Friday, September 30, 2011

Jimi's Adoption Story

Jimi (right) with his friend Fonzie

Pet's name:
Jimi
Adopted by: Lisa Fricke
From: Oakland Animal Services, Oakland, Calif.

Lisa (who blogs at Fresh Spinach) has two cats: Fonzie, who was abandoned on a doorstep, and Jimi, whose story she tells below:

In the summer of 2010, my fiance and I decided that our cat Fonzie needed a companion. We lived in San Francisco, and we knew that all the shelters in San Francisco were, by law, no-kill shelters. But just across the bay in Oakland, there was a shelter with a relatively high kill rate and an overflow of kittens.

We drove out to Oakland and went to see if we could find a kitten that would fit into our home. Upon walking in, our hearts melted. There were so many beautiful animals who needed homes. I remember seeing one kitten who had been there a while; he was gray and had such loving eyes.

A volunteer at the shelter came over to talk to us and directed us to the back of the shelter where there were cages FULL of kittens. One cage had four sibling kittens in it. They had a hammock in their cage, food and water, and not much else. There were two girl kittens who were tabby colored, and two boys who were tuxedo, once of which was very fluffy.

We asked to see the two boy kittens, and the volunteer took us to a room and put all four of the kittens in there with us. The two girls wanted back in their cage right away. The fluffy boy was playful like any kitten, but the other boy seemed shy and scared. We were both drawn to him though, and wanted him to come see us and interact with us. I understand now that he had been sick at the time and wasn't being taken care of.

Eventually, though, that shy boy kitten came over, climbed into my lap, and started purring and meowing like crazy and was kneading my legs with enthusiasm. It made me cry, and my fiance and I knew that this was the perfect addition to our family.

Jimi in his new home

We named him Jimi (like Jimi Hendrix), and we scheduled to have him neutered (required before taking home a shelter animal) and asked to have his fleas taken care of. The poor little guy was covered in fleas when we saw him.

When we did bring him home, there was the obvious adjusting of the family (and Fonzie had a rough time with this). Worse, though, was the fact that Jimi had a bad upper respiratory infection, which Fonzie then caught from him. So we had two pathetically sick kitties. It was heartbreaking, but they both recovered quickly.

Jimi continues to have health problems. He struggles to breathe sometimes, and we believe it's a sinus issue. He has been through numerous rounds of antibiotics and other medications. Nothing seems to help him, and veterinarians are baffled. We give him saline nasal drops when it gets bad, and that helps a bit, and every day we give him extra lysine to help as well.

We know that a cat like Jimi may not have found a loving home if we hadn't fallen in love with him that day. Because of his health problems, many families may have sent him back to the shelter or not have taken him home in the first place. To us, though, Jimi is a part of our family and we love him very much.

This morning I woke up hours before the alarm went off. I found Fonzie and Jimi snuggled up together on our bed. Fonzie was grooming Jimi, and Jimi was purring so loudly! It made me smile to know how much they love each other.




If you've adopted a pet from a shelter or rescue group and would like to share his or her story, please email me. I'd love to hear from you!

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