A note on adopting a senior pet

It’s Tuesday morning at the animal shelter and we have only six more days of our senior pet promotion. Our goal is to have all of our senior cats into loving homes by November 30th. It is ambitious, but we have to try.

Fran (far left) volunteering at the GTHS
Fran (far left) volunteering at the GTHS

I think about why I think senior pets are so special. What is it about them that makes my heart swell? As I go through my morning rounds, I run into a long time cat care volunteer, Fran. I remember that back in March Fran adopted a 12 year old cat from the shelter named Mallory. I ask Fran, after our morning greetings, why did you adopt a senior cat?

To give you a bit of history, Mallory arrived at the GTHS animal shelter with a sad history. She had been left behind in Wasaga Beach when her owner moved out. It was winter and she was so cold that she burrowed into the neighbour’s porch basement for protection. When she arrived at the shelter, she was matted, emaciated and truthfully, in shock. She curled up in her bed and stared into space. Occasionally she would meow for her food, but mostly you could tell that Mallory was feeling abandoned and depressed.

For several months, after Mallory had been shaved, well fed and given health improving dental surgery, she was still waiting in our adoption rooms for a forever home. She would occasionally crawl onto a visitor’s lap, but after several rejections, she was mostly kept to herself. It was heartbreaking to the staff and volunteers to watch this beautiful, majestic cat…give up.

Throughout this time, Fran would be working with or around Mallory during her regular shifts. Week after week she would watch Mallory wait. Finally, Fran announced that she would be taking Mallory home. As a senior herself, she felt that Mallory needed a second chance and that she was the best opportunity for this deserving cat.

Therefore, when I asked Fran why she adopted a senior cat, her answer came thoughtfully, but easily.

“I have had cats all my life. Most of them I have raised from kittens so when I brought Mallory home I could tell that she was different. It took her several days, but once Mallory realized she was ‘home’ her personality completely blossomed. The difference was night and day. She settled down immediately and I could feel appreciation radiating from her. She seemed completely content.

Mallory, content and confident in Fran's home
Mallory, content and confident in Fran’s home

I chose Mallory because she was a needy cat and it would have taken her a lot longer to find a home. I know that I needed a friend and I know for sure, that she needed one too. I would highly recommend a senior cat to anyone looking for a good companion.”

We currently have five cats and one senior dog with similar stories waiting in our shelter. Many have been waiting longer than Mallory did. They all have similar stories of displacement, confusion, loss and struggle. I have no doubt that given the chance, they would blossom when given a home. Fingers crossed this story will inspire a few others to open their hearts. Wish us luck in reaching our goal!

For find out more information on the senior pets that are available for adoption please visit www.gths.ca. Email catadoptions@gths.ca for cat information and dogadoptions@gths.ca for dog information. Thank you!

Mallory while she was at the GTHS
Mallory 2
Mallory waiting at the GTHS

Stay informed on GTHS events, initiatives and programs. Learn how the GTHS team is serving the pets and people of the South Georgian Bay Area. Read heart-warming Happy Tails about GTHS Alumni. See a lot of really cute pictures of dogs and cats!