June is Adopt-a-Cat Month.
From being fearful of cats and pets in general, here I am sharing some benefits of adopting cats based on my experience:
- Low maintenance: Physical preparation. They just need a bowl of food, a bowl of water, a litter box (with litter sand).
- Low maintenance: Time. If I have time, they are responsive but if I’m busy, they are fine, going about their own thing. No guilt trip.
- Sweet Companions. They like to come near and sit quietly beside me. Sometimes they cuddle and are just present. No need for words, no need for fuss. When you’re sick, they just keep you company. They’re good listeners and won’t share your secrets… even though maybe they will just doze off if you talk to them.
- Self-cleaning. They love to clean themselves and each other.
- Affectionate. They like to rub their tails on you to show you that they like you.
- Loving. I saw a video that when they close their eyes while looking at you, they’re saying, “I love you.” They do that a lot. HERE’s a video about learning to understand Cat Language.
- Stress Reliever. Cat cafes are popular in Japan. People whose dwellings do not allow pets, pay a fee to spend an hour to feed, stroke, watch, or play with cats as the interaction usually makes them feel relaxed and less lonely or stressed.
- Brings out your tender side.
- Entertaining. They have ideas of where to hide that bring laughter.
- Rodent and Cockroach Control. The first time Kryp came up to me with a cockroach hanging between her teeth, I screamed because I was afraid she would come near me. I think the ideal response would be to affirm her verbally and with strokes on her back that she did a great job and reward her with a treat. Next time she does that, I hope I can have the right response.
- When you adopt a cat, you are protecting them from getting run over, from the elements, and providing a home for them. My co-parent, Inma M., has over thirty cats in her home while Baby K. has over a dozen, adopted from the streets.
- Provide a scratch post for your cats. Cartimar or the pet center at Tiendesitas, Pasig offers a wide range of pet needs or you can make one yourself from rope or corrugated board if you have time. Canvass around before you make a purchase because some stores have cheaper prices than others even for identical products. When choosing upholstery for your furniture, don’t choose the materials with ridges which mimic a scratch pad. Cats need to scratch to remove the dead outer layer of their claws or stretch their muscles. There are many instructional videos such as this one (and tools that hekp you to train your cats not to scratch your furniture but instead scratch their scratch posts.
- I like the fact that our kittens arrived when they were babies but litter-trained. There are videos for litter training like this one.
- The cats we have are descendants of street cats. The mom was adopted by my sons’ schoolmate. I think local street cats or PusKal (Pusang Kalye) are generally sturdier and more acclimated to the conditions of living with you and would be less prone to illness. My husband got a premium dog breed but the poor puppy has not been acclimating well.
- Make sure your cat has her vaccination shots.
- Our vet advised us to have our cats neutered and spayed at a certain number of months in age. When you take in your cats, ask your vet when the best time is and don’t miss the schedule; it’s a one-time procedure. Our cats had their procedures done at Beterinaryo sa Fort (BSF) and we didn’t have a problem.
FROM FEAR TO LOVE:
Before my son left for university, he asked if we could adopt a pair of cat siblings. After my best friend, Sarah’s dog bit me at her house one time, I always felt like I have a communication gap with animals. So I told my son that we could take in the cats and give them a home temporarily only if he could find someone else to adopt them for good before he left for university.
Every time Lux (the white one) and Kryptonite passed near me, I would scream for help to take them away. But as days passed into weeks, there was no adoptive family that came to check or pick up the cats. My friend ,Cherry, came and told me they are so nice I should keep them. I shook my head to tell her don’t give me this idea. I then hoped my co-parent, Inma, who has over thirty cats in her own house would adopt them. What are two itty bitty ones more? But Inma told me, “Keep them!! They’re so easy to take care of. You just have to put some food on a bowl, water, put a litter box in place and they will take care of themselves.” Easy for her to say, I thought; she doesn’t know my fear of cats.
Soon, my son had to leave for university and the cats remained. Sigh! I was so busy preparing for the work I would leave behind and my son’s needs for university that I didn’t get to find an alternate adoptive home either.
As weeks turned into months, I grew more and more accustomed to their sweet presence that they make coming home a pleasure. They are affectionate, fuss-free, submissive, relatively clean, and easy to please. Sometimes I even think through them God was teaching me a thing or two about being pleasant company!😁
God made animals and it is a blessing to discover up close having cats as part of our household. For an empty nester like me, it helps channel nurturing instincts even if I’m constantly busy multi-tasking in all directions.
If you’ve been contemplating on getting a cat, you can try adopting one (or two) and if it doesn’t work out, you can still find an adoptive home for them… unless like in our case, you realize they are part of the family and wouldn’t give them away even for a fee.