In Memoriam

I volunteer at an open-door animal shelter that sometimes must euthanize adoptable animals because they lack space/resources to house all the animals that come to them. These are cats I got to know who didn't find new homes in time.

If you want to help prevent euthanizing of adoptable animals, here are some things you can do:
  • If you have companion animals, make a commitment to keep them for life. There are many resources available to help if your animals misbehave or don't get along with each other, if you must move, or if you or a loved one becomes allergic to your animals. Consult those resources before giving up your animals.
  • Spay or neuter your animals so they don't make more.
  • Obtain your animals from shelters and rescue organizations.
  • Have plans to provide for your animals in case you become ill or die.
  • Petition for laws that require landlords to allow tenants to keep pets.
  • Donate money and/or volunteer time to a rescue organization or shelter.
  • Foster animals for a rescue organization or shelter. Some animals do better (and are thus more appealing to potential adoptors) in a home environment than in a cage. And the more animals that are fostered, the more room in the shelters for other animals.
  • Petition the government to provide more resources for stray animals. Most shelters, even some county pounds, run largely on volunteer work and donations. The resources provided by the government often aren't enough to maximize animals' chances for adoption.
  • Petition the government to pass "no-kill" laws and (very important!) provide adequate funding to carry out those laws. But keep in mind that "no-kill" shouldn't mean keeping alive animals that are not adoptable. To a cat or dog, a cage may be a temporary shelter, but it is not an adequate home.

maggie "Maggie" was the cutest color-point tortie with blue eyes. She was 5 years old. Her owner became ill and surrendered her. She was affectionate and had a sweet, high-pitched squeaky voice. Unfortunately she kept getting sick (some cats don't do well in the high stress environment of the kennels) and eventually her time ran out.
cat photo Mildred was 9 years old and her owners gave her up because they were moving. What she really liked best was to have long conversations with people. She had a large vocabulary of meows, prrts, and chirps.
cat photo Jasmine was an 8 year old female. She had lived with her owners for her whole life, but they gave her up because they were moving. She was quiet and calm, but also curious and sociable. She liked to be petted.
cat photo Amanda was a 7 year old female who was surrendered because her owners were moving. She was a bit reserved but once she got to know you she liked to purr in your arms and play with a ping pong ball.
cat photo Sugar was a 1 year old stray mom trying to take care of her kittens. She and her kittens were sick when they got to the shelter. They got medical care and got better. The kittens were all adopted. But time ran out for Sugar.
cat photo Pumpkin was 2 years old, surrendered by her owners. She loved to give head-butts. She was a big burly girl with an incongruous "peepy" voice and a racing stripe on her nose.
cat photo Fiona was a female kitty with a lovely short calico coat. Her guardians gave her up because she did not get along with the other female cat in their household. There was some uncertainty about my age. Her guardians, who had her for 1 year, said she was over 10 years old. But the vet staff thought she was 5 years old. She was reserved and you had to open the kennel to get her attention. But once she got a chance to meet you, she got excited at the prospect of getting a good rubdown and jumped up on her hind legs to give head-bumps. She had a cute habit of holding one paw in the air.
cat photo "Sassy" was a 2 year old female with a magnificent, long, calico coat. Her owners gave her to the shelter because she didn't get along with the other cats in the household. She had wonderfully soft fur and knew how beautiful she was. She was usually social, chatty, and playful, but sometimes she was unpredictably cranky and would swat or hiss suddenly. She was adopted but returned within a few days because she didn't act friendly toward her new guardian. The shelter put her to sleep because they ran out of space. Cats who need to be "only cats" and long-haired cats are harder to place.
cat photo "Megan" was a 1 year old female with beautiful dilute calico coloring. She often looked kind of sullen in her kennel, but if you paid attention to her, she was warm and affectionate -- kneading, giving head-bumps, and being playful in a quiet sort of way. She had a skin condition that would get better only when she was on antibiotics and then get worse again as soon as she was taken off antibiotics.
cat photo Leo was a 5 year old male with long orange and cream fur that was curly on his belly and big fluffy feet. He was stray and had been through some hard times -- undernourished and with an infection. He was brought back to relative health and he was big and fluffy and happy. He loved to stretch out on his back and show his curly belly. He was always trying to play footsie with cats in neighboring kennels.
cat photo Penny was a 3 year old female stray. She was talkative and full of personality and loved attention. She liked being petted. Unfortunately, she hated being picked up and she hissed at any other cats she happened to see. After several weeks up for adoption, the shelter decided she was too hard to handle to be a good candidate for adoption, and she was euthanized. I think Penny might have been fine once she found a home where she could feel secure. We'll never know, unfortunately.
cat photo "Archie" was a 1 year old altered male stray. He loved to greet everybody who came by and he was even happier if you stopped to have a conversation with him or accept head bumps. He was euthanized because he had FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus or "feline AIDS"). Although cats with FIV usually live long and healthy lives and are not dangerous to other cats if kept indoors, hardly anyone wants to adopt them.
cat photo "Lalique" and "Cameo" were a mother and son who wanted to be adopted together. But they got sick and then I guess their time ran out. Lalique (the pale Tabby/Siamese mix) was a very people-focused cat.
cat photo
cat photo
"Merry" and "Pippin" came together to the shelter, both as underweight strays. These small 1 year olds were shy at first, but after a couple of weeks were much more friendly, coming to the front of their cage to ask for attention. Pippin had the cutest pink nose I ever saw on a cat.
cat photo "Blake" was a 4 year old male stray. He was very alert and responsive and gave off an air of intensity, reminding me of a poem by William Blake that begins:
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
cat photo Lucky was a big 16-pound 7 year old female stray. She was little shy but warmed up quickly to a gentle touch and liked to sit in a lap and get a brushing.
cat photo "Lamar" was a 7 year old male cat who was surrendered by his owners. He was a friendly, talkative cat who loved exploring and playing a game of string or feather.
cat photo "Delilah" was a 9 year old female cat who came to the shelter under protective custody. By the time her hold was up and she was put up for adoption, the kennels were overflowing with kittens and younger cats that had a better chance of being adopted (the cat population at the shelter triples in the summer, which is kitten season), and she was unhappy with having been cooped up for so long.
cat photo "Seashell" was a 3 year old female cat who came to the shelter as a stray with her kittens. She was small with a soft meow. She purred happily when held.
cat photo "Samantha" was a 4 years old small female cat with clouds of the softest smoke and brown and cream fur. She was found stuck inside a wall. She loved reassuring words and cuddles.
cat photo "Tucker" was a 5 year old male cat with an endearing face who was surrendered by his owners. He had a thunderous purr and loved exploring a room and then running back to me and standing up to get a head rub.

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Last updated: 29 Jun 02
Created by: Stef
Copyright 1996-1999 Stef Maruch