The case for adopting an older cat -- especially a black one
On many occasions I have exhausted the virtues of the domestic black feline, so I will not go on and on here except to say that they have personality plus. Being a black feline in a shelter setting is only the tip of the problem in finding a back feline a home.
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 the setting. The shelter is full of kittens and young adults, both in abundance in color and quantity. The older black felines are lost in the shuffle. Just think of being an advocate for the underdog -- in this case "undercat" -- or the just plain overlooked. I would like to think there is a little bit in all of us to advocate for the unlikely champion. Our older black felines need you.
The definition of what is classified as "senior" for cats has changed dramatically in recent years. Why the changing definition?
Food companies and advanced veterinary care with older felines seem to have assisted in more progressive thinking on what is defined as senior or aged for felines. 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 if we admit the age all, but grudgingly.
Why consider adopting an older feline? My number one reason is "what you see is what you get." This adage applies true to most of the traits you will look to when adopting a new family member.
An older adult cat has a personality that is not likely to change; not so true of a kitten or juvenile. An older feline is easy to train to a routine because it has already been trained at least once before. An older feline is also calmer.
Calmer can be defined in a number of pluses. When the older 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's 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 tails 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 or feline 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 or blood-thinning medications. A declawed older cat solves the problem with our the guilt associated with declawing.
It is time for all you so-called black cat enthusiasts to step up and give an older black feline a permanent home.
Fundraiser: Bowling for Buddy will be held from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, at Arlington Lanes, 3435 N. Kennicott Ave., Arlington Heights. The admission of $35 at the door includes two games of bowling, shoes, pizza, salad, dessert and soda. For details, (847) 290-5806.
• The Buddy Foundation, 65 W. Seegers Road, Arlington Heights, is a nonprofit 501(c) 3 shelter. Call (847) 290-5806 or visit www.thebuddyfoundation.