My wife and I always think of animal shelters as the Island of Misfit Toys, if you've seen the Christmas special, "Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer", you already know what this means, but the island was a place where all the defective toys were sent and were waiting to be loved by a child. Whenever we pass a shelter, we always think of the scene where the toys are sad because no one wants them.
The toys are later rescued and they're happy that they'll be in a home where they'll be loved.
As we head into summer, and kids are off from school, I'm sure many families look into getting a pet for the household. Consider adopting from a shelter--there are so many wonderful animals waiting for you to adopt them! Give these guys a chance, many have been returned to a shelter, or worse, abandoned when they became a problem (the problem is usually humans who do not understand the adopted animal and what they need). Some are simply old and after all those years of companionship the family no longer wants to "deal" with them.
All of the photos I've included in this post are of cats we rescued from shelters over the years. The next two photos are Woobie--adopted way back in the late 90s when he was just a little guy in a shelter in the Mojave Desert. He was my best friend and traveled the across the country with me multiple times, driving and flying. Woobie was named after the blanket in Mr. Mom since he always wanted to be near me. He was a wonderful cat, and I still miss him.
The next two images are of Juniper, a sweet and loving (almost) 17yr old friend. She's also been all over the country, but was adopted in the Los Angeles area. She loves to snuggle and help me when I'm writing (she'll tuck herself in behind me, which makes me sit up straight!). She's required subcutaneous fluids every other day for the past year or so (for kidney failure), but it's worth it, she's so loving and sweet, and as long as she's not suffering we'll keep doing it.
Bumble, the character in the next couple of images, was adopted after Woobie passed away back in 2011. Bumble was our first Colorado cat. He's a lovely piebald cat who was named after the Abominable Snowman from the above-mentioned "Rudolph" Christmas special, which Yukon Cornelius called the Bumble. He's full of energy, but also loves to snuggle and be around us, he'll even steal my spot on the sofa when I lean forward or move! Bumble was diagnosed with premature kidney failure and lost a lot of weight a couple of years ago. He requires some medication, but he's rebounded and the vet believes we've halted his kidney failure.
We like to torture ourselves on occasion and visit a shelter, and during one visit, discovered a little black bear of a cat named Pepper. Pepper's owner passed away and the owner's son simply tossed Pepper outside into the cold. A neighbor scooped him up and took him to a no-kill shelter which is where we adopted him. Black cats are often overlooked by people, but Pepper's story was so sad and he'd been at the shelter for a long time before we took him home. Pepper may have been 10 when we adopted him, and he passed away last year from cancer--the three years he was with us were wonderful. He was such a handsome guy.
We were heartbroken after Pepper passed away so suddenly last July, and we weren't sure if we were ready for another cat, but then we heard about Buddy. Buddy was being fostered at a home after his owner had boarded him and never returned--we're not sure what happened to the owner. Buddy was 18 when we adopted him and recently turned 19. Many people do not want to adopt older cats, but Buddy does not act like a senior. He's active and loving. He must have been treated well by his previous owner. He puts a smile on my face in the morning (which is hard to do most of the time, just ask my poor wife). Buddy is healthy, but is deaf and is starting to get cataracts. He is so sweet though, and we just can't believe he is 19 (and neither can the vet). He can still jump with the best of them!
Shelter pets are wonderful and many of the cats we've adopted over the years would have been overlooked or passed over. Black cats, elderly cats, or cats with conditions after often those misfit toys that only want to be loved. Buddy healed our hearts after Pepper passed away--kittens are wonderful, but that 19yr old cat was exactly what we needed. We thought we were rescuing him, but he rescued us.