As part of our annual Dog Days of Summer issue, the Indy asks four local rescues/shelters to tell our readers about their least-likely-to-be-adopted animal.
These cats and dogs are available for adoption, but, for various reasons, are having a hard time finding their forever homes.
We hope you fall in love with and adopt one of these sweethearts!
Nikolai: Has quiet, seeks peace
Big, lovable and dashing in white, Nikolai is a gentle 4-year-old deaf cat. He responds to sign language—flutter your fingers and he will come—and he loves playing with laser lights and lounging in sunbeams. He's not a lap cat, but he enjoys petting and affection. He's a real gentleman who will bring beauty and good vibes to your home.
The Goathouse Refuge is a cage-free sanctuary; the cats have a building with a cat door that gives them access to a three-acre outdoor enclosure with a cat-safe fence. With a population of close to 200 cats, there's a lot of activity at the refuge, and living with so many other cats has been stressful for Nikolai. He can't hear them coming and is frequently startled, so he is often found cowering and hiding in small places.
At the refuge, kittens are kept separate from adults, and Nikolai recently moved in with them. Although the kittens are playful, Nikolai is less anxious around them since they are smaller and less numerous. He's relaxed into his new role as our kitten babysitter, but we would love for Nikolai to find a peaceful and safe home of his own.
Because he's deaf, Nikolai must be an indoor-only cat. He's not comfortable around dogs, but we think he would be fine with one or two calm and nonthreatening cats.
A few other adult cats at the refuge are also overwhelmed by living with so many other cats—Shelby, Laura and Katy are beautiful and sensitive girls who would love to find homes soon. Meet them all on our website, www.goathouserefuge.org. Or better yet, come visit them at the Goathouse Refuge in Pittsboro at 680 Alton Alston Road. We are open daily to visitors from noon to 3:30 p.m. Call 542-6815.
UPDATE: Anne from Goathouse Refuge emailed us Sept. 24: "Nikolai was adopted this week. Yay! He went home with a nice family who lives in Raleigh. They saw the article in the Indy, came to the Goathouse to meet him, and fell in love." Congratulations to all!
Annika: From dumpster to darling
Kittens are not trash. But no one told that to Annika, who was found in a dumpster at just 1 month old. Her eyes had been scarred from an untreated eye infection, and she needed lots of attention. Fortunately, she came to Second Chance Pet Adoptions, where she received medical treatment and was readied for adoption to a loving forever home.
That was three years ago. Since coming to Second Chance, Annika has been passed over time and again. She's sweet, friendly and playful, but the infection Annika had as a small kitten resulted in an eye problem called chronic uveitis. The spunky gal can see just fine, but each day she must receive one of two medications to maintain her eye health. She also has inflammation of her mouth, or chronic stomatitis, a stable, nonthreatening condition that requires annual dental cleanings. Annika has watched as many of her roommates have been adopted over the years. But she's been passed by and passed up by adopters who opt for "maintenance-free" kitties rather than face the prospect of administering daily medication.
But that hasn't affected Annika's spirit. This cute girl may be a little shy at first, but she's a beautiful, healthy, sweet cat who loves affection and attention, warm laps and kind hands. She likes to be held and brushed, and she takes her medications like a champ. Annika is a wonderful playmate, too. She adores other cats and spends hours playing hide-and-seek before cuddling up with them for a nap.
Annika has experienced a lot of rejection, but she refuses to reject life and all the wonders it holds. For a spirit like that, daily medications and annual dental cleanings seem a very small price to pay. To adopt Annika, visit our website at www.SecondChanceNC.org or call 851-8404.
UPDATE: Lisa from Second Chance emailed us Nov. 29: "Annika got adopted several days after this article ran, by a wonderful couple who read about her. We recently got an update on her and she is doing GREAT! She has become an extroverted, curious cat who purrs so loud that they sometimes have to turn up the volume on the TV. LOL! They just adore her." We are so happy to have assisted in this love match!
Watson: Big head, big heart
The unsuspecting woman stood on the porch, watching with some alarm as a large brown streak catapulted itself across the yard toward her, rapidly closing the distance between them with every rangy stride. The creature hit the wooden deck full tilt, lost its balance and, with all fours flailing in the air, slid on its back like an enormous bug before landing in a crumpled heap at her feet. Eyes wide, tongue lolling and mouth grinning from ear to ear, the dog looked up at his foster mom as if to say, "Did you see that? Aren't I COOL?"
Watson is not the most coordinated pooch you'll ever meet, but that doesn't concern him in the least. With his big head, sturdy Mack-truck build and floppy ears that curl up when he's feeling humble, Watson had no aspirations to take up ballroom dancing anyway. But if you love the outdoors and car-ride adventures, this is your guy.
Watson doesn't stress about the refinements of life. Corny sense of humor? He'll belly laugh at all your jokes. Stinky athletic shoes? They smell like roses to him. Watson may never pen a haiku, but a plate of scrambled eggs and a side of bacon bring out his sensitive side every time.
Watson is crate-trained and knows how to sit, lie down, wait, shake and come like a bullet when you call. This handsome fellow is looking for a one-dog home where he can revel in all of your attention. Watson loves to play with other dogs as long as they're OK with his big play style. But kitties ... well, they're just too tempting to chase!
Learn more about Watson at Independent Animal Rescue's website, www.animalrescue.net. And be sure to check out our many cats and kittens available for adoption as well!
Oscar: Refined tastes
Oscar's prospects for a long and happy life were dim in May 2009, when he and his mother, Meena, found themselves in a high-kill animal shelter. He was not yet 2 months old. Fortunately, prospects brightened when they were pulled from the shelter and taken in by Alley Cats and Angels.
Ordinarily, Oscar's youth and engaging personality would have ensured adoption soon after he was fully vetted, but he developed digestive trouble that was unresponsive to medication. So instead of spending his kitten months going to adoption events and finding a permanent home, Oscar spent that time trying different treatments to settle his digestion. When his mama found a great home in December, Oscar still had not made it onto the adoptable list.
Doctors eventually recommended trying different foods, which turned out to be the answer. In January 2010, Oscar was started on Purina OM, a low-residue food. The response was immediate and dramatic: Oscar's digestive issues disappeared almost overnight. He joined the ranks of adoptable cats and started attending adoption events. However, at nearly a year old he was no longer a kitten, and his need for "special food" tends to scare off adopters. So six months later, he's still searching for his permanent home.
Oscar is a joyful, playful and loving cat. He's taught his foster mom to play fetch. He loves people and gets along with both younger and older cats in his foster home. Oscar would be a delightful addition to that special home willing to ensure he eats the right food (his food is comparable in cost to Science Diet).
Alley Cats and Angels is not your typical cat rescue. Visit www.alleycatsandangels.org to learn about our adoption program, barn/ garden cat program and feral cat assistance program.
UPDATE: Katie saw Oscar in this issue and adopted him Aug. 7. Congratulations!