Written by Lynette Nicholson of Nicholson’s Rescues
Professional photography by Strike a Pose Photography
One of the biggest challenges in rescue is finding the perfect home for the animals in your care. It becomes that much harder when they’re teenagers, and even more difficult when they’re adults.
While Nicholson’s Kitty Rescue generally focusses on rescuing and homing of kittens, there are times when we’re compelled to help older cats – who are equally deserving – to find their forever family.
Calico cat Chloe was one of those cases that really tugged at our heartstrings, and we decided to make it our mission to make a positive difference in her life.
Finding the best homes isn’t easy
As any animal rescue organisation will tell you, finding the best homes for those in their care isn’t easy. It’s not always about a lack of people wanting to adopt – it’s also about assessing whether or not the animal is a good fit for that family; whether the environment is suitable; and whether or not the adoptive family can afford to, and will, provide proper care for their new fur kid.
You do all the checks you can, and then take a leap of faith that the adoptive family will be there for the long haul… but, sadly, this isn’t always the case.
Chloe was about five years old when she was rescued from a shelter about four years ago. She moved to Durban with her adopted family and, after spending some time there, was given to a family member who lived in Pretoria. We’re not sure what happened, but we learnt that Chloe was handed in to a shelter in Pretoria after being found wandering around a property, seemingly lost.
Despite being a bit dishevelled and underweight from her time on the streets, Chloe was extremely affectionate – we knew we simply had to take her in and find her the wonderful home she deserved. By then she was around nine years old, so we knew that would be difficult, but we were prepared to try.
Chloe was taken straight to our amazing vet for a vet check-up where they discovered that she had a mouth full of rotten teeth. This would’ve caused her a great deal of pain and affected her eating, which was probably partly responsible for her being underweight. Chloe was booked in for a full dental, where most of her teeth were removed. The vet mentioned after the procedure that he’d rarely seen such a bad set of teeth.
Chloe came back to us to recuperate, and after receiving a clean bill of health at her two-week check-up, we started looking for a suitable home. We shared her story on our Facebook pages, which is where Jacquie Sunley saw her and reached out to us.
The perfect family
Jacquie and her husband, Nigel, had lost their much-loved 19-year-old cat, Sam, a few months earlier. When Jacquie saw Chloe’s picture, she was immediately drawn to the beautiful long-haired tabby, and she began to ask us more about her. Before long, she decided Chloe would be the perfect addition to their family.
Jacquie wanted to keep Chloe’s arrival as a surprise for Nigel, and so, on a bright summer morning in November, Chloe and I made the trip to Lonehill to Jacquie and Nigel’s beautiful home. Nigel was outside on the patio while I was ushered into the lounge to sit on the couch, and Jacquie called him to come inside to see the surprise.
It was a bit of a nerve-racking moment: Jacquie was already smitten with Chloe, but how would Nigel react?
At first, he was a bit taken aback and, I think, a little unsure, but Chloe worked her magic and was soon roaming around the house sniffing out the territory. Jacquie’s cat-loving friend then arrived to see the new addition, and then it was time for me to leave the new family to bond… and bond they most certainly did.
Jacquie shares, “Within five hours of arriving, Chloe settled with us both; she was not at all phased by any visitors! Indeed, she now welcomes my clients as though she has known them all her life. She’s a very loving and cuddly cat, and, just yesterday, one of my friends remarked that she looks as though she’s lived with us all her life. We’re really so grateful to Lynette for saving Chloe and allowing us to enjoy the love of this very precious feline in her forever home.”
I’m overjoyed at how this rehoming has worked so beautifully. I receive regular updates from Jacquie where she shares anecdotes and lots of pictures of Nigel and Chloe, who’ve formed a formidable bond. Chloe really has settled in wonderfully and has Jacquie and Nigel wrapped around her paws. She loves her new home and garden and, of course, cuddling with Nigel on the bed.
Chloe is finally receiving the love and care she so richly deserves.
Don’t overlook teens and senior cats when considering adoption
Teens and older cats find it very difficult to find a home, but they can be ever so rewarding as family members.
There are so many benefits to adopting an older feline:
- They usually settle in very well and seem so grateful for another chance.
- When you meet them, their personalities are already developed, so you have a good idea of who they are and if they’ll fit in with your family.
- Their impulse control is also better than a kitten’s, so they’re less likely to claw your furniture, or play catch with your foot as you walk down the passage.
- They’re generally quite relaxed and love to spend time with you on the couch, or having lazy afternoon naps.
- They don’t need to be fed three to four times daily, or demand as much attention as kittens do.
Chloe is a perfect example: when you see how quickly she adapted in her new home, and how rapidly she bonded with Jacquie and Nigel, you can understand why adopting a senior cat is a wonderful experience that you won’t regret.
About Nicholson’s Kitty Rescue
Nicholson’s Rescues is a privately funded kitty rescue based in Johannesburg that got its start in 2013. Our kitties come to us from all over the Johannesburg area. We always try to assist, where possible, and work hard to find perfect homes for all of the kitties who end up in our care. Much of our rehoming is as a result of sharing them across social media, and through our existing network of happy adoptive kitty-parents who help to spread the word for us. We’re blessed to have achieved nearly 2,000 successful kitty rehomings to date.
Our gorgeous rescue kitties are lovingly cared for within our home, or in the homes of one of our foster moms. We have dedicated, volunteer foster moms, some of whom specialise in bottle-feeding newborn kittens, and others who are earning their stripes teaching feral kittens how to love and be loved. We also have foster moms who care for older cats while we do our best to find them loving homes.
Follow Lynette Nicholson on Facebook to find out more about the kittens available for adoption, and support Lynette Nicholson's Kitty Rescue Support Shop on Facebook too – all funds go directly to the rescue vet account to ensure the kittens get the very best care.