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Taking the Adult Option

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  • Taking the Adult Option

    It is still kitten season (puppy, too?), and one needn't search too hard to find a small bouncing feline to take home. As always, though, there is the Adult Option. I've been owned by four cats, not counting the ones who ruled over other members of my family or a room-mate; two were kittens when we met, and two were adults. At some point, I'd definitely like to be owned by a kitten again, but my present cat is enough for now.

    For those of us who have adopted/hired/been chosen by mature cats, I thought it would be nice to share stories. Were you in the market for a feline? Did you know the cat's history?

    Dylan was 6 or 7 when I got him from the SPCA. I have no idea how he wound up there or why, but he was 18lbs and healthy. I've had him for 5 and a half years now.

    Here is the Big D himself, just yesterday: http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f2...g?t=1370280817
    (Hope that works, I can't post attachments.)

  • #2
    Many moons ago, 1999 to be exact, I had my two senior cats, littermates, put to sleep at the same time. They were both in failing health with inoperable conditions and would have been lost without each other. I was petless for the first time in years, and decided I'd stay that way for a while until the "right" cat came along.

    That lasted for about a month. One of my sister's co-workers had an 8yo cat and a husband and newish baby with allergies. The cat was a grumpy sort and had already scratched the baby once, resulting in banishment to the basement. But the woman was determined to keep him unless the perfect situation arose. My sister told me about him and I figured I'd give him a try.

    The couple insisted on bringing him to my apartment and before they left I had been hissed at, scratched and nearly bitten, but I just kept telling them to go and leave us and it would surely work out. This crabby old dude crawled up onto my bed that very first night and cuddled under my chin, and we were bonded for life. He was a fear biter and landed me in the emergency room on a couple of occasions but heck, if I were an animal I think I'd be a fear biter too, so we were soul-mates. I had him for 11 years, drove cross-country with him as my co-pilot, and miss him even now.
    Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


    • #3
      Are you kidding me? Adult cats are the greatest. They are "What you see is what you get".... but better because if a cat is half-way good in the POW camp that is a shelter, he'll be wonderful at home.

      Our family has a long and glorious history of getting made-to-order adult cats from shelters. Great for the fussy and/or risk-averse.
      Last edited by mvp; Jun. 3, 2013, 06:57 PM.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat


      • #4
        We've gone the adult cat route several times and never regretted it.

        Our first cats were teen kittens supposedly going directly to the barn. Got waylaid by a late evening at work and Mom deciding they were too young to go to the barn. Lost one at 6 or 8 yo when she took off and never returned. The other was with us through several moves and almost 20 years.

        When we lost her we decided we'd go looking for an older, but not old cat. Found a great rescue that really tried to match cats with people. We went to see Ivy and ended up bringing her home along with a companion kitten. Ivy was about 2 and had been dumped by her family after she had kittens (of course they hadn't bothered to neuter her). Ivy had a heart condition, but was with us until she was 14. Jess-a-minit, the kitten is still with us at 17 or so.

        After we lost Ivy, Jess was not loving life and seemed to want a cat companion so we found her Tom, a 2+ year old super cool dude of a cat.

        Just last year we were joined by Tiggywig an elderly tortie who came to us through a quilts for soldiers project. My sister does quilts for soldiers made from recycled jeans, the jeans that don't work for that project are turned into pet beds and donated to local shelters. A freecycler from Tig's shelter picked up beds and dropped off the link to the shelter and we made the mistake of looking.

        Tig was listed at 15 years old and her family having died. She and her cat family actually lost TWO families - Her first people died of old age and she moved in with a friend with cats who also died of old age within a year. 6 cats ended up in the shelter and Tig was not doing well - depressed and not leaving her cage, losing hair and generally moping. We couldn't stand an older cat having to live out her life in a shelter so we offered to permanently foster her IF she got along with current cats. Well, 'getting along' is relative, but she's here to stay and is mostly a love to be around and willing to work with restrictions in place cause she doesn't deal with our oldest cat.

