We have been asked many times, by many people, why someone would adopt a cat from out of state when there are very likely cats in their area that need homes. There are several reasons, but to me the most profound of those reasons is Love.
Social media has impacted so many aspects of our lives, and as cat lovers it only makes sense that we look at pictures of cats in whatever way we are connected. Social media has allowed thousands more people to see the plight of shelter animals across our country. It has moved many people, in many different ways, to help those cats. For some, it is crossposting. For others, it’s sponsorship.
Rescue groups have sprung from the ground like new grass in the spring, creating other ways for us to reach out and help homeless cats. There are fosters, transporters, networkers. The call goes out, wi-fi kicks in, and more and more cats are saved every day. But there is a methodology that must be applied in order for all of this to come together, in order to save that cat sitting in a shelter looking at nothing but death in the morning if someone doesn’t speak up. It takes teams of people to make a save work. Where once we would say, “It takes a village.” We now are able to say, “It takes a nation.”
Let’s hear it straight from one such cat. This is Jaguar, aka Jag’s, story. Keep in mind what I said in the beginning, the most profound reason is Love.
“I don’t know how I got here but I know I don’t like it. It’s loud, and cold, and nothing soft to lay on. No one will listen to me meow. It must be because there are so many others meowing. I can hear barking too. And there is a smell here, a smell that scares me for some reason, but I don’t know why. All I want to do is get away. The meow that was next to me yesterday was a different meow than I hear today. I hope that meow found someone to listen. I’m sick now. I can hardly breath, and my eyes are all funny, I don’t want to eat anymore. I really wish someone would hear my meow. A nice lady came by a few sleeps ago and took my picture. She heard my meow and stroked my fur. I thought she was going to take me with her. But then she closed the door to my metal box and moved on. I wonder why she didn’t like my meow. I heard her say, “kill listed” but I don’t know if that means she will be back for me or not. I know I have a person out there somewhere, I don’t think it was the lady that heard me meow. I wonder where my person is. How long will it take them to find me? Do they know I’m here?”
Jag’s person lives in Tennessee. In December, she was tagged by a friend on Facebook with a picture of this sick little stray in a kill shelter in Florida. They tagged her because she knows people, has connections, has a network, and a weakness for black cats. What that friend didn’t know at that time was, she had found Jag’s person. Jag’s person sees lots of homeless shelter cats on Facebook every day. But Jag was different, and his person has never been able to say why that picture made her do what she did. All she knows is that as soon as she saw that picture there was a connection. It was like he was looking into her heart and asking her why she wasn’t there to get him.
Things snowballed from there. Jag’s person sent a message to a friend in Florida, who in turn contacted one of her friends. That friend runs a rescue, and placed the call to let the shelter know that Jag’s person had been found. Someone would be there within 24 hours to spring him. The very next day, Jag was on his way to the vet. He was a very sick kitten, but the vet felt he would be okay, and with proper care would one day grow to be a rather large cat. The foster kept him overnight, but became worried when he wouldn’t eat. So she took him to the rescuer. The rescuer had to force feed him, but he was on the mend and able to eat on his own in a couple of days time. She became his surrogate for two months. By February he was ready to go home. Imagine Home happened to be doing a transport the following weekend, from Florida to Michigan, for two cats out of Miami, so it seemed to be the perfect time to get him home.