I, Champagne am a rescue cat. I am a survivor of human cruelty, and my housemates Cherry and Lolita are also rescue cats who survived acute neglect. We were all give up because we were no longer deemed pretty or useful, and in Lolita’s case, because she was too old.
Last year, Mom wanted to adopt a housemate for me so that I could have company while she was away at work. When we started looking over all the pet adoption sites, we stumbled on the special section of the Berlin Animal Shelter Mom’s eyes immediately fell on Kessy, a 16-year old Persian who had an acute liver condition and didn’t have much longer to live. She just needed a loving family to make her life as comfortable as possible until she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. At first I didn’t understand why Mom brought home this wobbly old dame who could barely walk, hardly meowed, and just wanted to cuddle and be cooed. Heck, I wanted an active playmate! But as I watched Kessy turn from floppy mop to grand dame, I understood that our role was to bring back the joy and make the other rescue cats believe in humans again, like me. We were told Kessy would live between four weeks to four months, and we had her for almost four months.
Then Mom went out and adopted Cherry, another wobbly mop who couldn’t and wouldn’t play either. At least Kessy had the courtesy to sit politely at the table and listen, even if she fell asleep in mid/sentence. Cherry wouldn’t even sit with us and avoided me as though I had the plague. Neurotic was the word I would have used, but Mom said she was depressed and I was not to bully her. Hrmph. But I did what I was told to do and was as supportive as could be, telling Cherry that this really was her forever home. One year later, Cherry bullies me around, calls everyone to the table, and is a cheerful tattletale. At 12, she has found a new lease on life and is not going anywhere. Depression gone, impression in. My job here is done.
Last but not least, granny Lolita. At 14, she is half deaf and half blind, was a nervous wreck when Mom brought her home, and had survived cancer. She has no energy to run around, and in the beginning I had to crawl under the bed to whack her on the head just to make sure she was alive. One hiss meant I am awake, two hisses equals I am hungry but leave me alone. She was the toughest nut to crack for me and providing her emotional support was hard, it still is on some days, especially when she wakes up in the middle of the night and has no clue where she is or where everyone else is. She will just shout and either Cherry or I will answer back, but usually Mom beats us to it.
The point of my tale today it to appeal to all those visiting animal shelters looking for a pet. Everyone looks for kittens or puppies, because they find them cute and cuddly. Hardly anyone gives the senior citicats a second look, let alone the sick and old ones. Many old cats just want a quiet loving home to settle in, be fed and watered, airing and sunshine. They will not be around for very long, and will be set in their ways, stubborn and unyielding, but believe me when I say that they will be very grateful.