By Janet McAfee

Are you in the market for a new feline companion?  An older cat just might be the “purrfect” match; that one with a graying muzzle and eyes filled with the wisdom of the world.  Older cats have plenty of spark and playfulness, but they have the maturity and calmness that makes for fabulous companions. 

Just ask Josephine “Jo” Kozak.  She is thrilled with her recently adopted 15-year-old cats, Sapphire and Bijou.  The bonded animals were suddenly orphaned when their beloved owner perished in a boating accident.  They were taken in by Loving All Animals, but spent 2 years in foster care because most people prefer to adopt younger animals.  Mary Ewing, director of Loving All Animals’ Whiskers & Purrs program, began actively networking Sapphire and Bijou among her many fellow cat lovers.  One of her contacts resulted in a phone call from Jo, who is pictured here smiling happily at Sapphire.  Jo reports she absolutely loves these fabulous felines who follow her around the house.  Bijou even “talks” to her in a sweet little voice. 

Mary has years of experience in rescuing and adopting cats.  She wishes more people, particularly seniors, would give an older cat a “second chance”.  Mary states, “I think it’s important to recognize how wonderful it is to bring an adult cat into your life.  They appreciate being rescued and are so grateful.” 

The adoption of this orphaned pair was a special occasion.  Mary was amazed how the animals transformed when she delivered them to Jo’s lovely home.  She recalls, “These cats were rather standoffish during the time we had them.  We could not believe how they changed during their adoption.  Jo got down on the floor to greet them, and one at a time, each of the cats strolled towards Jo to be petted.  It was remarkable the effort she took to welcome them and integrate them into her home.  Jo has such a loving aura with the cats, there was a sense of ‘oneness’ when they happily moved to be near her.  This was one of our best adoptions ever!”

There are many reasons why adopting an older cat is the best choice.  While it might be fun to watch a kitten play and run through the house, the “kitten craziness” phase can also involve racing around at 3:00 am when you are trying to sleep.  An older cat will happily greet you at the door when you get home, and enjoy curling up with you on the couch to watch television. 

The personality and temperament of an older cat is already set.  They are already litter trained.  A senior cat is a wonderful choice for senior citizens who want to adopt a pet, but are realistic to know a kitten who could live 20 years, could outlive them. 

Adult cats are also a great choice for families with young children.  Young kittens often play rough, and they have sharp teeth and claws.  Generally speaking, an older cat is more mellow and patient with young children. 

If you lost one of your companion cats, an older cat is a better replacement to bond with your remaining kitty.  Senior cats prefer the more gentle energy of a mature cat, and a kitten’s high energy can be stressful for them. 

Here is one of the best reasons for adopting a middle aged or senior kitty.  If they are in a public shelter, you just might be their last chance to experience the love and warmth of a home to live out their golden years.  Adopting an adult cat can save his life.  With good vet care and good nutrition, many cats will live into their early twenties, and you will enjoy their company for many years.   

For more information on adopting a special cat, contact Mary Ewing at Loving All Animals at (760) 834-7000, www.lovingallanimals.org.  Other local cat rescue groups include www.ForeverMeow.org at (760) 335-6767 and Kittyland at www.Kittylandrescue.org (760) 251-2700.  Wise and wonderful, that senior kitty will bring love and joy to you in 2017!

Jmcafee7@verizon.net

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