January 30, 2020

My Senior Pet

We adopted Gracie, “the cat who must be obeyed,” when she was 10 years old — a senior, by any measure.  I wanted a senior cat, because, frankly, I’m too old to deal with rambunctious kitten behaviours for long. Kittens are cute and fun, but after an hour or so, I want my quiet house back. I knew I needed a relatively mellow pet.

I also wanted the OHS staff to be able to give me a reliable indication of her behaviour. Though I know cats take a while in a new setting to show their true personalities, our staff’s ability to read an adult animal will always exceed their ability to predict the future behaviour of a juvenile. I wanted the bond that happens when I adopted, not any cat, but the right cat for me. And that meant an adult.

Gracie had a known health issue — her kidneys were compromised. I was not particularly concerned about this or about any future cost or heartbreak this might entail. I knew the commitment I was making. But, frankly I preferred going into an adoption fully informed and with my eyes open.

Perhaps most importantly, I wanted to do my part. Though Gracie is a popular breed, her age, her known health issues and her inability to live with another cat were strikes against her finding a home quickly. She was stressed in the shelter, and this created an additional barrier to her adoption and a threat to her health and well-being. 

So Gracie has been my cat now for close to four years. She likely won’t be with me as many years as a kitten might have been, but then I wouldn’t have been as happy and Gracie might not have found a home.

So we both won in the end.

Bruce Roney
President & CEO