Ok, so I'm not the perfect cat. I'm not just right – I might be too big, or too small; too vocal, or too quiet. I may also have some medical issues, and I don't have my complete medical history with me to explain why. I may have been exposed to parasites: worms, fleas, ticks, or ear mites. I may have some kind of intestinal upsets, and I may not have perfect stools every time.
Behaviorally, I have a little baggage. I may not be able to walk right into your home perfectly well adjusted. I may take issue if there is another cat, dog or child, no matter what age or sex and may show my fear in a variety of ways. I may not love everyone immediately and I may not do exactly what you want in the beginning. I may not be able to adapt to any situation. I may get confused about the litter box, and might even make a mistake, no matter what litter you use, where the pan is, or how often you clean it.
Emotionally? I may have some idiosyncrasies. I may nip, swat, hiss, put my ears back, hide, cower or tremble. I may look at you with fear, and distrust, and concern. It might take several months, or even a year before I can begin to trust again.
I am one of society's throwaways.
Is this the cat you're looking for?
If not, maybe you should look elsewhere. Please don't ask to take me home, because I have already been rejected far too many times already and would rather stay at the shelter than be given one more reason to mistrust people again.
I am one of a group of cats. A group that has been dumped in the shelters, booted out the doors, kicked, hit, beaten, yelled at, shot, cursed, thrown from moving cars, left to fend on our own. A group of cats that has learned that humans are NOT kind and society is NOT fair and life is NOT comfortable. A group of cats that didn't have good prenatal care, that don't know where our next meal was coming from, that have lived outside through hot and cold and dug through garbage to find enough to eat. We are the cats that have been flea bitten and worm ridden and burned with hot oil. We are the cats who have been hit by cars and left for dead; who have swallowed stones and ribbons and had nothing but intestinal upsets; who have loose stools or who have stools that are so hard they can barely pass. We have been told we were too loud, too messy, or we didn't match the new furniture. We have been chased by dogs, had our tails pulled by kids, and been bullied by other cats. Some of us have never known a litter box, let alone a clean one. We have watched our loving family drive off one day without a backward glance after 15 years; we have been replaced after ten years with a new puppy. We look at you with big round eyes full of fear and terror, and occasionally hatred, and yes, deep down, with a little hope. We are the cats in Rescue.
Why, then, would anyone possibly want one of us?
The reasons are endless.
We need you. We deserve to be loved, to have a second chance, to learn how to trust again. We have been at the mercy of our surroundings; it is up to you to care for us. You, as part of the race that has caused this overpopulation of animals; you, who as part of the species, some of whose members have mistreated and misplaced these deserving creatures, owe it to us to care. You should be setting examples for the next generation – that this should not be a throwaway society that we can and should be doing something about it. We can be your FAMILY members, members who share in your joys, your sorrows, your misfortunes and your luck. We are here when you need someone to talk to, to comfort, and to be comforted. We lick your tears and pat your face and snuggle under your chin. We like you for you, and we ask so little from you. A pat, a scratch, the toss of a ball, a kind word, we repay you with loyalty and adoration and faithful friendship.
You may have to earn it, this is true, and we may be so damaged by our previous experiences that we'll never be "The Perfect" cat, but the appreciation that emanates from our eyes; the love that we share when we realize we are safe, secure, and home forever, is a gift that cannot be bought. We have seen rough times, yes, but if we are willing to give you a second chance, why won't you give us one?
If you love animals, and want to help, please contact us for more information. The animal shelters and rescues are overflowing this time of year with thousands of worthy animals needing homes. For more information on how you can help Rescue, or if you'd like to adopt a Siamese, please visit us at http://va.siameserescue.org or call (540) 672-6373.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Siri Zwemke, Director of the Siamese Cat Rescue Center (SCRC) based out of Virginia and covering 15 states up and down the East Coast, has been working with animals her entire life, and while she loves all animals, Siamese hold a special place in her heart. Along with husband, Darrell, SCRC has been a full time labor of love since 1998. Siri has one daughter, Nicole, and shares her home with anywhere from 5-10 special needs Siamese.