|Find your perfect feline friend with cat and kitten adoption Saturday|
|Written by Jacob Lambert, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Tuesday, 24 April 2012 11:56|
Students looking for the perfect feline friend need look no further than the Petco on 1700 E. College Ave. in Normal, where cat and kitten adoptions are held every Saturday.
Since its beginning in 2006, the founders of Cattails Feline Rescue have been fostering cats and working in partnership with Petco to ensure that every cat is adopted into a good home.
“I started working for an animal control department as a veterinarian in Champaign. We had rescues that would come in and take the dogs, but no one would ever take the cats,” Gretchen Reid, veterinarian and president of Cattails Feline Rescue, said. “I saw that this was an issue, and I decided to set up a rescue to try and find [cats] homes,” she added.
Committed to providing a safe and loving environment for as many neglected cats as possible, Reid financed a 2,000 sq. ft. cat shelter built on her own property in LeRoy.
Every Saturday, Reid transports rescued cats from her home facility to the cat adoption center at Petco to be put up for adoption from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
“We initially started going just once a month, but Petco asked if we would want to come every weekend,” Reid said.
“About a year and a half ago, they gave us adoption cages … where we can house three to six cats. The cats stay there during the week … that’s helped to increase our exposure and find more cats homes,” she added.
While adopting a cat or kitten may be an exciting prospect, Reid stressed the importance of establishing a long-term commitment when it comes to raising a cat in a college environment.
“We try to really talk to students and make sure that it’s a good fit and not just a spur of the moment kind of thing, which I know a lot of times it is,” Reid said.
She added that students should thoroughly consider the financial burden that comes with raising a cat, most of which go beyond the basic essentials of food, water, and litter.
“Every animal should have a yearly exam even if they appear to be healthy … it’s a good idea to have $1,000 at least to set aside just for your pet,” she said.
When it comes to students, a series of prescreening questions are asked to ensure that a student is both willing and allowed to own a cat in their apartments. While Reid is eager to find homes for as many cats as possible, she said she would rather hold onto a cat at her shelter than send it into an unpredictable environment where they may feel more stressed and neglected than intended.
“If there is an issue, call us and we’ll come get [the cat]. There is never an excuse for dumping an animal or leaving them outside,” Reid said. “We want to be sure they’re not put into the environment they were rescued from … we want them to have a better life than being a stray.”
For those students who do find themselves in a pet-friendly apartment and a safe environment for a cat, Reid said that one cat can make a world of difference in the life of its owner.
“Sometimes you need someone there when you feel pretty alone in college, especially if you’re living alone, so that companionship is a big deal,” Reid said. “The main benefit for us is that [students] are helping us to save a life. Every cat that is adopted allows us to save another cat,” she added.