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In Defense Of Older Pets

Older homeless pets like Edwin are often overlooked when it comes to placing them in homes.

Ageism doesn't just exist in the job market or fashion industry, and it doesn't affect just people.

It also affects pets who are looking for good homes.

Edwin, an older and homeless tomcat rescued by LifeLine Animal Project a few weeks ago, is in real danger of spending the rest of his life in a shelter and not on someone's couch, cuddling or sleeping snuggled next an owner's feet.

Edwin is a bit weathered from his former life surviving on the streets, but it doesn't seem to have dented his enthusiasm for people.

He's a good cat and he's a loving cat, he's just not a young cat.

Puppies and kittens remain popular while older dogs and cats are often passed over by people looking to acquire a pet. Yet older pets don't eat your slippers or climb your curtains and there's a certain gentle grace and charm that an older pet brings.

The many reasons that people list for having pets -- they add something beautiful to their lives, they provide companionship and unconditional love, they make a house seem more like a home -- are just as true for older pets as for younger ones.

Edwin came to LifeLine covered in street dirt and suffering from a painful urinary tract blockage, a condition not unusual in un-neutered male cats.

He's neutered now, on a special food for his condition and ready to be fostered or adopted by someone who can offer a loving home and wants an "oldie but goodie" faithful, feline friend.

"It's hard to tell how old he is because cats who live on the streets for any length of time always look older," explained Mickie Blair, who has worked at LifeLine for 3 years and sees hundreds of homeless cats annually.

"He could be 10; he could be 15," she said. "Edwin looks like he's seen everything and he probably has. But it hasn't made him difficult. He's sweet and he gives the best hugs. He loves people."

Having been outside most, if not all, of his life, Edwin truly loves the comfort of having a cat bed. He's contented and appears to really enjoy no longer having to hunt for something to eat.

"I call him 'Big Ed,' " said Blair. "He's a great cat and he deserves to live the rest of his life with love and comfort."

If you can offer Edwin a foster or forever home, please contact mblair@lifelineanimal.org .

Julia Ewen February 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM
I loved my 17 year old tabby who I lost to cancer at that ripe old age. The older she got the more affectionate she was. I was cat-less for two years, until some friends suggested that I meet Panda. He was a "widower" whose human companion had passed away of old age. He's very loving and wonderful company, follows me around like a puppy, sits beside me when I'm working at the computer, and reminds me to take breaks for lunch. He hangs out with me while I watch TV, and when I have friends over, he comes and greets them at the door, with a cheeful "Heeerrrroh! Heeerrrroh! Heeerrroh!" (Yes, he's learning English!!). I too am getting old (65) and we both have arthritis, but it doesn't get either of us down. I loved my tabby when she was young (I raised her from the day she was born), and kittens, like all babies, are a joy. But there is a lot to be said for a soul-mate of one's own age!
Cindy Vet February 20, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Great article! Wish there was a way to post this to FB, Twitter or email it to someone from mobile devices. As a owner of a professional pet sitting company, this is exactly the type of educational articles I love to share with people!!!
Lo February 20, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Thank you so much for telling Edwin's story.
Therra C. Gwyn February 20, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Hi Cindy Vet! There is a way to post to FB and Twitter - hit the "Recommend" (for Facebook) or "Tweet" button at the top of the article, or if that doesn't work for you, just copy the link address and post the link to your Facebook page. It will then come up, complete with preview. You can also post the link on Twitter with a thought or whatever you want to say about it. Thanks for wanting to educate people on the delights of an older pet!
Therra C. Gwyn February 20, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Awwww, SUH-weet! Panda sounds purrrrrfect!
Therra C. Gwyn February 20, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Thank you for reading it. He's quite a cat - quite the sweet survivor - and I hope he gets a brand new lease on life with a loving human and home. Fingers crossed!

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