusion at being given up. You will hurt for them.
For better or worse…..yes we all have bad times, but our pets will share them. We do not give up our pets because we are having difficulties. In fact thousands of people swear that it was their pets who helped them carry on through the toughest times….when the humans in their lives let them down, or when the going got tough.
For richer or for poorer….the moment tough times hit, some people somehow manage to continue to give themselves all the comforts of life but immediately start counting the cost of feeding or keeping their pets. Please consider the love, the trust, the absolute submission of your pet, to your own lifestyle and rules, please consider how you would feel if one day your family told you you were no longer family to them, you were too expensive to feed or too much trouble to manage….the pain of it .
In sickness and health.….yes cats fall ill just like we do. That may mean taking a day off to cuddle your kitty because he is feeling blue, taking him to the vet, doing all you can to make him well again. It could mean changing your plans, calling off a date, whatever. If you love your kitty enough, that would hardly matter, as every person who loves their pet will tell you.
Till death do us part.…adoption is forever. One day your pet is going to be old. Will need more care, more love and understanding, just like your old parents. Will need its last days to be eased…be prepared for this. And whatever you do, never never never “send off your pet” to a shelter because it was too ill for you to care for in its last days. That is the most tragic and devastating thing that could happen to a loving loyal pet…to be cast off from its home in its dying days. Let your pet pass away at home…if it is suffering, please consider calling a vet to humanely help release it from its suffering, peacefully and in your presence. Animals ask so little of us and give so much. They bless our lives and share so much with us, they deserve the best.
So if you plan to adopt, promise yourself, it will be forever, and that is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your family. And if you think you are ready right now, send a message to us or mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are a bunch of beautiful kittens …each one rescued from certain death, just waiting for that loving forever home ….please pass the word around and help us carry on our work for these beautiful little souls, thanks!
Rainy and Foggy, two inseparable little bundles of fun and mischief..Their foster mama says they keep the whole family amused but are really obedient, and keep marvellous routines.
Eidee the cheetah kitty in the foreground, gorgeous and knows it . Mowgli, the little ginger boy, totally loving, will rain kisses on you for food .
Zouzou, who looks soulfully into your eyes to ask permission to cuddle up beside you and sleep. The gentlest soul ever.
For more information..contact https://www.facebook.com/CattitudeTrust
Devika Mukerji Khazvini runs Cattitude, a shelter for cats. She loves all living things and passionately champions animals who can’t stand up to cruelty or just plain neglect.