Up until a couple of years ago, we had always adopted adult cats, and every single one was and is an amazing journey, but a little over 2 years ago, we went into uncharted territory, we adopted a single Kitten!
We were watching the AHS Pet Telethon on TV and we were overwhelmed to see all the pets without a home and a family to spoil them, immediately we decided to go and get a new furry family member. So we went to PetSmart, and my husband spotted a tiny 3 month old orange tabby, all by himself but practically jumping off the walls of the little enclosure; it was love at first sight, we decided to bring him home right there and then.
That's when we discovered that kittens and adult cats may be the same species, but they are really not, we were completely taken by surprise by the level of activity and no-stop energy he had, and of course, our older cats noticed that too, and nobody was very happy about it...
After about 3 weeks we conceded defeat, this was not going to work out, poor tiny Diego was always wanting more and more play and attention, we just couldn't keep up and our older cats were going crazier by the minute.
Giving Diego away was never a thought or an option, he was driving us all nuts, but we already loved him to bits, so, we went with the only alternative we had, getting an other kitten! The very next day, we headed back to a Pet Store, at that time, all we were looking for was a male kitten, around 4 months of age, of similar size to Diego... and we found him...
"Hank" was by himself but seemed quite different from Diego, he was asleep, he had his back to the door and even after the door was opened, he did not acknowledge us, he didn't turn around when we started petting him... he seemed very shy, but that was no problem for us, we adopted him on the spot and as soon as we got home, we turned him loose in a room with Diego... we could not wait the recommended couple of weeks before making introductions, we were that desperate!
It was great to see them together, finally somebody was keeping up with Diego... and all the adults, human and cat alike, were happy ;D A family crisis had been averted.
In the adoption paperwork I noticed that "Hank" (now called Dresden) had arrived at HALO from another rescue group, one that I knew was a kill rescue... and at that time I didn't think much of it. Months passed, and one day, I was online trying to find out more about HALO and to my surprise, the website said they didn't take pets from the public, they take pets mostly from kill rescues, they take animals that are at risk of being euthanized for whatever reasons.
I could not wrap my mind around the thought that there was a possibility that my Dresden, my unbelievable loving, sweet Dresden, was in such risk.
I had heard for years about pet overpopulation and the fact that millions of pets are routinely euthanized, all around the country for this reason, but, once I pictured my Dresden in that risk, in that dreaded list, it really brought the point home for me. The point that millions of healthy, loving and adoptable pets are dying, just like that.
There are many opinions out there on why this problem exists and if it's solvable or not, but i personally think it is, it just requires consistent work and an unconditional commitment to the animals from the animal organizations and the pet parents. Imagine the number of kittens and puppies that could be spared from this fate just by spaying/neutering and extensive TNR... Then responsible and committed pet ownership... These 2 things alone already have a big impact for a lot of animals, but it could be much much larger.
This is why support for the no-kill rescues and organizations in our community is vital, a lot of them are small organizations, but their impact on the animals they touch is big, their impact on the families that adopt their pets is undeniable, their impact in educating the community and raising awareness on this problem and the fact that there are solutions to it, invaluable!
I just have to take a look at my Dresden to know that no-kill rescue groups are the future, they have to be. In the picture above, my Dresden is waking up from his nap with his pet cat... His pet cat used to be the gel wrist rest shaped like a cat that I had by my computer mouse, until Dresden adopted him. Just adorable!