HUNTSVILLE – Laurie Farrow and her daughter did not go to the Animal Shelter for Huntsville thinking they would adopt three cats.
HOME, SWEET HOME: .
Cats Bunny, Billy Bob and Eddie enjoy some family time in their new abode. The cats were adopted from the Animal Shelter for Huntsville, where about 15 of their feline friends remain.
“We had watched the Parry Sound shelter go through its difficulties and close, and we were concerned when the Huntsville shelter was going through similar issues,” said Rosseau resident Farrow. “Being animal lovers, living on a farm, we were thinking we could make room for at least one new pet.”
Farrow said she and her daughter waited until the shelter’s cat population started to dwindle before making their way there.
“We thought we’d go in and have a look at the one that, from first impression, don’t look as desirable and would be harder to adopt out,” she said.
She knew a cat’s personality in the shelter may not reflect how it would act at home.
“Life isn’t perfect. We’re not perfect, we don’t expect the animals to be perfect and we also realize they have previous histories before they came to the shelter,” said Farrow. “And like people, animals get stressed out when they’re put in strange circumstances.”
The mother and daughter went to the shelter looking for Billy Bob, a cat who came to the shelter with an injury and had been there for a year.
“He was just this lovely Buddha-type cat, a little over weight, but he was on a diet,” she said. “He was just so friendly and well socialized. We thought we would take him.”
But the adoptions did not stop there. Farrow said staff had recommended two other cats as well – a white, partially deft cat named Bunny and an older cat named Fast Eddie.
“We didn’t scoop all three in one go. We actually made three trips,” said Farrow with a laugh. “We would go home and discuss what we should and shouldn’t be doing.”
When they met Bunny, he was grumpy and aloof.
“We had been told he did not like being picked up and he would bond with certain people while taking offence to others,” she said.
But once Bunny came home everything worked out perfectly, said Farrow. He became playful and got along with the other animals of the farm.
“He just follows my daughter around the house,” she said. “He turned out to be quite a sweetheart.”
The third addition to the Farrow flock was Fast Eddie, who had been at the shelter for so long he had become known as the shelter’s house cat. He was old and staff was worried no one would adopt him.
“I do consider adopting the elderly pets to be one of the more noble acts a person can do because the cats are so grateful for the time they do get to live in a home and be part of a family,” she said. “And it’s surprising. Once they do get out of the shelter, though they may have appeared to be in a period of decline related to their age, they come around quite well.”
And so did Fast Eddie. He’s purring and jumping on the bed.
Farrow urged those considering a companion animal to visit the shelter.
“Give the shelter a chance first,” she said. “Those animals so badly want home and, because they usually come from less desirable circumstances, when you do adopt them they are so grateful they will show you as best the can for the rest of their lives how grateful they are,” said Farrow.
But going to the shelter means having an open mind and some patience, she said.
“You take those animals out of that type of setting, put them into a home setting and allow a reasonable amount of time, you can see miracles,” said Farrow.
Volunteers are keeping the doors open in an effort to find homes for the remaining 15 cats. Staff had said the calmer atmosphere at the shelter has done wonders for the nerves of remaining cats, who are becoming playful again.
Volunteers are expected to be on-site from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Those interested in adopting one of the remaining felines can drop by the shelter, or call 705-789-9709 to make an appointment.
Adoption applications are available at the shelter or on the shelter’s website at www.animals-huntsville.on.ca. The website also includes photos and brief descriptions of the remaining cats.