Looking for a good home

Colin MacLean
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St. John’s Humane Services promoting adoption of older animals

Everybody’s got their history, whether it’s happy, troubled or otherwise.

Cats aren’t all that different.

Take Major Tom for example. A middle-aged male with a nonchalant attitude and an independent streak, Major Tom has had to endure trying times in his life.

He’s been a resident of the City of St. John’s-owned and operated animal care and adoption centre on Higgins Line since December.

He’d been abandoned in his apartment home after his previous owners moved out and left him behind. The next door neighbours rescued him and brought him to the shelter.

Major Tom has got a lot personality — maybe a little too much for his own good.

He doesn’t get along well with other cats. In fact, he’s claimed one of the rooms in the centre usually reserved for nursing females as his own penthouse suite.  

“He’s not selling himself very well,” said Heather Hillier, the shelter’s veterinarian.

But he’s very affectionate to people, and a real sweetheart. He’s certainly charmed the staff of the adoption centre.

Then there’s Josie. She’s been at the shelter since January of 2011, the longest stint out of the dozens of cats in residence.

For no other reason than she’s shy, she needs to warm up to a person before she’ll show affection, added Hillier.

Then there’s Matty. He was in rough shape when he was brought to the shelter in July of last year.

“When he came here his fur was so matted that you couldn’t feel his skin anywhere,” said Hillier.

He’s since been shaved and his fur has grown back. He snuggled into a petting hand on Tuesday.

These are three examples of mature cats that are in need of a good home, said Hillier.

But hopefully, after this Thursday, that will change, she added.

Thursday is Meow Madness at St. John’s Humane Services — a new initiative aimed at placing more adult cats into good homes.

Cindy McGrath, centre supervisor, explained the reasoning behind the program in an interview on Tuesday.

“Basically, this time of year we get a large intake of animals. This is the time that cats are having kittens and cats are definitely getting out after the winter. So we’ll really start filling up this time of year,” said McGrath.

So to help clear up some space in the shelter, it is offering some deals on its residents and inviting the public in for a look.

Meow Madness is this Thursday from noon until 9 p.m. at the shelter at 81 Higgins Line.

Cat adoptions are $120 and include an exam, first vaccinations, feline leukemia test, deworming and flea treatment, pet insurance, a kitten care package and 25 per cent off your first visit to a vet.

The St. John’s Veterinary Hospital is also donating a free microchip and bag of premium pet food.

In order to drum up homes for some of the shelter’s older residents, five years or older, they can be adopted for half price. Anyone who adopts a cat can also get a second kitty for half price.

Finding homes for adult cats is a challenge for all animal shelters, said Hillier, but she stressed that there are advantages to adopting older animals.

“What people forget is that when you pick up a kitten is you don’t know their personality. You’re playing the lottery when you bring home this kitten. When you adopt an adult cat, you can go into our main cat room ... and really sit down and interact with the cats and find one that suits your personality, that’s going to suit your home and be the way you want your cat to be,” said Hillier.



Organizations: Humane Services, Veterinary Hospital

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Recent comments

  • Brenda
    April 11, 2012 - 14:44

    Beautiful pictures ! You have captured the personality of the cat much better than seing a kitty behind barslooking acared and depressed. I love the picture of Graham. I hope they all are adopted. We have a rescue dog who gives us nothing but joy and love. Please give these older cats a second chance at a forever home !

  • Cyndi
    April 11, 2012 - 14:14

    I've got 4 cats, right now, all adopted, as strays, and they are much easier to handle when you get them as adults, because you do know their personalites. I can't handle anymore at this time, but when the time comes I'll be back to the SPCA looking for another adult cat.... :)

  • Peggy Dixon
    April 11, 2012 - 12:48

    Good luck to all those animals - people tend to want the babies but the older ones can be wonderful pets too. Four years ago we adopted from the shelter a Mom cat and her kitten - the vet figures she was about 3 yrs old at the time and had been a starving stray....they are great pets and so grateful to have homes. We have another stray who showed up at the house as a young kitten and the three of them are part of the family now.

    April 11, 2012 - 11:07

    Good Job!!! I adopted a stray cat four years ago, quite by accident, and at first when it showed up in my shed one cold February I thought I didn't like cats. Although a stray and half starved to death and cold, I first set up a bed in the shed, put in warm food, milk and hot water bottles in the bed to keep it safe and warm, never wanting a cat. Now four years later that stray has her own bedroom, the run of the house, is a loving pet, and even gets along with my dog. Funny and wonderful to watch them play with each other and clean each other and even sleep together. Best thing I ever did was take in that stray cat.

    • karen
      April 11, 2012 - 11:26

      Peter you are a gem! i have similar story.....i thought i didn,t like cats...my stray is 17 yrs old :) & my best friend ever.

  • leah
    April 11, 2012 - 10:56

    I hope these cats get homes ,they deserve love and affection.I have 2 cats now ,one is 12 years old and other little over a year,it is real fun to see them together-although the older cat is not up to the year old ,s speed.With older cats they are more layed back and relaxed-they would make lovely pets-they are much easy to care for.Please advertise these animals regularily-this is a great way to find homes for them

  • Mindy
    April 11, 2012 - 10:16

    i hope all the older animals at the shelter have luck on Thursday finding homes. i have two cats of my own and they love me with no conditions. As far as the people who leave these animals behined there outta be a law to track them down and fine them. There must be forwarding addresses. Charge them for the shelter cost of boarding them. it is not cheap to own an animal, with the cost of litter, food, toys and health care it can certainly add up the dollar cost.

  • Blaine
    April 11, 2012 - 09:39

    I adopted an older cat and must say he is one of the best pets I have ever had! All they want is a good home and someone to love them. I hope they find homes for them!

  • Yvette Butt
    April 11, 2012 - 07:46

    Please keep advertising them and doing stories on animals....anything that can help....and please consider adopting an older animal....BLESSED IS HE WHO WINS THE LOVE OF AN OLD DOG (or cat)....... And for those who feel it necessary to abandon their pets....shame on you!!! One day you will pay.