The Invisible Ones: In praise of older cats
They offer an unrivalled companionship
Kitten season arrives in early spring and often continues late into the year if the weather stays nice. This year it seems that we may even have an extended summer and that could mean more and more kittens. It is an exciting time to see all the little fur babies scampering around and entertaining everyone who drops by the adoption centers. Children squeal with delight as the fluffy fur-balls go flying by and parents chuckle at their silly feline antics.
Kittens, Kittens, Kittens
So why do volunteers at the rescue feel sad when kitten season is here? It is because once the kittens arrive, the older cats (i.e. 1 year and up) become invisible. How can sweet 8-year Maestro with the damaged ear due to a mite infestation compete with the frolicking cuteness of a small kitten? What about cute Aunt May, only 2 years old who has been looking for her new home for months now; how can she show off her loving quality when little fur- balls are bouncing around? Who will notice that Blackjack is the sweetest boy despite his rugged appearance? Or that poor Albert and Victoria have as much play and love in them as the little ones?
As volunteers, we smile at the kittens and know they will be adopted soon after arrival. Even the black ones have a good chance when they are tiny and frisky. However, many of us feel that our hearts will always belong with the cats that are older. You can see how grateful they are for attention and the smallest indication of love. They give so much and ask so little. They are content to sit and listen to you telling them about your day. They snuggle in and give comfort when you need a little hug. They become true, life-long friends.
Advantages of an Older Cat
When meeting an older cat, you can tell what their personality is like: a snuggle-bunny, a player, a listener, a talker. Even the shy ones show you what they are going to be like in their permanent home. Finding a personality to match what you are looking for in a feline is so much easier with an older cat. And what can be better than that?
Many things in life improve with age. As adults we are wiser and understand and appreciate more so why should we not apply the same logic to our cat friends? A mature cat offers gratitude and loyalty. They are lovable and loving and should not be invisible.
Remove the Cloak of Invisibility
So the next time you pass by an adoption area, take a look at those gentle soulful eyes that are pleading for another chance. The older cats are deserving of love and make wonderful companions. Consider adopting a mature cat and help remove their cloak of invisibility.