At 12 years old, Hermes the cat isn’t exactly a spring chicken anymore. Unfortunately, he ended up in an animal shelter when he was only six and up until recently, that is where he spent the rest of his life. That is, until one individual who prefers to remain anonymous decided to change all that by adopting him.
Half His Life Has Been Spent in a Shelter
It’s almost unfathomable when you think about the fact that Hermes has spent half of his life living in the cage of an animal shelter, but that is the cold, hard truth. In fact, some members of the staff where he was being kept were so moved when they found out that someone actually wanted to adopt him that they were literally moved to tears. Apparently, he hasn’t had much interest from potential adopters over the years. By all accounts, he is a sweet enough cat and he’s definitely pretty, but he was believed to be too old to be a good candidate for adoption. It’s unfortunate, but that was the situation that he was in. It seems to happen so often that the individuals at the animal shelter had all but resigned themselves to the idea that he would never be adopted. Many of them were absolutely convinced that he would live out the rest of his days inside that cage, with the only affection that he ever knew being what little he got from the staff. Obviously, the staff care very much but their attention has to be divided between him and every other animal in the facility. They’re always full. In fact, they have more animals coming in than they can actually take. As a result, they simply can’t spend an adequate amount of time with every animal. There aren’t enough hours in the day. Most of their time is spent cleaning cages and making sure all the animals have food and water. When they’re not doing that, they’re making a concentrated effort to try and get the animals adopted so that they can have a better life. Unfortunately, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for cuddles and play. Besides, the cold confines of a cement floor and a wire cage just aren’t the same as a nice, warm bed inside someone’s home.
The Sad Plight of Older Cats
As it turns out, the only cats that routinely get adopted from most animal shelters are those under one year of age. Unfortunately, cats that are over 10 are often considered seniors, despite the fact that a cat can easily live anywhere from 16 to 20 years. Sadly, most people just aren’t interested in adopting older animals. It seems that when people are looking for an animal to adopt, they want one that is young so they can spend several years with it. It’s heartbreaking to think that people often forget about what it must be like from the animal’s perspective. You might adopt a senior cat and have it for only a short time, maybe just a year or two. That might not seem like very long to you, but stop and think about how it feels to the cat. That may be the happiest two years of that animal’s life, and it’s something that you can give it by merely adopting it, bringing it into your home and making it a part of the family. It’s something that shelter workers have been trying to make people more aware of for years. They say that they often feel like their cries fall on deaf ears, as one person after another comes in to adopt a kitten, showing little or no interest in any of the older cats.
Great Minds Think Alike
Recently, an elderly woman was inspired by this particular story of the senior cat that was adopted and decided to do something to help another older cat herself. She is 101 years old, so she knows a thing or two about being overlooked because of her advanced age. She went to her local animal shelter on her own accord and asked if she could adopt the oldest cat in the facility. Of course, there was a certain amount of concern about adopting a cat that just happened to be 19 years old out to someone who was over 100. The staff wanted the cat to have a home of its own, but considering the advanced age of both parties, there was so much that could have potentially gone wrong. Fortunately, the elderly woman’s family stepped in and agreed to care for the cat on her behalf if anything should happen to her that would make her unable to care for it. Upon hearing that, the staff agreed to let her adopt the cat and according to all parties involved, both the elderly woman and her new companion could not be happier. As far as the woman who anonymously adopted the 12-year old cat who had spent half of his life in a shelter, she is overjoyed that her story is inspiring other people to adopt older animals. In addition to that, she has come to realize that her actions have sparked a conversation that needs to be had so that people are more aware of the plight of older animals who are stuck in shelters, many of them with very little hope of ever finding a home of their own. She hopes that this story will inspire more people. While not every person is in a position to adopt an animal, everyone can do their part by at least getting the word out. That is what her story is about and she hopes that it will continue to inspire people for a long time to come. If it does, she hopes that other cats like Hermes will find loving homes, too.