Since this is Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week, an effort through Petfinder.com that was launched at BlogPaws West earlier this month, we wanted to draw attention to another “less adoptable” pet in our household. A couple of days ago, I told you about Felix, our formerly feral cat; our home also includes Inca, a small black cat.
Black cats, like black dogs, have a very difficult time getting adopted at shelters. Whether it’s superstitious worry, the fact that there are so many black cats, or the inability to see and connect with black cats in the shadows of their kennels at the shelter, these cats are often overlooked by adopters.
This was almost the case with our Inca. After the death of our sweet Elaine, a long-haired black and white cat, I decided I’d like to adopt another long-haired cat. I searched Petfinder.com and found a long-haired orange kitten at our local shelter. Perfect!
The next day, I headed to the shelter. I went into the cattery at our shelter and the orange kitten had been adopted. Back to square one. Surely there was another orange kitten here. No. Maybe another long-haired kitten or young cat. Nope.
I started my search around the room, stopping at every cage and talking with the cats. Maybe one would just “click” with me and I’d know that should be the one. Because we had two older male cats at home, I really wanted to find a young female cat to join our family.
I spent about 90 minutes searching and had no luck. Maybe I’d better come back another day. Then, just before I left the cattery, a volunteer came in and asked if I needed any help. I told her I was looking for a young, female cat, preferably a kitten.
“How about this one?” she said, opening one of the cages and bringing out a small, black cat about six months old.
I’d seen the card for the black cat on the cage door but she’d previously shown no interest in me. In fact, I’d never been able to see her face. She was in a row of cages pushed against the window and would look nowhere but outside.
“Today is her turn to be at the window,” the volunteer told me as she placed the black cat in my arms.
I looked at her card again. She’d been at the shelter for a month. This was, at the time, a kill shelter. There probably wouldn’t be many more turns at the window for this young girl.
I sat down and started petting the young cat, who immediately snuggled up in my lap and started purring. That sealed the deal!
She came home with me that afternoon and joined our family; we named this girl Inca [how Inca got her name]. She quickly learned that this was a house with lots of windows and every day was window day (with her own special window perches in some of the windows):
And lots of soft places to sleep:
Soon she was accepted by Felix and Linus, our male cats, and quickly she became the mother hen of the group, always grooming her fellow housemates or ready for a game:
Or a lazy afternoon on the couch:
Four months later, our next door neighbor walked over to our house carrying a small box. He’d found a tiny kitten in town the night before and wondered if we’d like to have her. Weighing under a pound, that tiny bundle of fur was soon named Coco. Inca immediately became mother to Coco, following her into the litter box, grooming her, and never letting her out of her sight.
She showed Coco that the softest place in the house to sleep is the laundry basket:
When Tiki and Irie entered our lives, Inca became mother hen to them, too. She’s absolutely fascinated with Tiki’s long tail:
She likes to share a bite of chicken with Tiki during mealtime (and always makes sure Tiki remembers her dinnertime manners which means lying on the floor when the cats are eating):
And she takes her role in the family business very seriously, always volunteering for a little toy testing for us:
The next time you’re at the shelter looking for a cat for your family, please take another look back in the shadows of those deep cages. Like us, you might just get lucky. This small black cat crosses our path with good luck and lots of love!