With kitten season about to begin, many of our teen-aged and adult cats still available will seem less desirable to many prospective adopters. Fuzzy, playful, rambunctious kittens can be fun, but older cats have their upside, too. Many have a personality that is well-developed so you know what you’re going to get when you adopt them, and for those who do not romanticize kittens climbing the curtains and getting stuck behind a clothes dryer, adult cats can be a welcome relief.
This weekend we were happy to see two—Mia and Giselle, adopted, but there are still quite a few to pick from. Cotto is one such cat and he is, to some degree, a special needs cats. Not in the conventional sense—he does require a special diet or medication, nor is he is sight- or hearing-impaired.
Cotto, in a nutshell, could easily be one of the cats you see on a TV commercials for animal welfare; one of those sad-looking cats and dogs that sit cowering in cages while a plaintive song plays in the background. I know people who hate those commercials. They hate the way the images and music manipulate the viewer into an emotional response, make them feel guilty for not running to the local shelter and bringing home a dozen assorted pets. I even know a couple of people who think the commercials exaggerate the plight of these animals.
That last point is the one I must take issue with. The volunteers of Purrfect Cat have collectively seen things that would make most people vomit or weep, or both. If you think people in cat rescue are just cute old ladies who coerce strays into the house with a saucer of cream, think again; we’re tough-as-nails bad-asses who put our physical and mental well-being in harm’s way every day. We have taken litters from the sad and disturbing homes of hoarders, we have pulled dead kittens from car engines, and rescued them from people who torture pets for sport.
Cotto is one of the latter. He is the only surviving kitten taken from a home where a very bad person did very bad things. This has left him shy and ill at ease with new people, particularly men. When he sees someone new or is approached quickly he is likely to hiss or cower, but once you begin to pet him and he knows you aren’t a threat, you feel his muscles relax and his mind ease a little.
He will never be a playful, gregarious cat, but for someone who wants a mild, sweet cat who likes to be pet and held and loved, he could be a very good choice. And the odds are good he will be your companion for a long time to come; he has been to hell and survived, so he’s got a lot of spirit and strength in him.