Abdulla and I both grew up in a house with cats, so when we moved in to our own place after getting married, we felt there was something missing – there was a cat-shaped hole in our hearts. We had been debating for a few months whether or not we should get a cat, or if we had the time with our long working hours, and just like that, we finally made the decision and adopted a cat in November! Read all about our experience adopting a cat, and questions you should ask shelter staff before you adopt, right after the jump.
M, my friend, also had a cat-shaped hole in her heart, and suggested we check out K’S PATH‘s website to see if there were any cats we would like to adopt. I had my heart set on a British Shorthair – a blue one to be specific, and knew it would be hard to find one in a shelter. I also wanted to adopt, as opposed to getting a cat from a breeder.
Abdulla and I checked the cat adoption page on K’S PATH’s website, and there it was looking back at us from the laptop screen, bluish-grey, with the biggest pumpkin-coloured eyes you’d ever seen: a British Shorthair cat! My husband called the shelter to tell them we were interested in adopting the cat, and he was asked a few questions, like if we had ever had a cat before, how long have we had one, why do we not have one now. We were then given an appointment, two days after the call, to visit the shelter to be interviewed, to make sure we’d be a good fit with the cat and vice versa.
Prepping for three days, I was pretty much equipped for any possible question they could’ve asked me about cats. Plus, I used to have a cat of my own, Ms. Pepper, before getting married – one my mother catnapped – thank you very much! I was so confident we’d be cleared as cat parents; the night before our visit to the shelter, we passed by PetZone, and picked up a carrier (because, where on earth are we going to put the cat if we’re cleared? We later found out that for 5 KD, K’S PATH will provide you with one), food, treat bag, a litter box, litter, toys, and a grooming brush. To say we were bursting with excitement was an understatement! I figured that just like the shelter has a right to interview us, I also listed down some questions I wanted to ask them about the cat we’d be adopting:
- Why was the cat surrendered? This will help in understanding the cat’s behaviour post-adoption. For example, was it a stray cat, or was it surrendered?
- Do they have any medical/behavioural issues? And if so, how are they dealt with?
- Was the cat spayed/neutered? All animals at K’S PATH are spayed/neutered upon being surrendered.
- Is the cat up to date with vaccinations? Upon adoption, they will provide you with the cat’s vaccination certificate
- Is the cat litter box trained?
- What is the cat like when left alone?
- What food is the cat eating?
K’S PATH is located in Wafra, which is approximately a little over an hour of driving from where we live. With yummy snacks, a big bottle of water, and good music, we were ready to hit the road. I do need to mention that one should mentally prepare themselves for all the desert on either side of the road. With the road cutting a line in the middle, there was desert on the right, desert of the left, desert up ahead…ev-er-y-where.
After our sandy escapade, it was HELLO, K’S PATH! We walked in, and so many cats greeted us at the door! The shelter often has cats roam around to socialise and to change surroundings. They were out and about, sitting on a couch, playing, lounging about. It was cat paradise! A supervisor at the shelter welcomed us, and ushered us to a room where the interview would be conducted. That’s when I started to get nervous. What if I didn’t answer the questions correctly? What if we aren’t a suitable match? I tried to put my nerves aside, and the person interviewing us was very friendly, calm, and approachable. Okay, we’re off to a good start! She asked us why we wanted to adopt a cat, if we knew what the average lifespan of a cat is, if we’ll give the cat away if we move, if we’ll give the cat away if Abdulla and I decide to start a family. The questions were pretty straight forward, and we answered honestly. Fifteen minutes later, we were cleared and got to meet our British Blue! One of the things I like about K’S PATH listings on the website, is that they state the gender, age (sometimes birthday), and most importantly, the temperament of every cat that is surrendered to the shelter. So before going, we pretty much knew the cat we wanted to adopt was very independent. I mentioned the latter, because when we got to meet him, we were practically invisible to him. Thanks, Mr. Cat Man Dude! A little disheartened, I felt that maybe a very independent cat wasn’t the best choice. I mean, I liked how an independent cat meant he’d get along with the idea of being alone while the mister and I were at work – but treating us like we were invisible was just…no bueno. But aren’t all cats like that when they don’t know a human? Heck, aren’t cats like that with humans they know?!
The supervisor suggested we look at the other cats in the shelter – just to see if maybe we would like another cat more. I had my heart set on the British Blue, but sure, we checked anyway. We were prompted to the back of the shelter, where they house the cats. There was a room for kittens, and another for older cats. Oh.My.God.Becky. I wanted to adopt them all! Legit thoughts racing through my mind at the time: Could they all fit in my bag? Would I be able to grab them all and make a run for it unnoticed? CAN I ADOPT THEM ALL? To fully convey how I felt (and most probably looked), I edited Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half‘s famous ‘CLEAN ALL THE THINGS’, to:
We left the cat area, and went back to the interview room where our cat was, and he was just chilling on the sofa. I knew in my heart of hearts he’d be a perfect fit when given the chance. So, we signed the contract (on a tablet – how high-tech!), and sent him off to the on-site vet to get a rabies shot and his nails clipped. When it was time to put him in the carrier, he walked right in. No fuss, no drama! Apart for some meowing at the start, the drive back him was smooth and quiet. The little dude was just chilling like a villain.
Just for the record, we renamed the cat. I know a lot of people say it’s bad luck, but if we were to go by everybody’s superstition, nobody would have ever left their bed! We wanted to make sure there was a ‘ssss’ sound in the name, because cats react best to it. Smith? Sammy? Sebastian? Nothing felt right. Knowing my love for all things Scandinavian, Abdulla suggested Siegfried, as in Sigurd the dragon slayer. It was perfect!
Knowing that cats can take up to a month to adapt to a new environment, we cat proofed our apartment, and made sure everything Siggy needed was ready: food, water, litter box. When he got out of the carrier, we let him explore his surroundings without hovering around him. He was a little nervous, so he wedged himself, for close to an hour, between a box we still hadn’t unpacked and the wall. A few hours later, he started to warm up to us; moving from the spare bedroom to the living room where we were. Eating was a problem. He hadn’t eaten anything for close to 12 hours after we got him. Luckily, some coaxing finally got him to eat. By the end of the night, he was sitting right next to us, and even made himself comfortable on our bed when we called it a night!
It’s almost been two months, and Siggy is our furry baby now. He’s adapted very well! Greets us at the door when we come back from work, cuddles next to us (or hangs out underneath the coffee table), and follows us around the apartment. So, I guess underneath all that independence, there was an affectionate cuddler waiting to come out!
So, would I say my experience adopting a cat was positive? Certainly! I definitely recommend adopting a cat, and I definitely recommend K’S PATH. They were very thorough with us, had answers to all our questions, and treated all the animals exceptionally well.
It was a happy ending for everyone, and to wrap up the post, here’s Siggy doing some yoga!
Fore more information on K’S PATH: