Articles by Cheryl

Printed monthly in The Union newspaper, Nevada County


August 2020

I am asked what keeps me awake at night.  The answer is "Nothing" I am pretty tired by night time.  But if something did it would be "Old Cats and Pitbulls".   You might say "What on earth do those two animals have to do with each other?"   The answer is  "They are hard to find homes for."


I have written numerous articles about Pitbulls, so I will suffice it to say, "They are hard to get adopted because there have been many stereotypes perpetuated about them, that are not necessarily true."  During the Covid-19 pandemic people have often taken home a Pitbull as a foster, that they would not under usual circumstances have done, but the family is home and it will just be for a short while and the shelter needs help”.  Several of these people have said after a few weeks of fostering a Pitbull  "I (we) love this dog, we're not bringing him/her back.  I had no idea pits could be such nice dogs."  They are fun, lively, engaging dogs who love their families.  I have had three and they have been and are a lot of fun. 


Every year Sammie's Friends Animal Shelter receives many kittens (all time high of 456 one season) and this year we estimate about 350.  Kittens are cute and fun. They are stiff competition for old kitties and any adult cat.  Old kitties can make great companions.   If you like company while you read, watch TV or go about your household chores and even gardening, your old kitty will be as grateful for your friendship as you are for theirs.


Kittens are great, but everyone does not have the time and patience for their high energy and amount of time required to train them and entertain them to keep them out of trouble. Older kitties are lower maintenance. They are calmer and already have some manners.   They know how to use a litter box. Older kitties can still be playful, but not so wild with energy like young kittens.  Often they have been around children and will make a better pet for your children.  One very good reason to get and older cat is that you know what you are getting. The cat has a certain temperament and behavior and what you see is what you get.


I adopted an 18 year old cat.  True,  I only had her for 1 1/2 years.   She was absolutely precious and a joy to have around.  She caused no trouble for anyone, but still liked to have friendship and to offer her friendship in return.  I wouldn't trade that experience for anything.  She will always have a place in my heart and mind, never to be forgotten.  


Sammie's Friends Shelter has a "mentor cat" program.  If you adopt a kitten, you can get an older cat for free.  An older cat will teach your kitten how to be a proper cat, probably better than you can teach it.  


It is important to get the right cat for your situation, but do consider older and just "plain old" kitties.  I have heard many people, who had adopted an old cat, say  that it made them feel good to do something nice for another of God's creatures.  It's just nice to be nice.  When I had my old kitty I often thought "I hope when I'm old someone cares for me as well as I cared for Plummie."


Please consider an older (or just plain old) kitty.  The kitty needs you and you will feel like a million bucks for doing something kind for an older (or old) kitty.  Do something nice for yourself and for an old kitty. 



Cheryl Wicks is the Co-Founder and President of Sammie's Friends 

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