Did you know that November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month? If not, now you do!
So often, seniors are passed over in shelters for younger cats or kittens, which makes seniors harder to adopt out, oftentimes with them staying longer in the shelter than younger pets. But with a senior pet, you know what you’re getting! They’re full-grown in size, they’ve already developed into their personality, and a senior pet just knows that you’re rescuing them.
To celebrate and encourage adopting senior pets this month (and any month), I’d like to share with you the adoption story of Mary Moon. This senior tortie cat’s Instagram profile (yes, of course Mary has an Instagram account!) says: “Professional lap cat and sweater connoisseur.” That sounds pretty intriguing. I simply had to know more about this adorable senior cat.
A Senior Cat Adoption Story
Mary Moon is estimated to be at least 10 years old, but her exact age is unknown, having started her life on the streets. Mary’s adoption tail begins over five years ago when she was rescued from the Gilbert Riparian Preserve by the rescue group Save the Cats Arizona. When she first came to the rescue, Mary wasn’t very friendly and didn’t like being touched.
During her time with the group, the senior tortie struggled with upper respiratory issues and needed a lot of TLC. Although unfortunate to have health issues, it was that extra TLC that helped Mary warm up to people. And what do you know…she became a volunteer favorite!
As Mary Moon warmed up to the volunteers caring for her, she would jump into an empty lap and offer a purr.
Still dealing with a few issues, though, Mary drooled a lot and had trouble grooming herself. She required frequent wiping down and also had trouble handling cold weather at the sanctuary. So, when the weather would grow chilly, volunteers dressed Mary Moon in sweaters – and she loved them!
Mary Moon Meets Her Adopter
Ashley J. started volunteering at the sanctuary at Save the Cats Arizona in May of this year. During the new volunteer orientation, Ashley noticed a small tortie cat curled up in a cube watching the group of new volunteers. When Ashley inquired about the tortie, she learned of Mary’s story and she quickly became one of Ashley’s favorite cats at the sanctuary.
After a while, though, Mary left the sanctuary and went into foster care for several months, while having dental work done (13 extractions!) and subsequently recovering from it. In August of this year, the rescue asked if Ashley would consider fostering Mary. She jumped at the chance, having missed Mary at the sanctuary, and took her home to start fostering the senior tortie cat.
Mary Moon Fits Right In
When Mary arrived at Ashley’s home, she looked so much healthier after her dental surgery and was drooling much less. And the best part, Mary fit right in at her new foster house. Ashley’s own resident cats accepted her quickly, and it seemed as if Mary had always been there. The whole family, including Ashley’s five-year-old daughter, instantly fell in love with the tortie. Mary was home.
Ashley and her family officially adopted Mary on September 19, 2016, about five weeks after taking her home to foster. Mary joined four other cats at Ashley’s house, three of which are also senior cats.
A Conversation with Ashley
Why do you love cats so much?
I’ve never lived a day without a cat. Growing up, I was very ill as a child. I had my cat, Bug, by my side the whole time, though, and she always greeted me whenever I got back from the doctor or hospital. I remember feeling like her purring by my side worked better than the icky medicine my parents made me take.
Why did you choose to adopt a senior cat?
My childhood cat, Bug, lived to the age of 22. I witnessed a lot of what would be considered her senior years. She showed me that “senior” doesn’t mean boring. Mary and my other three senior cats play with toys just as much as my young cat.
Two of my cats, I raised from kittens and I have not forgotten the challenges that come with kittens. Of course I – like everyone – love kittens, but they really can take a lot of work. With a household already full of cats, a five-year-old, and both my husband and I working full-time, it just wouldn’t be a wise choice for us to get a kitten at this point in our lives.
What would you like readers to know about adopting senior cats?
Give them a chance! It’s much easier to find a senior cat who will be the right fit for your lifestyle than trying to mold a kitten. Want a lap cat? There’s a senior one at your nearest shelter or rescue, I’m sure. Want a playful kitty? Don’t rule out the seniors. There are fewer surprises with senior cats when it comes to behavior and personality.
What is your favorite thing about Mary Moon?
Just the fact that she came from being in the wild, having never known a home, to being the sweetest lap cat I’ve met in my life. Her capacity to love and trust humans after everything she has been through is just amazing. I love that I can always count on her to jump up and cuddle with me when I’m binge-watching Netflix. And the sweaters. How can you not love the sweaters? I probably have more sweaters in my closet for Mary than for myself!
Would you ever consider adopting a senior cat?
If you’re on Instagram, be sure to follow Mary Moon and her sweater-wearing adventures!