Since it’s Adopt A Shelter Cat Month, I thought it appropriate to share my cat Marty’s story.
I didn’t feel ready to bring another cat into my life at the time I learned about Marty. My beloved Bo had passed away only two months before and I was still mourning his loss. As it turns out, though, life doesn’t always work out as we think it will and such was the case with Marty.
Because of my social media connections to many in the world of pet rescue, I was on the distribution of a Facebook post showing several cats that were due to be euthanized within the next two days. It’s the harsh reality of number of pets needing homes vs. amount of space for new intake pets. Marty happened to be one of the cats on the list.
I pondered this for a while, knowing what would happen if I didn’t act soon, but not sure I was emotionally able to give Marty the home he deserved. Then I had an epiphany, Marty met all the things I was looking for in a cat, the only thing that was off was the timing. It seemed that Bo was speaking to me, telling me he would want me to help another cat as I’d helped him years before.
Jumping into my car, I went to rescue Marty. Arriving at the shelter, I wished I could take all the cats and dogs housed there. It was a dark, depressing place that made the shelter experience even more difficult for the animals housed there. I found the rescue volunteer and asked to meet Marty. She told me Marty was “on the list” because of his extreme shyness. He would hide in the corner when potential adoptees came looking to adopt, so no one ever saw Marty.
I sat down and several cats came to greet me, but not Marty. After some time passed, the volunteer asked if I’d changed my mind, choosing to adopt one of the friendlier cats. My response was that I’d come for Marty and planned to leave with him. I filled out the paperwork, the volunteer retrieved Marty and off we went toward home.
Upon arriving home, I began the process of introducing Marty to his new abode. After about a week in his own “domain” I gave him the opportunity to explore the house and become familiar with his dog sibling, Jessie. Jessie, a toy poodle, wasn’t intimidating to Marty as a larger dog might’ve been and she gave him the space to check out his new home.
Marty was quite shy for many months, quick movements startled him, if my voice was even a little louder he was afraid. Over time he came to relax and would join Jessie and I for evening TV time. Slowly he began to reveal the Marty I knew was always there, a cat with a fun personality and good sense of humor. He loves to play and has the typical “crazy cat moments” of zooming around the house. He’s earned the nickname “Party Marty” because it really is a party with Marty in the house.
It’s been four years since Marty joined the family. He will never be the “social butterfly” his brother Bo was. Marty still runs to hide when the doorbell rings or if he hears a strange voice in the house. Being patient with Marty has given him the chance to reveal himself on his terms when he feels comfortable, which has helped him learn to trust me.
Marty might’ve been considered “less adoptable” by many, but I’m glad I took a chance on him!
If you’re thinking about adding a cat to your family, please adopt rather than shop. Adopt a shelter cat, save a life!