Monday, March 29, 2010

Jake's Story

You will know immediately when you open the door to the Fort Collins Cat Rescue who owns the place. Don't be fooled by the volunteers rushing around making it sparkle (and smell good too… well, pretty good). A majestic grey cat with riveting green eyes will stop you in your tracks. This is Jake. He has taken up a position on the most recently donated monster cat tower and the tallest softest spot in the room. Just know this: he is checking your credentials. You speak to him and THEN and ONLY THEN can you proceed to check in if you are a volunteer (like me) speak to the receptionist about adopting one of HIS charges or keep an appointment with Sarah Swanty, Director (and second in command to a-hem, you know who!)
Jake could be a Russian Blue, a fairly rare breed or maybe a Koret. Korets are known as good luck tokens in their native country of Thailand. This reputation for good luck is a legacy that goes back to 1300 A.D. and has somehow found its way across the centuries to Fort Collins. We like to think Jake is a Koret and has brought good luck to the FCCR. The recent Chat Amour fundraiser earned 38, 593.59. We will need to investigate a little more on this. But for now we just love him.
We don't really know where he came from because he was 6 months old when he was picked up as a stray by the Larimer Humane Society. Maybe he is a registered Koret that got lost while visiting relatives in Fort Collins. Well, maybe not.

What we know is that four families have taken him in to their homes. And we know he was brought back each time. It was clear, Jake wanted to be the center of attention. He had higher aspirations than to be a house cat. He wanted to be in command of a bigger enterprise, a place that brought in and found homes for every cat that came through its doorway.

But that is getting ahead of my story.

His first family included a young girl 3 years old or so and a couple of dogs at least. He seemed to fit in well at first and had free run of the house. Then one day all of a sudden he didn't get along with the middle sized dog. We are not sure what happened but he won't talk about it. After that he began spraying walls and missing his cat box. So, as I mentioned, he's not talkin'. The last straw was when he became a door dasher. So reluctantly his family said good by to him and returned him to the Humane Society shelter. He had been with his first family about 3 months.

So cage life again for this fellow who really knew how to burn bridges. But still he radiated charm and within a week was re-adopted. But as you know sometimes charm can't override bad habits. He was surrendered 2 months later.
By now he didn't know it but he had used up his options. He was facing euthenasia after he failed his evaluation process. Humane isn't in the Humane Society's name for nothing. Pity was taken on this handsome youngster and they called the FCCR to see if there was a chance we could work with him to help him become adoptable and to see if maybe some behavior modification would help.

A few things were tried and seemed to help, like longer play times, a bigger litter box, different kinds of litter; then longer and longer play-times till he got what he wanted! YES FREE RUN of this busy happy place for cats. And he was better about his litter-box. Although I have to admit he did still miss the box once in a while...but at least he was trying.

By now so many people had seen him there was a waiting list to adopt him. So away he went. But a month later he came back. Same problem. The second in line to adopt him were sure they could work with him. But the evaluations, work, lessons still didn't stick.

What to do now. High level conference. What was he trying to get across? Everyone put their heads together and realized he wanted to stay with his buddies and buddetts. And his fan club was growing. Deep inside this complicated feline angel was the desire to comfort, to entertain, and to be in charge. He loved people and what was in his heart was to soothe anxiety, bring back memories, and provide a purrrfect companion for those seeking comfort.

He wanted to become a therapy cat. He could visit and purr and pose to his heart's content and could spend lots of lazy hours a week being a very special lap cat. And so now he is (or is on the road to being) in training to do just that. This guy had used up 4 of his chances and we don't know how many of his 9 lives. But one thing does stick. The FCCR never gives up. It could be a forever home or it could be a forever job. In Jake's case he knew all along. We just had to figure it out.

Stay tuned for Jake's escapades as he learns the ropes and starts a new job.


  1. Thanks for the smile. Lovely story.

  2. Pam, this is the most wonderful story. Your excellent writing and your sense of humor add up to outstanding posts. I hope Jake does well as a therapy cat.

  3. What fun, Pam! I'd love to see this handsome hustler sometime. Thanks for the story. You have made him come alive . . .

  4. What a great write Pam! I hope to meet Jake someday! Thank you for all you do to help keep our kitties living and thriving!!