For many of us, this time of the year is about slowing down the pace and enjoying time off relaxing and spending time with those we love, including our pets.
For 81-year-old retired high school teacher Jos and his wife Edna, Christmas 2014 will be spent welcoming and settling in their recent addition to the family — a sweet, round-faced cat by the name Donna (formerly Matilda) from our North Melbourne Shelter.
In September this year, Jos had to say goodbye to his beloved 17-year-old cat Bella. With cherished memories of his late cat imprinted into each room and crevice of his home, Jos found Bella’s absence heartbreaking.
“I was really disheartened by her departure,” Jos reflected. “Bella passed away peacefully in her sleep while napping in her favourite play, my study. I know she had a good life with us, but this unfortunately didn’t make her passing any easier.”
“They said that she was on the older side and would not perhaps live for much longer — but our old girl showed them wrong!”
“She was terrific company. Bella always hopped on my lap in my study while I worked and was constant company. When she passed away, our home was just not the same without her. I missed her like you wouldn’t believe!”
Recently upon donating to the Home for the first time, Jos was made aware that despite our name, we did in fact care for and rehomed cats as well. “I thought it was a bit ironic at first,” he laughed. “And then my curiosity got the better of me and I quickly found the Home’s website.
“There were so many cats in need of a home, but when I saw Donna, it was an immediate positive reaction. She looked so much like Bella and I knew immediately I wanted to meet her.”
In crippling pain suffering from the shingles Jos could not however, drive the long distance from his home to our North Melbourne shelter. With some work and luck, it was organised to have Bella transported to Jos’ home where they could meet for the first time.
And the connection was immediate.
“My wife was initially hesitant with the idea of introducing another cat into our lives, but she was taken with Donna as much as I was. She was just so affectionate and loving!”
The next couple of days went spent with the three getting to know one another and plenty of laughs.
“We had our “getting to know each other” session with lots of smooches and head butts on the folding chair in my room, which is now her daytime snooze area,” Jos said.
“She’s such a funny cat and has made us bend with laughter.”
“On one occasion she caught us by surprise when she sprang from her perch on a box to the top of a very tall chest of draws. The shock was immediately followed by laughter and disbelief that she could spring up so high!”
“Cats are great companions; they feel wonderful to have snoozing on your lap and have the knack for calming you down as you pat them. I also love their little faces!
“If you adopt from The Lost Dogs’ Home, your cat comes desexed, fully vaccinated, wormed and microchipped. The adult cats also are toilet trained which is very handy.”
With Christmas only days away, Jos is looking forward to spending quality time getting to know Donna and welcoming the new year with his new family member.
“I find it kind of hard to express these emotions. I think my friend expressed it the best, when he said, your pet is quite simply your soul mate,” he said. “My pets have always given me purpose, companionship and the amazing feeling you get from knowing a being appreciates and love you.”
Think adoption is the perfect option for you?
Adopt an adult cat before December 31 and receive 50 per cent off on the adoption fee.
For a reduced $47.50, your adopted cat comes fully health checked, vaccinated, wormed, desexed and microchipped — services and treatments all valued at over $300.
To receive the discount you will need to complete the Pet Licence Test and it is advised you do this prior to coming to the shelter by visiting petlicence.com.au
If renting you will need to provide a Rental Agreement showing you are approved to keep a pet at home.
Existing pet owners are encouraged to check their council regulations on the number of cats they can own per household, as some councils require permits for households with two or more cats.
What: Cool Cats half-price adult cat adoptions
When: December 13 -31, 2014
Where: The Lost Dogs’ Home North Melbourne Shelter 3051 – 2 Gracie Street, North Melbourne
The Lost Dogs’ Home Campaspe Shelter – 520 McKenzie Rd, Echuca Vic 3564