Saturday, November 17, 2007

Letter from an Adopter - Bright Eye

An Anniversary of Note - Brighty's One Year Adoption Anniversary!

Donna here. No, I’m not going to talk about the kittens, Aspen and Bella, but for anyone who wants to know they are doing great! I have another story to tell about a special cat I adopted from the Rescue almost exactly a year ago today.

After Labor Day weekend, September of 2006, I began working at the rescue. As I spent time with the kitties I couldn’t help but notice one in particular. She had 3 legs (missing right back leg), one eye, and a sign on her cage door saying she needed CD food – usually fed to cats with bladder issues. She wasn’t particularly friendly, didn’t come to the front of the cage to ask for attention, and didn’t even really want to be out much. When she did come out of her cage she hid in a cat cubby and hissed at the other cats.

There was just something about her though and as the weeks went by I started to make a point of spending time with her, usually getting her out of her cage and brushing her. By the end October I was totally smitten with her but I live in a tri-level house with three other cats and I had absolutely no idea if she could make it at my house. The bladder issue scared several people away from her, but after doing some research on it and finding that most cats have it controlled with diet, I wasn’t concerned about that. It was the three legs that was a concern. Could she do stairs and keep up with my three other cats?

I kept saying I’d love to adopt her but wasn’t sure. Finally, after Sarah’s exhortation to “just take the damn cat home” (no, that is not typical adoption procedure) I decided to give it a try. I picked Thanksgiving week because I had the week off of work and my husband was out of town so it would be quiet around the house.

Brighty (Bright Eye) came home with me on the Monday before Thanksgiving. I brought her home to a room of her own (spare bedroom) that is sunny and has lots of great cat places. I put her in the room with the usual litter box, toys and food and let her acclimate for a while. When I peeked in about an hour later she was sitting on the bed!!! If she could manage to jump on the bed she could climb stairs… huge sigh of relief from me. Now all I had to do was get her and my other cats together.

The week passed quickly with my kitties and Brighty slowly getting to know each other. The night I finally let them be together for the full night I got them all pie-faced on catnip first. There’s nothing like sharing a good hit of catnip to lower inhibitions and make “drinking” buddies out of them all.

The big test came the night my husband arrived back home. When I got home he said that Brighty kept running from him. I told him to sit down and read a book and sure enough, within 5 minutes Brighty was camped out on his lap, purring loudly and acting like she owned him. He was absolutely smitten. They are still the best of buddies – she’d rather be on his lap than mine.

So how is a three legged cat doing in a house with lots of stairs and now five other cats? Wonderfully. The stairs hold no terrors for her – in fact she’s almost as fast running as my other cats. She loves to play chase. One of her more bizarre habits is to sit in the middle of the toy basket, make yowling noises and flip the mousies out of the basket onto the floor. She then takes the mousies and beats the tar out of them – holding them in her two front paws, kicking them with her one back leg and biting them vigorously. I often end up throwing away mousies she’s destroyed.

Most folks shy away from special needs cats because it requires a commitment of time or money or both. Sometimes, however, all a special needs kitty needs is someone to let them be themselves. That was certainly the case with Brighty. Other than taking her to the vets occasionally for a checkup, feeding her a special diet, and keeping on top of any medical issues, she’s free to be herself here. We think she’s wonderful and wouldn’t give her up for anything. She’s the kind of cat that people ask for at the rescue – loving, playful, social. She loves being petted, especially on the side with her missing leg because she can’t scratch there.

Besides celebrating Brighty’s adoption anniversary, I wanted to bring up a point. Brighty is a wonderful cat that almost wasn’t a cat anymore. If her previous owner had decided to give her up just a few months earlier, she would have gone to the Humane Society because the rescue just came into being 3 months before she arrived there. At the Humane Society she would have been deemed unadoptable and euthanized. Brighty is alive today because of the Fort Collins Cat Rescue. I have the privilege of enjoying this amazing kitty because the ladies at the rescue took a chance and said they would take her in. There is a whole list of cats with disabilities, some major, and some minor, which have been adopted out successfully from the rescue. Brighty agrees that it is a good thing there is a place here in Fort Collins that can see beyond the physical disabilities.