The Star-Herald

A shelter cat’s life

It is rare that we have an overabundance of “empty” cat cages, but we have thankfully seen a decline in the number of cats coming through our doors.  Promoting the importance of spaying and neutering, and also seeing that as many pets as possible are already altered before they are adopted, has made a huge difference.  We feel that it is the “lucky ones” that actually have their start at our shelter.

A cat’s life at the Central Aroostook Humane Society’s shelter is made to be as homelike and welcoming as possible.  They are treated very well from when they come through the door until we find new homes for them.  

There are many things that go on in the life of a cat entering the shelter.  First they are checked over for medical problems, including broken bones. Strays can come in in various conditions, from being starved, abused or just on their own for too long.  Generally, owner-released cats are in good shape, have had their vaccinations and are well fed. Often we receive cats from folks who are leaving the area or someone has passed away, and no one can take the cat.  These are sad situations for the family and for the cat being left behind. Cats that are seriously ill and beyond the medical scope of the employees are taken to the vet’s for treatment.

All new cats receive the usual vaccinations, and they are dewormed.  If cats who are owner-surrendered have papers which show the animals have been vaccinated, then those cats are just dewormed.  Pregnant cats go into the Mothers’ Room, and it is kept very quiet for them so they can relax and give birth.  

All cats have a private cage with a special bed, blanket and toys plus their own litter box.  Mothers and babies are kept together as long as they need to be together. All cats stay with us indefinitely.  We strive very hard to adopt every cat and kitten to a wonderful home.  

Dry food is put into the cat dishes every day so they can eat whenever they wish.  Pregnant female cats and cats who are underweight receive canned cat food, which they love.  Treats are always available for our four-legged friends.  

We are very mindful of socialization for the cats.  Often we have volunteers who take the cats out of the cages, shut the door of the room and play with the cats.  Children particularly enjoy this, and even more so if there is a litter of kittens needing socialization. In good weather the cats go to the outside cattery, which was donated by Justine Holmes when she left the area.  All of us need fresh air, and the cats love being in the cattery. They have toys and things to jump on.  

Our cats are treated like guests thanks to our Head Cat Lady, Sharon Brown, and other caring staff.  Sharon loves every cat and treats them like her own. She frets and worries about each one. She has been with the shelter for many years, and we are grateful to her for her caring attitude and hard work.

Please consider giving a cat a permanent home with you.  We have many available who would make wonderful pets. Most cats are available now with the exception of some female cats.  When we are unsure if stray females are pregnant, we hold them for two months until we can determine if they are pregnant or not.  

State law requires anyone adopting an unaltered animal must leave a $100 check or cash, which is refundable once the cat or dog has been neutered/spayed, and this must be done within four months of the adoption.

Stop by the Central Aroostook Humane Society or check out our Facebook Page.  Please be responsible — spay and neuter your pets.

Carolyn Cheney is a member of the board of directors of the Central Aroostook Humane Society.

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