I volunteer at the local cat adoption center, which is operated by the local SPCA and based at a pet store in York. This involves going in every other Sunday and playing with adorable homeless cats, making sure they have food, water, and clean litter, and showing them to people who are interested in adopting these poor, down on their luck, disenfranchised furballs.
On most Sundays that I'm scheduled for cat room duty, I find myself wishing I didn't have to go. I'd rather sleep in, relax at home, or be able to get done whatever other errands we have to undertake. But then I go in and have a great time playing with adorable kitties and end up wanting to take a bunch of my cuddly new pals home. (This is how we got Elizabeth the Kitten. In March 2006, my wife and I were both working in the cat room, when Elizabeth climbed up on my wife's lap, laid down, and started purring. She remains there to this day.)
Sometimes I see things in the cat room that make me upset. Each cat has a tag on their cage that tells his or her story, as well as whether he/she's good with other cats, dogs, children, and some information about personality. I'm appalled by some of the reasons people find for ditching their pets. My all time "favorite" was when Rupert and Spot, two very nice 13 year old cats who had lived in the same house, were given up for adoption because they didn't like the owners new bird. I not-so-secretly hoped that one of them ate the bird on the way out.
Today, I saw this:
I know it's a bit hard to read my blurry cel phone pic, but it says "Returned to shelter (RTS) after one day for not adjusting to the new home. I'm a very friendly little girl."
I know not everyone likes cats, and that's ok. But this means there's someone out there who allegedly likes cats enough to adopt one, but after just one day they decided they'd given Misty enough of a chance and it was never going to work out.
Really? Here's a little animal that has spent months ("Date in" appears to be in July) in a big room with other cats (indicated by "Condo" written on the side), and then likely the last several weeks in 2x2 metal cage by herself. You don't think that suddenly being let out in a brand-new house for the first time in months would be JUST A TINY BIT OF AN ADJUSTMENT?
When we adopted Elizabeth, were advised to introduce her to the house slowly, especially because Higgy and Pooka weren't exactly welcomng, and give her a chance to get used to her new surroundings. I'm still not sure she's quite there yet. And it's true that Higgy and Pooka have moved several times and have each time just been instantly given the run of their surroundings and have adjusted pretty quickly.
But every cat is different. They all have their own somewhat insane personalities. If you like cats, how could you just give up on this little one after one day? Doesn't a pet deserve more of a chance than that?
It makes me wonder if the wrong species won.