If only all adoptions were this easy. Remember Pearce the handsome ginger mancat from my post on Saturday? ADOPTED.
I was ready to post a new “adorable adoptables” graphic for a cat named Tommy but decided to visit the shelter first. It was late and I don’t usually go on Mondays. Two middle-aged woman stood at the reception desk talking about Tommy. Tommy? You’re adopting Tommy? I was so excited one of the women was filling out the adoption papers for…
So that left me with a empty Adorable Adoptables slot for today. Who would the lucky cat be? There was a bevy of beauties in the big cage-free cat room, dozens of others in 5 rooms of cages including many rescued from two hoarders. I spent a few hours playing with a few out their cage, doled out fresh catnip mice, gave Rightie (who has been there since 2008!) a special stuffed toy sprayed with Feliway, made a cozy tent nest and did Reiki on a sad Siamese named Asher. He’d had dental extractions and was feeling blue. Hans, the super friendly ginger boy I thought would be adopted or at least moved out of a cage was moved to a cage in another room. Getting adopted is like winning the lottery. It’s impossible to predict the winning numbers.
I may check on 50 cats and but I can’t spend individual time with more than a dozen. That means flowing intuitively to who needs what the most. It’s like a Whack-a-Mole of need. One cat gets adopted and there’s a dozen more. But as I always say: you can’t save them all but you can save one. One cat, one purr at a time.
In the back room Klaus caught my eye. Every shelter cat has a story. He was surrendered by a woman who’d adopted him after finding him outdoors this winter. Klaus is a large, ginger and cream mancat with an inquisitive and friendly nature. I’ve never met a ginger and cream cat I didn’t like. They often have out-sized and gregarious personalities. It turns out Klaus, an indoor/outdoor cat was visiting the neighbors homes inside. His owner didn’t like that. Instead of keeping him indoors or finding another solution she surrendered him instead in April. Go figure.
Klaus is a big boy in a small cage and jumped out the moment it was open. He wasted no time sniffing out the room. I mean really bloodhound sniffing, Flehmaning to his heart’s content.
Cat have a far superior sense of smell to humans. It’s a key method of communication and how they receive information. Some cats like Klaus are masters sniffers. Not only do cats they have more olfactory cells than us but they can turbo-charge their sniffing with help from a tiny organ above the roof of their mouth called Jacobson’s organ aka the vomeronasal organ (VNO).
When a cat (that includes the big cats like lions and tigers) wants to identify scents via pheromones (chemical messengers found in urine and scent glands that detect prey, food, potential mates or mark territories), they open their mouth to scent/taste the air in a Flehman’s response (from German flehmen, meaning to curl the upper lip). They drink in the scent slowly as if intoxicated, and in a sense they are. The scent molecules waft over the VNO and transmitted to hypothalamus, the part of the brain associated with sexual and social interaction.
Klaus inhaled a spot of urine on the floor, my leather handbag on a table, newspapers, a feather toy, the other occupants cages, everything. I got the sense he wanted to smell the outdoors, or at least be free to stretch in a sun puddle and breathe fresh air. The room has no window.
Klaus has confident tail up swagger and by the way he batted the fur toy I knew he’d done some real hunting outdoors and was good at it. He’s a climber, comfortable jumping and a tall kitty condo would suit this gentleman cat. I’ve given the added moniker of Klaus Von Gingerkat but anyone who adopts him can change his name. It’s what I usually recommend for shelter cats when embarking on a new life. Klaus is immaculately groomed, keeping his white socks spotless. He’s smart too. He knew I had to leave and wasn’t too happy being picked and placed into his cage. Who can blame him?