I never intended to have cats, but somehow I ended up with four. They each found me in unique ways, but I’ll tell you the story of how I came to adopt a stray cat roaming my neighborhood.
Several of us noticed him but we could not get near him and assumed he was feral. We decided to try to catch him. My friend Jacquie and I went after him with a cardboard box, a towel and a vague plan to trick him into the box through a secret entryway into her garage.
Needless to say, that didn’t work. I called Washoe County Regional Animal Services in Reno and they volunteered a trap, which they were kind enough to bring up to us and we had our cat within hours.
I have two females who hate each other and every other animal that crosses the threshold, and a giant orange tabby named Felix who does his best to ignore the cranky females.
Scrapper, so named by Jacquie, decided that he was going to adopt Felix as his “bud,” since the females made it very clear they wanted nothing to do with him.
Felix at first was stand-offish, but Scrapper persisted and soon they were constant companions. This little Scrapper (who is actually quite large now that he has a steady supply of food) has added a vast amount of excitement and zaniness to the household.
Every day he brings an opportunity for laughter. It’s chaotic and crazy and sometimes the “Eau de Litter Box” threatens to overwhelm, but life is always interesting when you have cats.
One time, Scrapper got shut in the basement at bedtime. That night, while the rest of us were sleeping, or trying to, Felix was roaming the house, howling.
Later, I discovered that Felix, in addition to the howling, had shredded the roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. I now make sure to check the downstairs before shutting up for the night!
My point to this story is that there are many adult cats in our local shelters who would love to provide every home with this much crazy fun.
The Pet Network in Incline Village usually has 60-70 cats at any one time, which can swell to about 150 cats during “kitten season” in the spring. The Nevada Humane Society in Reno generally has about 300 cats awaiting adoption.
The organizations work together, along with Washoe County Regional Animal Services and several other area agencies, with the Nevada Humane Society alone placing about 9,000 animals per year into forever homes. We are fortunate to have such excellent agencies working for our domestic animals.
Incline’s Pet Network was instrumental in the now famous rescue of the “Dumpster Babies.” In addition to that fabulous story, any volunteer or staff member will have many heart-warming stories of other successful adoptions to tell visitors.
The Pet Network has a nice selection of pet supplies and foods, the purchase of which benefits the organization and the many animals it helps. They also offer grooming, boarding and veterinary services.
The Nevada Humane Society, located on Longley Lane in Reno, bills itself as a no-kill shelter, creating a no-kill community. The organization was incorporated in 1932, in response to the suffering of stray animals that were rounded up periodically and kept in giant pens.
Two courageous citizens back then convinced the City of Reno that better conditions were needed and the Nevada Humane Society was born.
I learned from the Nevada Humane Society website that black pets are adopted half as often as other pets. Two of my outrageously funny cats with most interesting personalities are black, one of which is Scrapper.
Both agencies have a “wish list” section on their websites for toys, beds, food and other essentials as well as offering ways to make a donation or volunteer.
Visit petnetwork.org or nevadahumanesociety.org to discover ways you can help or better yet, make a trip to your local shelter and bring home one or two of these fascinating animals and see for yourself how much fun life can be with a cat!
Toree Warfield is an avid nature lover, and writes this column to teach and stimulate interest in the marvels that surround us. See save-our-planet-earth.blogspot.com to read columns and to find links to bird song recordings, additional photos and other content.