The Senior Tails giveaway, held during June in honor of Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, was designed to celebrate senior shelter cats, who are often overlooked for adoption, and all the reasons why they are purrfect catpanions and 100% lovable!
The winners were selected from over 2,500 heartfelt “senior tails” and include Newman Nation: Senior Pets United in Libertyville, IL, Conway Area Humane Society in Conway, NH, Humane Society for Southwest Washington in Vancouver, WA and Meredith Bradley of Grand Rapids, MI. Each of the shelters will receive a $2,500 donation from the ARM & HAMMER Feline Generous program, and Meredith will receive a whole year supply of ARM & HAMMER cat litter.
Rebecca Blank, Group Brand Manager, ARM & HAMMER™ Pet Care said, “As described in our winning “Senior Tails” submissions older cats can bring a sense of comfort, extra cuddles and care to people and other animals. We hope more cat lovers keep this in mind when considering adoption and we appreciate everything these winning shelters are doing to make sure every cat has the best possible chance to be adopted no matter what their age.”
Excerpts from Senior Tails Winners’ Stories
Shelter Winner: Newman Nation: Senior Pets United
Location: Libertyville, IL
Nominated by: Barb Dyer
Senior Cat: Skye and Xander (15 and 17 years old)
“I have two senior kitties from Newman Nation (NN), and both are medical issue kitties. Skye has end-stage liver disease and she is still going strong after being diagnosed 2 years ago. She is just an old gal who wants to cuddle and be loved on and that is what I provide for her. Xander on the other hand has somehow beaten the odds being an FIV positive senior man. He does have some renal damage but that doesn’t stop him from trying to eat everything in sight, as well as be the grandpa to all my foster kittens- he never plays rough or snaps at them when all they do is attack his tail and jump on his big body.
There are very few organizations that dedicate themselves entirely to senior animals and most people would rather adopt young animals, but the seniors are the ones that need to be out of shelters and rescued the most as they deserve to live their remaining life in a loving home and that is what Newman Nations works to make sure happens.”
Shelter Winner: Conway Area Humane Society
Location: Conway, NH
Nominated by: Karen Roy
Senior Cat: Sienna (In loving memory, passed at 13 years old)
“We took in Rocky, a kitten and wanted to get him a companion. I went to our local shelter with the intention of adopting a kitten. However, there she was, Sienna, a beautiful older Tortie cat nearby, quiet and watching me. I spent time at the shelter with the kitten I had originally wanted, but then kept looking at Sienna & did feel guilty for one thing, as it seems everyone wants kittens and not older cats. She seemed so gentle and sweet. The shelter had named her Karen, so I guess it was meant to be seeing my name is Karen, as well so I took her home. I did change her name to Sienna after, due to her colors. She and Rocky got along so good – she was so mellow, and she took him under her wing acting like his mom. I was so happy to have Sienna- never had I had such a sweet loving cat like her. You could do anything with her and she wouldn’t put up a fuss. She would make it a point to tap our arm and meow and then jump up into our lap to rest.
Conway Area Humane Society has a lot of programs one of them being taking care of their senior cats and trying to match them up as companions for the elderly. Such a great cause! Conway Humane Society is the only one that would try to take in our many animals that needed attention and care, no matter what their age.”
Shelter Winner: Humane Society for Southwest Washington
Location: Vancouver, WA
Nominated by: Amy Libby
Senior Cat: Duncan (in loving memory, passed at 17 years old)
“My husband and I adopted Duncan in July of 2017. Pushing 13, it was the third time he’d been up for adoption from the shelter in Vancouver, Wash. We weren’t looking for a third cat, but Duncan’s funny walk and wiggly ways charmed us. In the next four years, we would learn to clean cat ears and bums, do subcutaneous fluids and go to sleep every night with a funny, purring old man cat snuggled between our pillows.
We had to make the heartbreaking decision to euthanize Duncan in May. He was blind and the kidney disease kept him from putting on weight no matter how much food he ate. We knew his quality of life was rapidly declining and after years of love from him we knew we had to show him the same love and make the hardest decision a pet parent can make. I miss my OldManCat every day. But I wouldn’t give up a single moment of the time we had with him.
HSSW doesn’t euthanize for space and they do everything they can to place senior pets, from dental cleanings and reduced adoption fees to fostering. Senior cats get a lot of attention from volunteers; while it sometimes takes a bit to find the right home for them, they get every opportunity.”
Pet Parent Winner: Meredith Bradley
Cat: Thula (13 years old)
Shelter: Faithful to Felines
Location: Muskegon, MI
“Last September I was lucky to find my dear Thula Twenty-Toes, a 13-year-old cat, by way of the Faithful to Felines Facebook page. I live alone and had been without a cat for several years. There was something about Thula’s photo and story that connected to my heart and I made the drive up to the shelter on Labor Day. Thula is the most loving cat, a great companion, and has been a gift to me through this difficult pandemic. She loves to sit in my lap and let me pet her, which I know is good for both of us! I can’t imagine life without her. As we have begun to be able to have visitors in our home, Thula is a great host, greeting all with affection and lots of purrs!”