MAIN LINE BANTER: Recalling a cautionary ‘tail’ about cat adoptions

Posted by Whiskers101 on

Chances are you didn’t know that June, in addition to being celebrated as the month of roses, graduations, weddings, D-Day, flag Day and Father’s Day, to name but a few, is also National Cat Adoption Month.

Now that you do know, chances are that you really don’t care.

That’s about the way that I felt, too, a few years ago this month while pawing around the Internet, scratching for places around The Main Line that offered such a service because our beloved 18-year-old orange tabby, Gus, had gone on to wherever cats go after they expend their proverbial nine lives.

Little did my late wife and I know then that we were embarking on a bizarre odyssey that ended with the realization that adopting a cat was far from a purrfect project.

With the annual NCAM observance again upon us, this seems as good a time as any to briefly recall some of what we encountered on our cat quest years ago. Perhaps one could consider the following a cautionary tail (sic):

Since there are so many cat rescue services and shelters, a.k.a. adoption centers, it should be rather easy to find a suitable Siamese, marvelous Maine Coon, adorable angora, cuddly calico, delightful domestic shorthair, or terrific tabby, right? Wrong!

We saw hundreds of cats of all varieties, ages and lineages at more than a score of centers and foster homes. We trekked to so many because of a couple of less than satisfying experiences at the beginning of our search. (We’ll get to that later.)

We quickly leaned that anyone seeking to adopt a cat needs to fill out an application. No problem. But, not that simple.

Personal references were required, as well as that of a veterinarian who had knowledge of the applicant’s previous cat or cats, if any.

Once the application was approved (and the applicant’s references are, indeed, contacted) the applicant can meet any available cat they choose. Some agencies ask would-be adopters to agree to allow volunteers from the agency to visit the applicant’s home to ensure the continuing welfare of the cat. Other claws in the application agreement include four-figure fines if the adopter gives the cat away, has it declawed, etc.

Now, on to the search beginnings and rejections.

The first “problem” occurred after we decided on a 2-year-old Maine Coon, only to learn that there was another prospective adopter being considered. We also learned that that cat had been tested FIV- positive. We passed on him.

Next, we were introduced to three male cats, two of which were brothers. We liked all three, and decided to take one of the brothers. We were then told we would need to take both brothers. We passed again

Then we went to a shelter with about 45 cats, but were dismayed at the condition of the place, not to mention misinformation we were given about the ages and medical condition of several cats we liked. Passed again.

Next, we moved on to another shelter, picked a cat we liked, but were told we would need to speak with the cat’s “foster mum.” Upon reaching her, we discovered that she had become so attached to the cat, that she was reluctant to part with her.

Lastly, we visited an E-Bay site offering a seal-point Siamese, and let’s leave it at that didn’t work out well, either. Just when we were within a whisker of abandoning our thoughts for adoption, our daughter told us about a litter of eight-week old barn cats that was available for adoption at $25 each at a Lionville feed store. After signing the “adoption papers,” we named the one kitten we took home Casey. In fact, she’s curled up next to my desk right now.

Hey, don’t get me wrong. I love dogs, too!

But after all, June is National Cat Adoption Month!

Berwyn Victory Run Stats

It was a great day weather-wise, and an equally terrific day for all the sponsors, volunteers, runners and walkers that made the 18th Annual Berwyn Victory Run a couple of Saturdays ago such a great success. The 5K run raised thousands of dollars to help maintain the Veterans Memorial Arch at the Berwyn train station, the Veterans Memorial Garden in Wilson Farm Park, fund scholarships for members of veterans’ families, and help veterans families in need.

First place overall for male entries was earned by Paul Springer, of Downingtown, and first place overall for female entries was achieved by Liz Barrett, of Philadelphia. Paul’s winning time was 16:05, and Liz clocked in at 17:37. Both 2nd and 3rd place male overall times were recorded by Phoenixville residents, the 2nd place overall female was from Schwenksville, and the 3rd overall female was Lara Toscani Weems, of Wayne.

If you love statistics, you’ll be pleased to know that 62% of the entrants were male, 43% were from Berwyn, the average age of runners was 41, and 44% of the runners were in the 40 to 60 years-old range.

Although no official count was taken, an “overwhelming number” were families of 3+, not even counting the youngsters who took part in the Kids Fun Run. What’s more, the mostly donated after-race refreshments were in a class by themselves. If you couldn’t take part this year, mark your 2020 calendar for Saturday, May 16 and enjoy a great day


Finally, nobody asked me, (yes, I know that it’s been part of baseball’s lexicon forever) but why do we call them pinch hitters, when they’re really pinch batters because, at their point of entry into a game, they haven’t hit.

The Last Word: Good day, good luck and good news tomorrow!