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Those who love their pets tend to enjoy all animals. Our animal owners are no different. Check in on News-Herald staffers Robin Palmer and Cheryl Sadler as they share their own animal tales and announce upcoming events in Lake and Geauga counties.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The joy of giving a cat a forever home

I never was much of a cat guy. Then I met my wife. Five cats were part of her family when we met. Since that time, I have seen 2 pass - both nearly 20 years old.
I have also come to cherish the love and comfort a cat can provide.
A couple months ago, we had to say goodbye to Jack. He was a manx - you know, extra toes and no tail. He kinda hopped like a bunny and got a little grumpy in his old age.
When I first started dating my wife, Jack attached himself to me almost immediately. When I visited, he would curl up on my lap, wanting nothing but the occasional scratch behind the ears.
During his last couple of nights, I knew it was time to end his suffering as he didn't rush to sit on me when I arrived home from work.
So, with heavy hearts, we said goodbye. With other cats in the house, one might think that Jack's departure was almost unnoticeable. But something was missing.
About a month later, just for fun, I checked out the Lake Humane Society website. Our last cat came from there as a rescue, so I figured I'd look around - just for fun, remember?.
I decided if we were going to adopt another cat, it should be one that had been at the shelter for a while. On the first page of cats, right at the top, was Indy.
A beautiful tabby with gold eyes, he had been at the shelter since July. Indy, who is a little more than 3 years old, was surrendered to the Humane Society because his family had to move and could not take him along.
I learned through the website that he was often overlooked because he was scared and tended to hide under his blanket.
"OK," I thought. "I gotta see what Indy is all about.
 I stopped at the shelter on Tyler Boulevard on a Thursday afternoon on the way to work.
One of the workers brought Indy out of the cat community room so I could meet him. He was a bit timid, but warmed up to me pretty quickly. He was obviously quite attached to Courtney. He sat on the floor looking at the door of the introduction room waiting for her to return.
The next day, I took my wife to meet him. On Saturday, he came home.
He's still a bit timid, but he's getting to know the other cats and is a wonderful addition to the family.
Our other male, Andy, is a bit younger and is in play mode all the time. Jinxie, as Indy is now known, isn't quite into playing and he tends to keep Andy at a distance. If I know Andy, he will continue to push until Jinxie decides it's OK to play.

Someone once said you don't pick the cat, the cat picks you.
There was just something about his picture on the website that made me want to help Indy out.
The moral of the story here is to give shelter animals a chance. If you are considering a pet, the Humane Society or other area shelters have plenty to go around.
Don't assume that because they are in a shelter there must be something wrong with them and don't deprive yourself by assuming that a younger pet is always better.
They all need and deserve loving homes. Do some homework, and when the right animal comes along, trust me, you'll know it.

-- Sean Linhart

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