We have been spending time thinking about how important EVERY community member is to solving the pet overpopulation problem in the Midlands. This means folks of ALL ages can contribute to the No-Kill community we need to establish. Senior adopters are a key component of addressing the homeless pet problem, so this week, we are celebrating our senior adopters by publishing Barbara Bloom’s story about finding “Happy” and highlighting Shep Rustin’s appearance with his buddy, “Buddy” on Senior Connections!
When my doorbell rang on a cool, Spring night in April, the last thing I expected was that my life was about to be changed by a little black ball of fur that barely filled my neighbors palm. He was only 3 or 4 weeks old, and she found him waddling lost and alone in my yard, headed for the street and the overflow drain from which we think he adventured. She had an aging dog that would not accept a kitten, and at 65, I had no desire or intention of interrupting my well-planned, busy and structured life in retirement with the inconvenience and responsibility of a pet.
I took him to Pawmetto Lifeline, where I volunteer one morning a week; and since he was much too young for them to take at the time, I agreed to “foster” him until he was old enough and weighed enough to be neutered and put up for adoption. That took 6 weeks, and the help of my 83 year-old mother, over the course of which we resisted the idea of keeping him while we tried to prepare him to be a well-adjusted, desirable and adoptable kitten, named “Happy.”
At some point along the way, we changed from being afraid he would NOT be adopted, to being afraid that he WOULD be and we would never see him again. Long story short, this little black, totally dependent creature that looked more like a fuzzy bat, grew into his ears and into our hearts. And we couldn’t let him go. So we failed as fosters, and adopted him, in spite of the fact that we weren’t looking for and didn’t really need a pet.
Happy is now almost 9 months old and the center of our lives. We lived in the country for many years where we had always had animals, but over the years had forgotten just how much company a pet can be, and how much entertainment and love they can bring into your life. Happy is pretty much the boss of both of us and runs both households. He has brought much fullness and busyness into our lives and in spite of an occasional inconvenience, or worrisome trip to the vet; we can’t imagine not having him around. He makes US Happy, too!
by Barbara Bloom, Pawmetto Lifeline Volunteer
Special thanks to Shep & Lynn Rustin, Pawmetto Lifeline Volunteers