Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Day In The Life Of Our Kitty Group Home

You'd think that a bunch of cats left to their own devices most of the time would fight nonstop. But cats have an amazing ability to adapt to whatever life and humans happen to throw their way, and that's almost always the case in our group home.

Of course, there have been a few who flatly refused to get with the program -- Mulberry and a handsome orange guy named Finn come to mind. Everyone, including all the cats, celebrated when they got adopted. But for the most part, life in our group home is peaceful and happy.

Like cats in any home, our group home residents find their own favorite places for napping and playing. They "time share" those spaces with each other and manage to work things out when there's a disagreement. And they adapt to an ever-changing community as cats get adopted and leave and new ones arrive to take their place. The rules seems to be flexible and change ever so slightly with every change in the family.

Over the years, we've seen friendships develop and close bonds form. Cats who arrived alone have sometimes left with a new but special friend. Cosby and Mr. Marx met in our group home but were devoted to each other by the time they got adopted -- together.

We began our group home with 22 cats from the same household. But as we added new cats, all strangers to each other and our original cat family, we wondered how they'd manage with very little human supervision. Would they fight? Would some bully the others? Could cats live peacefully and even happily in a cageless shelter? In 10 years, cat after cat after cat has answered all of our questions. We humans underestimate their ability to make the most of things, whatever those things are, and to be happy and thrive.


Mr. Marx

You can help us keep our group home going by becoming a sponsor of the Howard County Cat Club. Just click on the PayPal link at the top of the page. Thank you!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cherokee: Happy At Last

Cherokee tells her story:
"For six years, my human and I were best friends. I helped her with her school work, cuddled with her at night, and when she was expecting a baby, I sat near her and tried to comfort her when she wasn't feeling well. Then the baby arrived, and everything changed. Suddenly, our apartment was too small, and there was no room for the cat who had been her best friend before that huge man and the baby came along.

"The man took me to the Howard County Cat Club's group home. He just tossed my carrier in the door... didn't even say goodbye. I was so sad, I wedged myself into one of those little 'kitty condos' and stayed there for two days.

"Soon after I arrived, I got adopted. But I wasn't in the mood for new humans and a cat I didn't know, so I was returned.

"It took two years, but I got adopted again! I was so excited. I went to live in Washington, DC, in a residence for young women where I was supposed to be a working cat and catch mice. I loved it there. I spent evenings going from lap to lap in the main room, and at night, after all the humans were in bed, I worked on rodent control. I thought I was doing a good job and the women loved me. So you can imagine my surprise when they said they were replacing me with a mean cat, and I was going back to the Howard County Cat Club.

"Instead of going to the group home though, I went to the Highland Groomery and Kitty Bed and Breakfast for 'boarding.' I'm not sure what that means, but I'm still here and I think I can stay. I love my cat-sized four-poster bed and the kitty TV. I love sleeping in the bay window when the grooming shop is closed, and I love the other cats who live here and Wanda, the owner and her staff. I feel so fortunate. I wish every cat tale could have an ending as happy as mine does."

You can help us save more cats like Cherokee by becoming a sponsor of the Howard County Cat Club.