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posted: 11/11/2012 6:31 AM

Keep your mind open to adopting older, black feline

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  • Kenzie

      Kenzie

  • Pooglia

      Pooglia

 
By Mary Hayashi
The Buddy Beat

On many occasions, I have exalted the virtues of the domestic black feline, and I will not go on and on here except to say that they have personality, plus.

Being a black cat in a shelter setting is only the tip of the problem in finding black felines a home.

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There are other variables at play besides color. Combine fall, after Halloween, with age, the likelihood of finding a home from a shelter setting decreases the odds even further.

Just think of it. The shelter is full of kittens and young adults, both in abundance in color and quantity. Older black cats are lost in the shuffle. Think of being an advocate for the underdog -- or, in this case, undercats -- who are being overlooked. Our older black felines need you.

The definition of what is classified as "senior" has changed dramatically in recent years. The old senior of 7-10 years is now the new "middle aged."

Why the changing definition? Food companies and advanced veterinary care seem to have assisted in more progressive thinking on what is defined as senior. Just look down the food aisles at a supersized pet store and read the bags. The new jargon is "active mature," even if the two descriptors do not go hand-in-hand.

Do we get to decide as consumers the age category of our animal? I guess only we know when they have slowed down a bit, even if we admit it all but grudgingly.

Why consider adopting an older cat? My number one reason is: "What you see is what you get." This adage applies to most of the traits you will be looking at when adopting a new family member. An older adult has a personality that is not likely to change. A kitten or juvenile, not so true. An older feline is easy to train to a routine because it has already been trained at least once before.

An older cat is also calmer. Calmer can be defined in a number of pluses. When the animal is in the litter box it is there for the reason of taking care of business. A younger feline has to engage in minutes of litter throwing before it remembers why it is in the litter box, hence more cleanup for you.

An older animal has already gone through the terrible tantrum stage (just cross-relate to small children and toddlers). They also have learned their manners and are less destructive with your things (remember the shredded chair from the last kitten).

Life in general is slower and calmer with an adult feline. Some have learned life lessons the hard way and have just become calmer on their own.

If you already lack energy from keeping up with the children, an adult cat is really what you want. They naturally know kid avoidance when their ears or tail have been pulled. I ask you, why go back for more? The adult knows: NOT.

The senior-for-senior connection works well, too. If you are slowing down in your own life, an older cat is just for you. As felines age they are more likely to be lap cats. They bond with us more deeply because they seem to acknowledge that they need us more.

Sometimes an older feline will find its way to Buddy as a declawed adult. Many seniors are concerned about damage the claws may inflict because of blood-thinning medications. A declawed older cat solves the problem without the guilt associated with declawing.

It is time for all of you so-called black cat enthusiasts to step up and give an older black feline a permanent home. Today's adoptables are both black but sport a remarkably different look.

Adoptables

Pooglia is a black shorthaired female that is about 10. She is overly friendly and actively seeks attention. She can light up a room better than a 1,000-watt bulb, but she gets passed over because of age and color. She has quickly forgotten that her previous owners abandoned her. She is waiting for you!

Kensi is a long-coated elegant girl that is 8-plus. Her beautiful fur was a mess from being abandoned in a lumber yard. I guess she can be happy she had a roof over her head. Her beautiful coat has been groomed and she would be happy to get her new forever home. This girl to is brimming with personality. She loves other felines, as does Pooglia.

• Contact The Buddy Foundation at (847) 290-5806; visit us at 65 W. Seegers Road, Arlington Heights, or online at thebuddyfoundation.org.

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