A perfect picnic

Chubby, sweet, playful Angie needs a home. Photos courtesy of Jennifer Morgan

By Jennifer Morgan - May 31, 2007

Wake up to a soft nudge gently reminding you that it's breakfast time. A pair of friendly felines greets you at the end of the day, rubbing against your legs as you walk in the door. Imagine the fuzzy warmth of two loving cats nestled in your lap, as you relax in the evening, with a book or in front of the TV.

Throughout shelters nationwide, June is adopt-a-shelter cat month. This month represents the start of summer, and it could also be the beginning of a special long-term relationship between you and a new feline friend.

Millions of unwanted and homeless cats are born in our country each year. The majority isn't lucky enough to find homes. And of those fortunate ones who do, a large percentage of them will find themselves in an animal control facility, or a shelter, at some point during their lifetime.

Statistics show that most animals in shelters are not strays. They are pets surrendered by their owners, for a number of reasons. The decision to adopt a cat or kitten should not be taken lightly. With the animal's life and well being in your hands, we encourage potential adopters to consider the time, money, and lifelong responsibility of pet ownership before making the commitment to adopt.

This beautiful, fluffy white cat is named Rascal, but she looks more like a princess.

The summer is a busy time of year here at the Martha's Vineyard MSPCA, particularly because of seasonal housing issues. We see many owner-surrendered cats that aren't welcome to move with their families from rental to rental. Others are simply abandoned when people move from the Island. As a result, our cat room fills with cats needing new, permanent homes. They are healthy, social, and affectionate. Like us, they long for one secure, forever home.

Kittens, kittens

And then there are the kittens! This is "kitten season," and we see numerous litters come to the shelter because they're found with stray moms who were never spayed, or when an owner decides to let their cat have babies and then realizes the care involved is too much. Oftentimes the adult cats in the shelter are overlooked at this time of year, because kittens are generally in such high demand. That is why it is so important to spay and neuter, as it helps keep the population down, when there are already so many unwanted, homeless cats hoping for another chance.

Double your pleasure

With June being adopt-a-shelter cat month, and because we currently have so many homeless feline residents, we've decided to offer a unique "double the love" adoption incentive. We realize that taking on ONE new pet is a decision not to be taken lightly, not to mention TWO! It involves the lifelong responsibility of making an emotional and financial commitment to that animal's well being.

Just called Tom, this boy is loads of fun.

For potential adopters who feel they are prepared to enter into such a relationship, there are some positive reasons why adopting two cats can be beneficial to everyone involved. Cats, by nature, are colony animals, meaning they are comfortable co-existing. They are good company for each other, while family members are at work or school. Oftentimes shelter cats have come to us with a companion cat. Other times, two cats have become friends and create a bond between them, while here at the shelter.

We also encourage potential adopters to consider our "Mommy and Me" Program, also designed to giving incentive to adopt two cats into a home. People who want kittens can help adult cats by taking mom home, too.

For the adopters, knowing that they are able to provide a safe, loving, forever home for two cats in need is a rewarding feeling, and it makes a difference for the next two homeless cats that need a bed here at the shelter, while they await their own adoptions.

During the month of June, for the cost of one cat, your $100 adoption donation will enable you to bring home two cats, giving them another deserving chance. All are tested for feline leukemia and feline FIV, de-wormed, vaccinated, spayed or neutered and micro-chipped!

Double the love this summer, and help the Island's homeless cats.

The MSPCA of Martha's Vineyard is located on 276 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, near the Triangle, in Edgartown. Shelter hours are: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm and Thursday, 12 noon to 4 pm. Call 508-627-8662.

Jennifer Morgan is the projects coordinator for the MSPCA in Edgartown.