Sunday, April 15, 2018

Parker's Field-trip



On the second Saturday of every month, the rescue-group of which I am a member, the Lethbridge PAW Society, brings a cat to the downtown store of Homes Alive, a local pet-supply company, to show off to the public for three hours. The purpose is to generate interest not just in the cat himself, but in the group and cat-rescue in general. I am usually the group-member on hand to answer questions. It is a good opportunity to meet people and discuss matters of common interest.

Yesterday, Parker was the cat in the cage.


I was confident that the orange boy would do well. Cats have different reactions to being on display. Some are frightened the whole afternoon, overwhelmed by the stimuli. These are spared any further showings. The rare ones have little problem with the situation, and, after thirty or forty minutes of adjustment, settle down. The majority dislike being there but are not so badly affected that they cannot come back. Then there is Parker.


The sturdy-boy did better than any other cat we have had on display. He was a little bewildered by the reason for being in the cage, no doubt, and his breathing at first was more rapid than I would have liked to have seen, but he accepted the situation very swiftly and without much complaint. What problem he did have, I suspect, came from being restricted to the cage, and not simply from being in the new environment. He was a bit unnvered when the noise of shopping carts, barking dogs (pets are allowed in the store if carried or on leashes) and customers became too much, but that happened just the once. Otherwise, Parker took it all in stride.


He was a hit with everyone who came to see him. He was very friendly to his admirers - of whom there were many – but I knew he would be. He walked over to their fingers for some face-rubbing and head-stroking, and even rolled over for some. He accepted two chicken treats from one generous couple (even the successful cats on display are rarely at ease enough to eat) and indulged me in play with a feathery wand. The various dogs in the store during his time there interested him, though he hissed at one whose owner permitted him to come too close. (I quickly interposed myself. When people let their dogs come near the cats, they always say the same thing: “Oh, he (the dog) loves cats.” They don’t realise that that does not address the cat’s concern; the latter animal is caged, with no means of retreat, as an unknown and possibly hostile animal advances upon him.)


But everyone who saw Parker thought he was wonderful. They all uttered the same two things: “Wow, he’s a big one,” and, “What a handsome fellow he is.” Both true, of course. I talked to people about Parker’s diabetes, and how he is active and healthy, with the condition managed. Numerous comments were made about how fit he looked. No one there wanted to adopt him – except a crowd of young adolescent girls, who swooned over him – but the PAW Society does not adopt straight from such an event, anyway. We don’t want enthusiasm of the moment to be mistaken for a correct decision. But if interest is shown, we encourage it and follow it with conversation afterward.


The afternoon was a success. Donations were made – undoubtedly due to the popularity of our orange mascot – and people were met. Best of all, the cat in question was not troubled. He was glad to come home, no doubt, but he may be going again some day. The timing was a bit off: Parker has been my foster cat for sixteen months, but he has just recently been added to the group’s website (http://pawsociety.com/Parker.html). We wanted to control his diabetes first. But now, as you may have read, his glucose numbers are unusual. I don’t think this will cause any great trouble, but it would be better to present him as ready for adoption without reservations. A diabetic cat always, however, comes with concerns over his continuing care. Not to worry, though: Parker will not be going anywhere that won’t love him and care for him as much as possible.

Until then, he will remain in his foster-home – with perhaps a field-trip now and then.

15 comments:

  1. Good job Parker, it takes a special cat to stay calm in that situation.

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  2. Great job, Parker!

    Wow, he WAS laid back about it all! Nicki would have howled till he was let out, and of course Derry would have died of the stress, probably literally. Parker's definitely in a class by himself! :-)

    It would take someone very special to adopt him, though; the "average" person isn't going to knowingly take on a special needs companion animal, IMO. But we know Parker is loved where he is, and has a home with you for as long as he needs one.

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    1. No, not many people will take on a cat with such responsibilities. Yet they are very much worth the extra efforts.

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  3. Parker darling boy, I am so proud of you. You did yourself and your foster dad proud.

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  4. Well, my original guess was close. :)

    Parker is such a personable boy. I'm so glad he made a great spokesman...er, spokesperson... um, spokescat.

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  5. It's not surprising that Parker was such a hit. After all, what's not to like? He has a sweet temperament and he is a handsome fellow. However, many people do not realize the amount of care that a diabetic cat needs. Adopting a special needs cat sounds good until you actually have to care for it. Then it can become overwhelming. I've seen special needs animals returned to the shelter where I volunteer just because the adoptive parent didn't think caring for it would be so demanding. Parker will certainly need to be adopted by a very special person.

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    1. One of our cats, Ketis, had diabetes and was adopted by a wonderful woman who had diabetes herself. But she very recently died of cancer. Ketis, though, is in an excellent home now and, thanks to his former human, his diabetes has gone into remission. We have not had many diabetic cats, and none returned to our group, but we've had special needs cats returned for other reasons.

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  6. We are very proud of you Parker, you represented everyone nicely!

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  7. Parker, you gorgeous hunk of ginger mancat! Of course everyone liked you, and you them! And people with dogs letting them get up close...ooh, that has always infuriated me!

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  8. dood...984 paws two ewe buddy ya took it all in stride WAAAAAAAAAAY better N any oh us wooda....N iz it oh kay ta say we iz glad.....no one said, can eye adopt him { coz that meenz ya get ta come bak...."home" ♥♥♥♥♥

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  9. Roberta Diamond is absolutely correct about special needs animals being returned because the amount of care proves too demanding. Most people will find that their family activities and travels will ultimately outweigh the cats needs for scheduled medications. Who wants to come home from a day at the beach/ lake early to give the cat a shot. My rescue will not only get the cat back because their care impacts too greatly on the person’s/ family’s outings but upon further questioning, we will find out the adopted family has simply discontinued the cats meds because it is: too much effort, too time consuming, too costly or they’ve just lost interest. The care gets bothersome for them.
    I always hoped he’d stay with you. But you know that.

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  10. I am glad he did so well. I was hoping he would be a foster fail and stay with you.

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  11. Even without an adoption promise Parker's day out sounds like a success. I can just imagine the attention the rescue group and the cats received. Parker is indeed a fine ambassador. I think many people's day was brightened after meeting Parker.

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