|"Cat Adoption ... The Story of Felix"||
With His Adopted Brother Felix, Age 4
Hosted by drakkar91.com
In July 2012, after many weeks of visiting Caring for Cats in North St Paul MN, I adopted Felix. When I visited the shelter, I told the volunteer staff that I wanted a cat that was hard to adopt, and my only other requirement, that he gets along with other cats, since he would be moving in with Destiny, my 14 year old big gray kitty who was outgoing and lovable. All the cats were deserving, but I wanted one that would need extra TLC. Felix was about 3 years old, black with a few white puffs under his chin and on his belly. He was quiet, but a fast mover. His birth date was listed as May 20, 2009 and it showed he weighed 2.6 pounds when found. He had been at the shelter all of his life, since being rescued as a kitten. His litter mate had been previously adopted. Felix only once was ever even requested to spend time in the 'get to know you room' where potential adopters can visit with the cat one to one. Unfortunately, during this only visit, Felix never came out of the carrier. I choose not to make him go through the challenge again, as it would only be stressful.
When the time had come, July 28, 2012, I arrived with my cat carrier. Felix grew wings as the volunteers attempted to place him in the carrier. It was not an easy task to say the least. For the short ride to his new 'forever' home, Felix was quiet. Once inside his own room, he didn't come out from the carrier for hours. I removed the cover too, but he stayed inside. As evening came, he eventually exited the carrier, and climbed on the desk, where he tried to 'hide' behind some paper holders. I loaned him one of Destiny's many baskets, and eventually he climbed in. It was at least a day before he ate any food. I could gently pet him if I sat quietly on the floor with him.
Soon I allowed Destiny in the room, and when he finally saw this new cat, he did one polite 'hiss' and immediately exited the room. Felix was unafraid, since he liked cats at the shelter. A day or two after his arrival, I let him roam. He didn't leave the room at first, but eventually explored. He would run back to 'his room' if I tried to get near him. About 5 days along, he and Destiny already co-existed, though Destiny wasn't quite sure what to make of the new guy. Never did they hiss or fight. Felix took to hiding behind the living room sofa, and in less than a week, the two were free to move about in the same space. In under 2 weeks, the two started bonding, and as they two took a liking to one another, they fast became buddies.
For the initial weeks, Felix was still afraid of me, keeping a careful eye on me as I came home from work. Destiny was always a greeter, and knew Dad's arrival home was a great time to get love and attention. Eventually, with the expert guidance from Destiny, Felix decided to come along for visits as I arrived home.
As months passed, Felix remained guarded, and visitors were met with trepidation. The concept of jumping on a lap or being held were unheard of, but Destiny and Felix were best buddies. It was easily 6 months before Felix thought of a human lap as a place of safe haven, but slowly he tried it out. I would regularly pick him up, cradle him in my arms, then put him down. Just so he could adjust to a human holding him without harming him. It's likely his first weeks on Earth were frightful.
A Year Later
By summer of 2013, Felix was allowing visitors to enjoy a pet or two (after he approved). And making his way to my lap was becoming more common. Now, nearly 18 months since his adoption, he regularly flops on my lap, on his back, ready for a belly rub and lots of TLC. Destiny who has taken ill since October still usually allows Felix to cuddle with him, and Felix also has the characteristic of a 'healing cat'. After a recent surgery, Felix was grooming Destiny's wound area.
Felix is remarkable and has so much love to share. But reaching this level of comfort took easily 2 or 3 times as long as it might with a cat easier to adopt. The rewards however are heartwarming. He remains fearful and I cannot pick him up from a standing position. Maybe another 6 months? It's OK either way. For many months now he cuddles next to me on the bed and he prefers blocking any leg movement while sleeping. He absolutely loves to roll around on Daddy's lap.
See A Brief Video of Destiny & Felix - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxDD6DLAt5U
Adopting a Pet
Pet adoption is more than helping save a pet's life - it's a life experience of earning trust and in return receiving unconditional love. It's knowing you helped make a difference in a (sometimes abused) pets life. In the case of using a no kill shelter, you also free up space for a new homeless kitty. Pet adoption from any humane shelter is for me the only means of acquiring a pet. If I ruled the world, 'for profit' pet stores would be outlawed. With so many homeless animals, why on Earth do we need stores to sell them? I'm sure in some towns, this is not allowed, so we can make a difference if we are involved in local government.
If you're in the Twin Cities, there are many opportunities for adoption, and my adorable Felix came from Caring for Cats: