PSA on Pets for the Holidays

Having animals can be a lot of work especially when you cross paths unexpectedly. I have found many cats over the years and can luckily say I have found them new homes. Now with the cold months approaching, all the stray cats are coming out looking for warm places to stay. This is how I met a cool cat named Jerry.

I was driving home from work one night when this scraggly looking creature walked in front of my car. I stopped to check on him and make sure he was ok. I won’t lie: he was definitely a little worn down. He looked frail and overall exhausted. I saw another car coming so I tried to get him off the road. He wouldn’t budge; all he wanted was to stay with me. I didn’t want the other car to run him over so I picked him up, put him in my jeep and we drove off to my house.

The hubby and I made a nice little setup in our spare room for Jerry and kept him there for the night. We already have 2 cats so we had everything we needed to make him feel at home. The next day, we took him to the vet and to our surprise, his tests came out well. The vet told us that Jerry was a healthy stray, and that all he needed was some food and a good helping of TLC. On the way home, Brian and I discussed what we would do with him. We already have 2 cats and 2 dogs. Having even one more animal would stress me out. I’ve always liked an even number of animals and having this fifth cat would just be too much for us (especially financially).

Jerry the cat!

I really didn’t want to put Jerry in a shelter in fear he wouldn’t get picked (I feel like older cats have a harder time getting adopted). So, I decided we would foster him until we found him the right home. We received a lot of people interested in him, but no keepers. About six days after finding him, we finally found someone who could provide a Forever Home. Jerry now has a happy home and we couldn’t be happier for him.

I feel like some people don’t understand that pets are a full time job. Yeah you may be able to leave them home all day, but pets need us to feed them, take care of them and mostly, love them. Animals that get left out all the time or who are neglected by their owners are in a heartbreaking situation. Finding Jerry in the condition he was in was unsettling, but he was lucky. I hate when people buy pets just to have them and then leave them out all year around or feel that the animal is now a “burden” to have.

A quick PSA with the holidays around the corner: Yeah, a pup makes a great gift. I’ve seen those videos of kids crying of happiness when getting a little fur baby. They’re super cute videos to watch. Please don’t get someone a puppy for Christmas based on that, though. Your heart would break knowing how many of those puppies, kittens, bunnies and even hamsters go right back to the pet store or shelter once the novelty wears off at home.

Some advice I can give to you first time pet owners is they are a lot of work. Just because you can leave them home alone all day doesn’t mean they won’t want ALL of your attention when you get home. They need to get out and socialize as much as you can (the friendlier the animal, the better they’ll be around people). You need to be patient with your pet as well. Whether it be potty training or learning your basic tricks, every animal is different in learning the do’s and the don’ts. So take your time and give them as much love and time as you can.