A cat person is a cat person. There is no other way to explain that. You either get that or you don't.
6 months ago I had to bid a very tearful farewell to my 5 cats. And the 3 we buried during the time we lived there. We were leaving Indonesia and re-settling back in Melbourne. Words cannot explain how heart-wrenching that was for me and the family.
As soon as we were settled, my daughter was adamant that we would adopt a cat. Not just any cat. A cat who needed a home. Being very new to Melbourne, I asked around and searched online. The name that kept coming up was the Greensborough Cat Protect ion Society. I was even more delighted to learn that it was only 15 minutes away from our home. So during the school holidays, we decided we would go check it out. Just looking, I told my husband.
I did not know what to expect of the place. The website did not tell much except for 10 photos of kitties that needed a good home. And having lived in a country where rescue animals were not a priority in the social strata, I did not know what the conditions of these felines and the centre would be.
Imagine my surprise, my very pleasant surprise at how lovely the rescue centre was. It was all about cats. The air and atmosphere just buzzed CATS.
We went into the office and asked where we could view the cats. The lady in charge happily pointed us to where they were and off we went. It was like going to the zoo and being allowed to pet the animals. ALL of them.
The kittens are separated into a room. They were placed either with siblings or with like-tempered personalities. They are already de-sexed and micro-chipped. The boy kittens have a blue collar and the girl kittens have pink ones around their necks, naturally. They were well fed, looked cosy and comfortable in their clean cages and were either eager to say hello and be cuddled or just ignored you completely. My 12-yr old daughter could not get enough. We had to cuddle each and every one of them and she had to say hello and have a chat to all of them.
We fell in love with a white kitten who perked up and started chatting with my daughter the moment we walked in. It was very hard to get her back in her cage but we decided that we should explore the rest of the place.
The older kitties were housed in a much larger enclosure with 4-6 cats in each enclosure which is about 4x4m. Each enclosure had a shed the cats could go into for shelter and where they each had a bed. They too were well fed and well kept. Attached to their enclosure, each cat had a small poster of their name and their personalities and the homes they would prefer. You are free to enter the enclosures to pet them and talk to them. They even had chairs you could sit on with the cat on your lap (if that was what the cat allowed you to do). The enclosures also had catwalks for them to roam around and explore the other enclosures.
There was also a separate area where the cats who were undergoing rehabilitation were housed and this area is off limits to ensure the safety and well-being of these rescue kitties. There is also a vet at the front for all animals.
While we were there, a few other people trailed in. Most of them were there to just cuddle a kitty. They had already adopted from there before and just wanted to drop in for cuddles. This is the measure of how much joy this place brings. We kept coming back over the school holidays and found that the place welcomes anyone to visit. There were people there who had just lost a pet and wanted the comfort of getting cuddles and love from a cat. There were physically challenged people who were there with their carers and getting therapy from just cuddling a cat. There were kids who had a birthday and had desperately wanted a cat to adopt to mark their special day.
There was a prevailing feeling of trust in the air. We were never treated with suspicion, free to spend as much time with the cats and the staff there were always willing to help answer any queries or just have a general chat about cats.
We have since adopted the white kitten whom we have named Angel. For a short-haired tabby, which basically means she is not a pure breed of any kind, she is the most delightful kitty. She plays fetch, she thinks we are all cats and tries to groom us and she is always ready to give kisses and cuddles. She is also super smart.
The adoption process was professional and effortless. It will cost you $80 to adopt a cat. This includes the cats being sterilised, micro-chipped and vaccinated and de-wormed. You will get all the papers that your cat needs. They also give you a 2-week free consultation and treatment with the vet clinic. You kitty will be sent home in a little box that turns into a little house for him or her. You can also pick up pet supplies here (cheap!) and the staff will advise you on what is best for their diet depending on their age.
Charity comes in many forms. We should not forget that animals deserve charity as well. The society is very happy for anyone who has time and a love for felines to come and give some love and cuddles to their cats. It is a great way to spend a day there either as food for your soul or as a way of teaching the kids to care and be responsible for animals. It is a great way to prepare a child in leading up to having a pet.
The only danger I see in visiting the Cat Protection Society of Victoria, is that you might find yourself falling in love with a feline friend and taking him or her home. As a fellow cat friend of mine once said, "Cats are like cookies, you can never have just one".