senior cat adoption
#AdorableAdoptables & Shelter Stories,  Cats,  Holidays,  Shelter Cats

Senior Cat Adoption: Meet Our Otto

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)

Senior Cat Adoption: Meet Our Otto. Part 1. All about adopting our new cat. Part 2 will include my practical and intuitive tips for introducing new cats.

The last 48 hours have changed how I feel about cats, adoption and introductions. I’ll share several posts in the coming days and weeks which I hope will be useful.

Come along on my senior cat adoption journey.

adopt a senior pet month

Transitioning after a loss is unique for everyone. When you start feeling emotionally prepared, have the stability in your routine, and the practical aspects in place, it might be the opportune time to open your heart and home to a new feline companion. For me, that took over a year.
After the loss of my beloved cat Nou Nou, the house felt emptier, quieter. Recently, I’ve noticed Odin seeking more attention and exhibiting signs of longing for another furry buddy to play with and share the space.
Reflecting on my own emotions, I’ve found myself thinking about welcoming a new cat into our home. Pet adoption of any kind is a huge decision, one I don’t take lightly. There is much to consider. My husband and I aren’t getting any younger. We discussed whether we have the time, space, and financial means to accommodate another feline family member.
A kitten was out of the question. There is no way I would want make a 20+ year commitment. For us senior cats make the most sense.
We love all color and types of cats but believe CATS CHOOSE US anyway.
We have the excellent SPCA Westchester nearby which underwent a 9 million dollar renovation a couple years ago. There are cat rooms designed by a Broadway set designer. More about that in another post.

Perusing shelter website adoption lists feels like dating.

When I found an interesting cat, I’d send the photo to my husband. “How about this one? Would Odin prefer a male cat or..”
Over a month ago, I noticed a new cat named Doc Ock. My husband liked the idea that he was leash-trained and could go on walks with Odin. I didn’t like his name and full embarrassing disclosure: I had no idea who Doc Ock is. I thought maybe he’s named after his veterinarian.
What piqued my interest was his age and that his owner had died.
cat adoption cage card
We visited three times before we brought him home. The first time I wanted to meet all the cats in the designer rooms. As lovely as they were, none screamed “You’re the one!” Doc Ock was the caged area. The double tier cages on three sides had a large center area not unlike a penitentiary. There was no meet and greet room. Cats could leave their cage one at a time with all eyes on them. It was no surprise he hissed at a couple cats.
My husband felt a connection immediately but I didn’t. To be honest, I felt no connection to any cat that day. I wanted to see him out of a cage but he ignored me.
It’s been my experience that either a cat immediately connects with you or it’s a slow burn. They gradually get under your skin and you find yourself thinking about them until something propels you to take action.
We decided to go back a week later. His cage was the one on the corner and he was waiting for us. This time he jumped out of the cage and made a beeline towards me, giving a confident head butt. I touched his silky fur for the first time and felt a connection.
We were 90% decided and agreed to adopt him. It was Friday.
They were closed for Veteran’s Day and agreed to pick him up on Sunday but the cat gods had other plans.
I spent Saturday cleaning, cat proofing and prepping the logistics for our new arrival. What kind of beds, scratching post, litter box location, food and water station.
Of course Odin knew what was happening and we kept him in the loop. He’s never been aggressive with any cat but you never know. He’s always had kitty friends and this is the longest he’s been alone in his 13 years.
It’s a big deal to introduce any new pet and it needs to be handled with care and emotional intelligence. There are all kinds of rules, protocols these days. We’ve come a long way from throwing cats together and letting them work it out. I think it doesn’t have to be that complicated and I’ll share my approach in my next post.
cat adoption
This was taken the same day Otto arrived. He hadn’t seen or heard him but he was well aware of his presence. He’s a bit wary but open.
But wait. Sunday rolled around and we were excited and bring our boy home. The shelter was bustling with potential adoptees. They have excellent volunteers but short-staffed that day. They were understaffed and we waited and waited. All out paperwork was done on our first visit. I peeked through the door expecting to see Otto waiting for us but nothing. More waiting and I had a bad feeling.
They let us into his area and he was curled in bed, dead to the world. Apparently a URI was going around and he was given a shot a few days before of the antibiotic Convenia. The vet was going to check after two weeks and they suggested we wait. We went hope with an empty carrier and a new plan. The shot is effective for two weeks so it made no sense to wait.
We spoke to our vet and he thought it best to get him out of the shelter and potential contagions. We got the green light from the shelter that he was no longer sneezing and agreed to pick him up on Tuesday.




spca westchester


You never know how a cat will respond in a moving vehicle until it happens. The range of silence, soft meows to screams bloody murder. I hadn’t hear a meow until Rich placed him in his carrier ( an old SleepyPod that we used for Merlin). We were told he has a soft and not an especially manly meow. True enough he barely meowed for the 10 minute car ride home.



cat adoption quotes


We wanted to avoid Odin catching a glimpse of Otto so we brought him up to our second floor entrance which opens up directly to his safe room.



Otto could wait to step out and explore. This was his first few seconds of being home. He felt at home immediately.

senior cat adoption


Otto has many striking features as a Tuxie but his thick luxurious tail reminds me of Nou Nou’s windshield wiper tail. In his debut to Instagram, a short tail dance.


Within minutes of arriving, he happily explored, purred on my lap, gave kisses and always a good sign rolled over to show his belly. Welcome home, Otto!



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