        Kittens are fun, but more mature cats are VERY special and well worth a look.


        • Original Poster

          Drive NJ, you brought tears to my eyes.


          • #6
            I went to the no kill to pick up two kittens and ended up with two adults. I picked them based on their ugliness. I thought " no one is going to adopt that cat, she's so ugly". This was confirmed by my mother, who on first glance said " she's ugly".
            What a beautiful cat she turned out to be. My mother denies she ever said that, and was the person who saw her markings were shaped like hearts.
            Beauty is in the eye of the beholder indeed.


            • #7
              I have no desire for a kitten. My first two cats were teen kittens (I like that term, Drive NJ.) They were, like all kittens, extremely active and into everything. They drove me to distraction, love them as much as I did. Marissa died at five years old of auto-immune related problems, but the other, Becky, at 14, is with me still and is the cat who owns the biggest part of my heart.

              When Marissa died, I was afraid that Becky would be lonely, so I went to the shelter and came home with a seven year old girl who I named Gina. She was such a lady, and fit into the household so well that she sold me forever on adult cats. She's 16 now, and I still call her "The Good Cat" because she never does anything wrong.

              Next to make it to into the household was Rachael. I made the mistake of looking at the cats from the Humane Society when I was in Pet-Smart. Rachael is "The Pretty Cat" and those sparkly eyes and winning ways meant that she had to come home with me. I never regretted it because she is a joy to have around. She was two, and still had some bounce left in her. She wanted somebody to play with and the two older girls weren't that interested in ramming around the house much any more.

              So, back to the shelter I went. This time, I came home with Leon, who was about six (nine, now.) Bounce he has. And attitude. And confidence. I swear that he thinks his name is "Leon Dammit." He makes me laugh. And, he makes my heart melt when every day, I hear him come talking down the hall towards where I am sitting on the computer. He just has to come and say hello and get in a good snuggle on my lap, purring so loudly that I think he can be heard all over the house.

              My last one came to live with me just a couple of months ago. I had gone to the shelter because I had heard that there was an 18 year old there. My heart broke, and I decided to go bring her home. When I got there, to my distress, I found a very fragile, very shy cat. I knew that she would just not be a good fit with Leon and Rachael, who would over-run her and terrify her. So, regretfully, I didn't bring her home.

              But, the staff there is very good at finding cats that tug at your heartstrings. They came in with a 12 year old cat, not the most attractive of things, plain brown tiger with a truly awful, greasy, clumpy coat and a very funny shape. But, she had a lot of self-confidence and I was pretty sure that she would be able to stand up to the hooligans. I named her Lily.

              I was right. The first time she and Leon met, he came bounding up to her, obviously telling her "I'm boss." He got met with a good swat, that actually sat him back on his haunches. The look on his face was hilarious. He looked like a freight train had run into him. Obviously, Lily had other ideas.

              Lily has settled in well. Her coat has improved, though it is still not to the point I would like it. Her funny shape has not. The vet says that she was a very fat cat at one time, and the oddness is all of the loose skin hanging down. I can relate, after my weight loss. Just yesterday, she did something that endeared her to me forever. Leon attacked Gina. He was playing, but he totally overwhelmed Gina and had her down. I jumped up to rescue her, but, before I could get there, Lily came running full tilt over, knocked Leon off of Gina and chased him away. Then she came back and gave Gina a couple of grooming licks. I don't like to humanize cats too much, but it sure looked like Lily was protecting Gina.

