Elderly cats make unforgettable companions

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When it comes to pets, I thought kittens and puppies were the way to my heart. I never would have taken the time to consider an older pet. This past week I found out I was incredibly mistaken when my roommate and I adopted a homely and scraggly cat named King Bedford Thomas II.

Bedford isn’t much. He’s a 7-year-old grey shorthaired cat with a deformed meow. When he wants attention, he bangs his head into any surface he can find. Sometimes he actually pants like a dog. At first, my roommate and I thought there was something wrong with him. We’re still not sure at this point.

Commentary by Alexandria Zamecnik Editor in Chief

Commentary by Alexandria Zamecnik
Editor in Chief

The reality is, Bedford found us. Through his quirks and all, we’ve fallen in love with him. Whenever we walk through the door of our apartment, we know he’ll be waiting with his belly stretched out, expecting to be rubbed (another reason we think he’s actually a dog). We know that he will spend the night switching between the two of us for attention.

These are the things we may not have found in a younger cat. Adult cats offer “a what you see is what you get” personality. When we adopted Bedford from the Humane Society, he acted the same exact way as when we got him home. His goal wasn’t to impress or swoon us. He was just being himself.

In fact, when Bedford got home from his terrifying car ride, he almost seemed grateful to be in something other than a kennel. He fearlessly wandered around every inch of our apartment.

He is a “Forget-Me-Not” senior cat who’s worth every penny. Cats over the age of seven are offered at a cheaper price to encourage adoption in a world ruled by kittens.

Of the cats entering shelters, approximately 37 percent are adopted, 41 percent are euthanized and less than 5 percent are returned to their owners, according to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 2.7 million cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters each year, according to the Humane Society, most because they are “unadoptable.”

Give “unadoptable” cats like Bedford the chance to be loved. Go to your local Humane Society or animal shelter to adopt an animal that is perfect you. If adoption or pet ownership isn’t an option, you can volunteer at your local shelter, be a foster pet parent, or donate at humanesociety.org.