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Photo 1 (2)If you or someone you know is searching the market for a new cat or dog, please consider exploring a rescue shelter first. Rescue centers, like the SPCA, aim to find abandoned cats and dogs happy homes. Fees are very low since the main focus is for adoption—not profit. These shelters are also wonderful because veterinarians will assess a wellness exam and perform spay/neuter surgery (if necessary) before sending your new pet home with you. These procedures are important to ensure your new pet is healthy and fit for his/her new lifestyle. Adopting from a Rescue center also means saving the life of a cat or dog; and every pet deserves to live in a safe and caring environment.

When we adopted our current kitties, Alice and Praline, it was comforting to know that these two girls (with very different and rough pasts) could now relax in a loving home. Praline had just delivered a litter of kittens a few weeks before she and her babies were dropped off at the shelter. She was very skinny and consistently sleepy; but, when she locked her eyes on mine, this little kitty also stole my heart. Instantly, Praline became mine.

A few cages down, Alice had already begun claiming her place in our family. Being about 8 years old, Alice was considered a senior. She had been staying at the shelter for close to 3 months (we think her time was quickly dwindling), and she looked as though she had previously thrived as an alley cat back in the day. The staff informed us that Alice had lived with a previous family beforehand, but endured frequent stressful situations with the owners’ dogs. She had certainly suffered emotional trauma before arriving at the center. The stone faced expression and boxy musculature of her appearance probably caused most parents to glance by her cage and keep walking. However, the cold look of Alice’s face showed no relation to the warmth of her heart. This cat wouldn’t hurt a fly! Once our new furry additions stepped into our home, they were so grateful to be out of the crowded, noisy shelter and into a happy household.

It did take a few weeks for Praline and Alice to tolerate each other. We began by separating the two cats before slowly introducing one to the other (more details on the process to follow in an upcoming post). Soon the two became friends and playmates. Sometimes I even catch them in a snuggle session and nap. Both cats express gratitude and love towards our whole family, but this appreciation is shown full-heatedly through Alice. Given her roller coaster past and initial timidity, Alice has come a long way. She used to cower every time someone attempted to stroke her head, and would wolf down her meals as if she may never see food again. Now, she climbs into my lap and purrs her head off while I rub her cheeks. This kitty could spread out on her favorite blanket and let you pet her all day. All she wants is love!!!

It’s so sad to think that if my family hadn’t walked into that particular shelter that June day, Alice may not have had the chance to show or receive the affection this sweet kitty deserves. It’s comforting every time I see Alice peacefully curled up for a nap or enjoying a long head scratch.

Rescuing my kitties from a shelter is the best decision we have made while searching for a new family addition.  I know both my girls are thankful they are being raised in a cordial home with unconditional love. I’m so happy to have found Alice and Praline, and I’m glad they both adopted us too.

~By guest blogger and kitty lover, Jenny B!

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