              So, all of these very long stories go to show that, for me, adult cats are the way to go. I love kittens, and their adorable cuteness. But, on a 24/7 basis, I'll take an adult cat, any day.
              If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
              Desmond Tutu


              • #8
                The cat pictured, chose us. Well, mostly anyways. He showed up in the middle of the winter with frostbit ears, and totally feral. I fed him and he stayed around. When the weather warmed up, I trapped him, got him neutered and set him free. By the time it got cold the next winter he was following the other cats into the warm house and over the course of a couple of months he tamed himself. He is a very sweet guy who loves to snuggle on the couch!
                Attached Files
                Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NoDQhere View Post
                  The cat pictured, chose us. Well, mostly anyways. He showed up in the middle of the winter with frostbit ears, and totally feral. I fed him and he stayed around. When the weather warmed up, I trapped him, got him neutered and set him free. By the time it got cold the next winter he was following the other cats into the warm house and over the course of a couple of months he tamed himself. He is a very sweet guy who loves to snuggle on the couch!
                  What an attractive cat! And, a smart one, too, to have realized where the comfortable life is.
                  If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                  Desmond Tutu


                  • #10
                    Nearly all of our cats over the years came to us as adults. Out of around 15 or so total, only 4 were kittens.

                    Two of the adults we have now both came from local shelters via PetSmart.

                    One, "Gizmo", I simply could not resist after seeing him at PetSmart for 2 full months with no takers. Ten years old with ratty ears that look like someone took a pair of pinking shears to them, he was surrendered to the shelter by folks who had had him since he was a kitten, but were getting new furniture & were afraid he'd cause damage. So they simply got rid of him; like he was an old shoe or something. (Oh, & by the way, he hasn't damaged one darn thing here.)

                    Another one, "Olivia", was not only the fattest cat I'd ever seen in person, but was also sick to boot. Found out later that she'd been at the shelter (i.e. living in a cage) for A WHOLE YEAR!!! Needless to say, she's happy as a pig in sh*t. Still extremely chubby though - lol!

                    All in all, we'll always have a soft spot for the older guys/gals. Yes, of course kittens are cute, & we've never turned down a dumpee, but there's very little more worthwhile than giving a golden oldie a soft landing spot for their "golden" years.

                    Here's "Gizmo" dressed for Halloween, & "Olivia" with her favorite buddy, Siamese "Ming the Merciless".
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Retired Cats

                      All of my cats have been adults! Love them I have always sought out adults over kittens.

                      After losing my 2 beloved adopted girls within a year, I wanted a cat who's history was known to hopefully lessen the risk of losing another pet prematurely. I had recently learned that many breeders retire their show/breeding stock to indoor pet homes and started to look for a "retired" cat. This is how I have obtained my last 2 kitties, both titled British Shorthairs with top breeding - sired by National Winners/Breed Winners. Expensive sounding cats? Not so much...my first 2 shelter kitties each cost more.

                      Here are some reasons that I love my "retired" adults:
                      • Known personality and quirks - you know what you are getting!
                      • Good match for household
                      • Known health history
                      • Well socialized with other kitties
                      • Knowledgeable connections - I have become good friends with the breeder as well as other breeders. They are always willing to answer kitty questions.
                      • If you are poor like me and can't afford to show a horse anymore, you can show a spayed/neutered cat!

                      Now, I am a HUGE fan of shelters and adoption, but I just wanted to share another option that I hadn't known existed!


                      • #12
                        My mom swears her next cat will be one whose owner died. I like that. She'll be happy with a previously one-person-cat.

                        Also, its doing her part to make sure that someone at the end of his/her life who is already losing relatives and friends doesn't have to forego the pleasure of a pet because there's the animal might be the one dependent "person" to outlive them!
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mvp View Post
                          My mom swears her next cat will be one whose owner died. I like that. She'll be happy with a previously one-person-cat.

                          Also, its doing her part to make sure that someone at the end of his/her life who is already losing relatives and friends doesn't have to forego the pleasure of a pet because there's the animal might be the one dependent "person" to outlive them!
                          That's wonderful!! Our local PetSmart nearly always has several cats that have come from homes where the previous owner passed away. I'm thinking the County shelter/pound must automatically turn them over to the local humane societies rather than just euthanizing them, which is nice.


