If you follow this blog you know that each week we love to feature your stories about how you rescued and adopted your dog or cat. It just occurred to me that I have a rescue story of my own to share here! I adopted my cat Harley back in September of 2008, but I had been his pal since he was born 6 months earlier.
I was a volunteer for a no-kill cat rescue shelter for a few years. Harley’s mother was one of many feral cats that were brought to the shelter to be spayed or neutered and released. It turns out that this particular cat was pregnant and ready to deliver her litter that very day. Harley and his three siblings were born and went into foster care until they were old enough to return to the shelter for adoption, while his mother was released (keeping her cage-confined to nurse her kittens until they were old enough to be weaned would have been too stressful for a truly feral cat). Here are some of the photos I took of Harley while he lived at the shelter:
When Harley, then named Neptune, was brought back to the shelter he (and one of his littermates) had a stubborn case of ringworm on his face. I recall applying the antifungal medication for weeks until they were both finally cured. For some reason, Harley’s siblings were all adopted while he was overlooked for months. One person did express an interest in adopting Harley, but the adoption fell through when the person never followed up. Luckily, Harley didn’t seem to mind and he had a ball hanging out and playing with all his pals at the shelter. While I had no idea that Harley would eventually join my family, the things I remember about him at the shelter: he was very playful, got along well with the other cats, loved toys, and had a huge appetite.
By the time Harley was 6 months old, he was past the “cute kitten” stage and his chances of getting adopted any time soon were growing slim. Sadly, I had recently lost one of my own two cats due to complications from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I decided that Harley had waited long enough for a home of his own, and brought him home so my now lone cat Daisy would have a companion. I fell in love with Harley’s sweet disposition and crazy antics, while Daisy probably wishes she had a more laid-back companion. The photo below is Harley on his first day home, hanging out in the guest room until he was introduced to Daisy.
I’m grateful for shelters that offer spay/neuter programs for feral cats to help reduce the homeless pet population. It saddens me to think of the struggle to survive Harley would have faced had he been born in the wild.