(december 2014) Last week I went to the animal shelter to pick a cat. As this was the first time for me at an animal shelter, the first time I am getting a cat to live with me – and only me, plus the first time I really had to pick a pet, I will tell you all about it today! So stay tuned if you like to meet my new buddy :-D.
Deciding to get a cat is the easiest thing ever. However, picking a cat is not: how on earth can you pick a cat??? Picking a puppy or a kitten is not that difficult as its character is still to be formed it is mostly the looks (and of course health) you are looking for. An animal shelter is different.. To make it even worse, I hate picking things. I am extremely bad in choosing, I cannot even decide on what icecream I want..
Prepairing myself before going to an animal shelter I looked on the webpage of the Dierenbescherming. Here you find all cats available in animal shelters in the area. There are pictures, but also a short description of the cat’s character and its story in the shelter. But as you might know: some cats are really bad in being photographed.. So I looked up which animal shelter had the most cats that were fitting my criteria: I cannot say goodbye to animals so a really old cat won’t be good for me; I don’t live on a farm so a cat that needs its space wont work; I don’t like keeping animals inside so a cat that won’t be able to go outside isn’t one for me and as I still live on a student budget I wasn’t looking for a cat that needs any extra healthcare at the moment. These things got me to the animal shelter in Leeuwarden, were I went last week.
As I don’t have a car, being bad in choosing and I was quite nervous to go to an animal shelter (going to the vet makes me already nauseous: I just hate it for animals to be hurt), I went with my mom. Getting at the animal shelter one of the workers introduced us to all the cats they have.
All cats are hold in some kind of rooms, devided into 3 parts all seperated by lots of glass. Opening the door you enter the ‘kitchen’ with a sink. Here you’ll find the door to the place where the cats live. They have shelters and climbing stuff for the cats in there, also there is an opening for the cats to go outside. Here they have again stuff to climb, play and hide. Most rooms have about 3 cats at the moment, having 24 cats in total. But the worker told us in summer they have over 200 cats…
Those rooms are very nice for the cats, but it makes the choosing part even harder. Some cats are paired with cats they do not like, resulting in being anxious and restless. This – of course – doesn’t give a good view on how a get really is. How it would be when relaxed and happy. Some cats were really sweet but just couldn’t really show it, being too busy with its environment. I really hated this, because I find it so sad to leave all those cats behind. But I couldn’t take the risk.
I made my choice based on a few things. I didn’t care so much about age, as long as the cat wasn’t so old that it was likely to get sick or die soon. Like I said before I looked for a cat that would want to go outside. Also, I don’t like biting and mean animals and I was really looking for a friend for life. So a cat that doesn’t like to be pet or doesn’t care for it wouldn’t be a good choice. However, a shy or somewhat anxious cat would be okay as my house is quite small and quiet, being easier for a cat to get used to.
These things brought me to a selection of a few cats. Some cats didn’t even look up when we got in the room, so I didn’t pick one of them. Like I said before, some cats didn’t really got the chance to show me their real character, so I had to leave them behind. Because I don’t have a cat already that would be a good rolmodel for the new cat, which would allow the anxious cat to get more social. Also my house is not suitable to be teared apart..
This left me with a few cats, all being so sweet: an older very beautiful reddish beige cat, a younger cat of which her kittens just left and a young male cat. As the mother cat was a little pushy and demaning I thought she might needed more space than my house and maybe even more people to live with. The other two were sitting in the same room together making the choosing part easier. The young male cat was more focused on me, looking at us the whole time. He was somewhat more shy than the older cat but at the same time he was purring a lot. Being more focused on me than the other cat I choose for him..
Having choosen I felt guilty that I didn’t pick an older cat or a cat that might didn’t get picked easily. Also, you never know how a cats character will turn out in a different environment so I still don’t know if I made the right choice, leaving me in doubt. Until my soon to be cat will arrive at my house and will be totally used to his new home, I won’t know whether I made the right choice or not. However, I do think I made my choice both rationally as on the feeling I had.
As I felt so bad about all those other cats in the animal shelter I asked the workers how long most cats stay in the shelter before they find a new home.. I was told that the mean stay of a cat was about three weeks. The cat that was there the longest arrived in summer though.
I left the animal shelter with mixed feelings: feeling bad for all the other cats, doubting whether I made the right choice or not, but at the same time really happy I picked my soon to be (hopefully) new mate!!
Follow my blog and stay tuned if you like to meet my new cat, becaus of course I cannot wait to take lots of pictures and introduce him!!!