                          • #14
                            I was chosen by an adult version (in my profile)
                            Unfortunately, he was only with me for a few short month before I had to put him down due to feline leukemia. he was one fore the ages!

                            Current #3 was also grown when she moved in. I have no idea how old she is. I thought kitten, but she had not grown one bit in the now two years she has been with us, and still bounces like a kitten.

                            I had picked my other two as kittens to have a small chance to train them not to mess with the bird cage. Worked relatively well, although I would never trust them with the birds out. They are confirmed killers after all!


                            • #15
                              2 years ago we adopted bitch cat after someone found her abandoned as a 1 year old. She's not *really* a bitch, she's just into everything and super sweet ost of the time. But she gets pissy and attacks, people, dogs cats, chairs.... She's like a little sister, she pesters and attacks, then she screams bloody murder if she gets hit back

                              We just adopted a six year old in January who was turned in for aggression. The shelter didn't put him down, because they recognized he was just 'quirky', not aggressive. Definitely not suitable for kids or first time cat owners, but as long as you pat him *just* the way he likes and don't let him get overstimulated, he's great. He's such a character. Plus, he's a saint and great playmate for our bitch cat, so it works great. She attacks/bites him for no reason (sort of playful, but still a bitch) and he just puts up with her until he's mad, then sits on her
                              Don't let his cuteness fool you. You touch him in his box and you WILL get bit.

                              Frederick and Mishka

                              Yesterday we adopted an 8 year old male with allergies, ear infection, and a history of seizures. Between his age, crusty/irritated face and medical history he wasn't getting adopted, so he came home with us! He's so sweet and easy going. No introductions yet, but he put up with a nasty cat in the cattery, so we're not too worried. Name isn't definite, but maybe Liam
                              Here's a crappy picture. He wouldn't stop following me!


                              • #16
                                I love seeing the pictures and reading everyone's stories! what a bunch of beautiful cats. And wonderful people for taking them in.
                                Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts


                                • #17
                                  First mature cat: I was standing in humane society looking for a cat that liked dogs, of which there were several. Someone behind me looked at one them and said "that's the ugliest cat I've ever seen" - she went home with me, a lovely tortie. She loved my dog and I had her 11 yrs before losing her to general old age.
                                  Second mature cat - I walked into the barn one day, several friends hanging around holding a cat ( I wasn't in the market as I had cat #1) One of them said "Hey, you look GREAT, have you lost weight? Nice britches, too..." Then they handed me the cat and said - isn't she sweet, she needs a home.... Well, flattery worked, and home she came... She had bowel issues off and on most the 9 yrs I had her; Late in her life I took her to a specialist who was sure he could fix her - sadly he was wrong, and that was the one time I think I put an animal through more that I should have.
                                  Mature cat #3 is with me now. A long haired tortie who someone got as a kitten, declawed ALL FOUR feet (????) and then turned her in to HS. She has a problem where she periodically loses hair on her back legs, no apparent cause, does not bother her but she looks funny - and sadly she walks funny too. But she's an awesome big girl and though I think she's 12, hope to have her a good long time still. She's a great lizard catcher down here in Fla.
                                  We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Puglet View Post
                                    "retired" adults
                                    Yanno, your post's title "retired cats" always catches my eye as I scroll down.


                                    As in, the cat had a really hard job and someone had to take care of him after the corporate world (or brick laying or the steel plant or the coal mine) had used him up, body and soul?
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                      Yanno, your post's title "retired cats" always catches my eye as I scroll down.


                                      As in, the cat had a really hard job and someone had to take care of him after the corporate world (or brick laying or the steel plant or the coal mine) had used him up, body and soul?
                                      Yep. Don't you know what hard work it is for a kitty to embark on a once a year canoe trip for 3-4 years in a row. It takes kitty another 10 years living in a "pet"nthouse to recover!


                                      • #20
                                        MVP - I'm guessing that puglet was referring to the fact that her cats are retired from either being a show kitty or a breeding kitty - or both - and now living a life of leisure
                                        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........