The past 24 hours after seeing this post I’ve been all over the map from horrified, to deeply saddened to spitting nails mad.
Another cat – likely a kitten – killed because it was so scared and presumed unadoptable.
Who wouldn’t be scared after being lost, abandoned or surviving on the streets and then thrown into an unfamiliar setting.
The kitten needed time, patience and understanding, but as more cats continue to fill up the pound there was none to be had.
Who can blame the pound though in presuming nobody would want a scared cat.
A well-respected cat rescue doesn’t believe in giving “so scared” cats a chance to have a home either.
As part of justifying their TNR (Trap Neuter Return) program, their website states “The vast majority (98%) of adopters consider cats with feral background unadoptable. ”
Let’s see, if you ask people if they would adopt a scared or wild cat, of course the answer is going to be no.
Ask anyone who has adopted a shy or feral cat that has been given the time, patience and understanding to trust humans (again if abandoned) and you’ll get a different answer.
They are treasure troves that keep on giving as their true personalities are revealed one layer at a time.
But they take time, patience, understanding and SPACE.
The socialization process to go from hissing and swatting to chin scratches and purrs may take a few weeks to a few months to a year or more.
And there are a few that may never want to be touched or sit on your lap.
I know some people who are that way too – but do we say they shouldn’t have a home or be part of a family?
Shy and feral cats are misunderstood.
They are too easy to put in a barn as mousers or back on the street with a TNR caregiver to watch out for them.
The shy and feral dogs certainly aren’t treated this way.
Although they too are at risk for being put down.
The problem does not lie with the cats.
The problem – and solution – lies with people.
We are the ones who can become advocates and champions:
Champions who are willing to see beyond the surface hisses and swats hiding the true gems underneath.
Champions who are willing to give the cats a spot in their rescues for as long as it takes to be adopted.
Champions who are willing to give financial support for as long as it takes to be adopted.
Champions who are willing to work with the cats to trust people and let their guard down.
Champions who are willing to educate others about shy or feral cats.
Champions who are willing to put the cat’s needs first so they can blossom and grow.
Champions who are willing to take a risk adopting that’s not really a risk after all.
For as much as I’m a champion, part of being nail spitting mad comes from feeling like I failed this kitten.
I cannot save every cat – a fact known deeply, and painfully at times.
But there’s a poke that had I worked faster or had Listened sooner this kitten would still be alive.
I could have reached more people to raise awareness and understanding of what the kitten needed most.
It’s not a whole lot.
While I’ve championed the underdog cat for what seems ever, I began hearing the deeper call more than a year ago.
I didn’t jump in right away, instead letting things meld and mould into greater clarity.
Something I could grab onto.
Exactly what never appeared, but the push of the inner call remained.
I needed to be a champion with a further reach to help people see shy and feral cats not as wild, but the beautiful gems in the rough.
For as much as I’d rather hang out with my own shy cats,
for as much as I will continue to follow the calling to Follow Your Light,
for as much as I NEVER thought I’d be doing anything remotely like this,
for as much as I only have a sketchy outline of what this may look like in the end,
I have to step into a creating a wider reach in helping shy and feral cats get off the streets and stay out of barns to thrive as social cats do in forever homes.
The wheels have been put into motion with incredible support from deeply caring and extremely savvy cat people.
Form is slowly beginning to take shape with the full realization there will be much morphing along the way.
My biggest roles are to pay attention, ask for and receive help and avoid the urge to “push rope” to make something happen faster over truly Listening.
The journey ahead (working name “Seela’s Wish”) will unfold and come into its own just as the shy and feral cat’s do.
This kitten’s fate was sealed, but its life has not been in vain or gone uncherished.
Seela’s Wish is to see “the undesirables” – scared, shy, feral, senior and chronically sick cats – be given the opportunity to become cherished members of their furever family.
Reach for the galaxies and be ecstatic touching the stars past the moon.
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chief nudging officer
Crazy for cats and potatoes, Lorraine's insatiable curiosity of Life leads her to question, explore and push beyond the box. A self-professed "left-brained creative big picture" type, she has an intuitive knack for seeing beyond and beneath first appearances while at the same time nerding out on the details. Most of all she sees and holds others in their highest until they can see it for themselves.