Toward the end of June, the SPCA Albrecht Center found itself in a "Cat Crisis" with well over 200 cats and kittens in the shelter, no available space, and feline adoptions slowed almost to a halt.
Fortunately, our supportive community came through after hearing our pleas, resulting in 151 cats and kittens being adopted since then, including my own adorable foster kittens, Pumbaa & Timon, now Scout & Boo. Black cats are often overlooked in favor of more colorful cats, so seeing them adopted so quickly, and together, into a truly perfect home is a happy 'tail' indeed.
Speaking of overlooked, there is a selection of cats in every animal shelter, deemed "less adoptable," "special" or "broken" who experience much longer stays and fewer adoptions. Often, this is due to potential adopters being scared off by the cat's condition or diagnosis before they are able to get to know the cat's personality.
Through the amazing cat adoption surge in July, six of these cats sat nearby watching their neighbors and roommates get picked and taken home, one after another, but their turn never came. They are all still sitting and waiting for someone to give them a chance.
Eris, whom I've written about before, is a 4-year-old grey tabby who came to the SPCA Albrecht Center as a stray kitten in August of 2015. She was adopted three months later and lived with her family until February 2018 when she was returned to the shelter for bad behavior, which turned out to be the result of a degenerative eye condition that will eventually leave her blind.
Eris is not in pain and not dependent on any medications, but she does require a consistently quiet home with gentle owners who will respect her need for space. Eris loves catnip, treats and lap time when it's her idea.
Nooj is a two-year-old, black & white male who happens to be FeLV (Feline Leukemia) positive. He's lazy, loves pets, treats and relaxing by the window. Nooj also loves kittens and would make a great foster dad to FeLV+ kittens, as he was for a while in the shelter. Those kittens were adopted though, so Nooj now sits alone, waiting for a home of his own.
Carlos, Jr. a.k.a. "C.J." is a handsome eight-year-old grey tabby who was surrendered to us after his owner passed away. Carlos was very withdrawn, scared and understandably sad when he first arrived, but has since come out of his shell and began to enjoy life again. He likes to be lazy, can be very sweet and is super playful with toys. Carlos can be visited at The Bone-i-fide Bakery on Laurens Street in downtown Aiken.
Buyo is a two-year-old Siamese female. She began her life with us as a feral cat who went through the TNR program and lived on the grounds of the shelter with other TNR cats. One day, our Cat Care Specialist, Emily noticed that Buyo's face seemed injured, and after several attempts, she was able to trap her so she could receive veterinary care. Buyo's jaw was broken somehow, so she underwent surgery and several weeks of recovery before learning to trust people and being made available for adoption.
For Buyo, we recommend an adopter who is experienced with the Siamese breed. She is quite vocal, and can be very affectionate but does not like to be picked up or carried. Buyo's jaw will never be "normal" and will need to be monitored for changes.
Sophie is a three-year-old grey & white female who was surrendered by her owner after suffering a dog attack that left her front, right leg shattered. Unfortunately, her leg had to be removed, but the experience definitely didn't shatter her spirit or her sweet personality. Sophie is beautiful and affectionate and would love to curl up in your lap and purr the day away.
Peacock is a two year old, solid black female, who was also surrendered by her owner through no fault of her own - sometimes people just change their minds. Peacock can be very shy, but if you let her come to you at her own pace, she loves to play. She also enjoys being around kittens and other friendly cats, but is scared of dogs so will need to be adopted into a home with no dogs.
If you have some room in your home and some love to give, please consider offering it to one of these overlooked cats. You'd change their world forever and maybe add a little something special to your own. Excluding Carlos, you can meet all of these cats at 199 Willow Run Road, in Aiken, Monday - Saturday 11am-5pm.
Sarah Neikam is the Operations Manager for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She is an Aiken native and has been with the Albrecht Center since 2012. Sarah's family includes three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna and Grady, who are all living happy, loved lives thanks to the efforts of the SPCA Albrecht Center.