A long time ago, I adopted my first dog from the Berkeley shelter. That’s a story in itself, but Kiko is ultimately the reason a barn cat found his home today. Huh???!!! Kiko’s not even around anymore.
Kiko was my first dog and is my ‘forever’ dog. She touched a part of me that I didn’t know existed. She started so much. Then Floyd came along, a little bundle of Malamute fur. They spent their lives together, let me take them on hiking adventures, and then waited patiently for their walks when my human babies took up so much of my time.
Then one day Kiko left us and Floyd freaked out, escaping the yard for the first time, looking for companionship. The moms at the park didn’t think he was a good match for their toddlers. So very quickly, Charlie (the chocolate lab who grew into a shepherd/dobie, another story…) came to live with us. And just as quickly, Floyd started to dwindle.
So, Charlie and I went to the park every morning at 6am, to run off some of that young dog energy. We met Gigi and John. Gigi taught Chief to play fetch. Jon taught me that headlamps are very useful when locating dog poop in the dark. Ruby and Jennifer, Luna and Matt – a nice way to start the day.
Fast forward 5 years, we’d all gone our separate ways by now, perhaps running into each other at school or the grocery store, or the dog park. I happened to walk up front at the shelter today to ask a question, when I discovered John renewing Gigi’s license! We caught up on the kids and the dogs and life. He said that they’d moved into a new house and had a rodent problem. I said I had a rodent solution: a barn cat. He said that his wife and kids have been bugging him about getting a cat.
Wrangler came into our shelter kinda wild, so he entered our barn cat program. Feral cats get euthanized in most shelter. But in Petaluma, we call these guys Community Cats. A cat’s a cat’s a cat and we will find the right home for every cat. In the last 2 months, we have adopted (free of charge) about 20 community cats. Most have gone into barns where they can continue their career in pest control. Once out of the shelter environment, some of these cats actually even start to affiliate with people.
John took a picture of Wrangler. We talked some more and he said he’d let me know. Half an hour later, the whole family was back to meet Wrangler! They got a lesson in how to acclimate a Community Cat into their home, went home to prepare and wait for tomorrow when Wrangler will start his new life!
Thank you, Kiko. Because that’s how a dog can save an ‘unadoptable’ cat.