Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A cat is not a pizza delivery

There have been a number of interesting emails and stories about adopters of late. In one series of emails that the adoption volunteer showed me, there was an analogy of cat adoption as pizza delivery. I'm not sure of the background but I think that the potential adopter may have asked if the cat could be delivered to her.

The foster then got quite upset and said that cats are not pizzas to be delivered at one's whim and fancy. As I said, I don't know the background or what went before - but it could be that the potential adopter may not have understood how adoption process works. On the other hand, the foster thought the potential adopter was taking the whole adoption very lightly and wasn't serious (which was what she explained in her next email). The potential adopter then said she was serious and she knew what was expected but then made a crack about MacDonald's food delivery.

Sometimes because we're dealing with people with through email who may not be familiar with the system, misunderstandings can arise.

On the other hand, we do have people who seem to have no clue. Two people just wrote in - one asking for a newborn, the other for a cat below a month old. I asked if either had experience bottle feeding - neither of them had, nor knew that was needed and quickly revised the age limit of the kittens they wanted to adopt. There is still a misconception that the younger they are, the better they bond with you, which just isn't true.

Also some adopters think that if they write in, the cat is theirs - one woman wrote in today and said that she would like to take the cat home as soon as possible. I explained that there are several other potential adopters, which seems to surprise some people.

A foster told us that one of the potential adopters who came by had already promised the cats to his children - before he had even come down.

Others are surprised that the cats they pick are always taken - if you consistently pick the cutest little kitten on the website, then it isn't a surprise that a dozen other people are also interested. Asking for an older cat may well reward you with a faithful, loving companion - at the same time, you won't be competing with all the other people who want the same cat as you.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

i suspect many of these ppl are simply inexperienced and may eventually make good cat owners when they are more clued in.

in my own journey to becoming a cat owner, i too was terribly ignorant at first (and i'm still still discovering new thgs each day). i wldn't hv known how small a x-mth old kitten was simply because i had limited exposure to them. perhaps i shld have read up more but there was a lot to process abt the day to day needs of a cat - food, litter, toys, bed, bath, vet, etc.

i had no clue about the realities behind the cws adoption website and had to try quite a few times before i found my kitties, because i wanted my first cat to come to me as a kitten. it was only later, when i decided to get a subsequent cat, that i made a conscious effort to adopt a grown cat cos i wanted to give a home to a cat that others may not want. the process went so much faster! unfortunately not many ppl are interested in cats over 6 mths old. so my subsequent cat came to me and i really derive my greatest satisfaction from him, cos i know i have made a real difference in his life. whereas he used to live on the streets in an area where cats were constantly killed by wandering dogs and heavy traffic, he is now safe in my home. shortly after he came, i woke up one rainy night to find him asleep on my blanket four paws up, having overcome his initial shyness and snuggled between me and the alpha cat, and i must say that it is one of my sweetest memories ever. :)

21/3/07 1:40 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous that's a lovely story!

Yes some adopters are definitely just inexperienced - and some fosters may also be unduly harsh due to bad experiences with others.

I think people can usually tell if you're just inexperienced or want a cat for a toy.

Some people do really have unrealistic expectations (on for both fosters and adopters) so it's good to have it all worked out first.

On the other hand some people are just demanding or want the cat as a pet - and I am sure most fosters will pick that out quickly.

21/3/07 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, i am happy to read about your experience with adopting a grown cat. Wish more adopters would read this. Many "older" kittens & grown cats expect very little. Simple things like a safe spot, regular food, a loving touch and kind words are luxuries. Adoption volunteer

21/3/07 2:17 PM  
Blogger auntie p said...

I personally have encountered potential adopters of the "pizza delivery" kind. I had first called the wife's hp no. (that was given by the adoption volunteer after the exhibition at Expo) but the husband answered my call and said: "Cat ah? Ok, you deliver the kitten to my home lah."

Firstly, a cat is not a pizza order, nor is it to be given to just anybody. Secondly, it wasn't a kitten but an adult cat that was displayed on the exhibition poster that his wife and child saw!

21/3/07 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

adoption volunteer, please feel free to circulate my story if u think it will help. ditto for the cws, Dawn, if u ever have an "adopt a mature cat" drive! LOL.

i am all for encouraging ppl to adopt grown cats! they are more stable and mature and as u rightly pointed out, adoption volunteer, give so much more than they ask for.

Anonymous 1:40

21/3/07 3:55 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Thank you - we always get people writing in and asking for very young cats. We'll let them know what you said!

21/3/07 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

auntie p,

Yea, some adopters are very unreasonable, they treat fosters like petshops! ( we get that a lot)They demand the cat to be custom " prepared" for them in terms of colour, tail length, behaviour, gender, eye colour, etc..much like genetically altered for their preference.

We fosters can tell whether the adopter is genuine or not because we usually will give a personal phone call to check out the family background of the adopters.

Recently, we rejected a teenage girl because we don't think she's responsible enough to take care of a "customized" kitten because she's jobless, a single mother, ex-husband in jail, at the same time romantically involved with a complicated strings of bfs and she couldn't even answer our questions convincingly with clear and definite answers.

She yelled at us for not letting her adopt the kitten (without giving her a chance to view)after we said that the kitten is not available for adoption, and later her mother called to apologize for the girl's rude hebavior.. This is the kind of ppl that we don't trust.

Personally, I don't think fosters are that 'unduly harsh' due to bad experiences. We do want our kitties to be adopted asap to good homes, as long as the adopters sound sensible, logical, polite and kind, we don't have any problems with them. What's the point to be harsh? I guess the pizza delivery adoption volunteer is just giving the adopter what he/she is asking for based on that kind of inappropriate requests.

Being ignorant on the adoption procedures only begs for clarifications and not ordering a kitten to be delivered. Doesn't this make sense?

27/3/07 12:18 AM  

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