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Taking care of man's (and woman's) best friend

Check out a book about cats from the library before you adopt


by: CHERYL HILL - Charmin is a former shelter cat adopted by a West Linn librarian in 2006. When I was growing up, my family always had at least one cat and one dog. Sweet, crazy, grumpy, silly, our animals had myriad personalities and filled our days with laughter and love.

When I was 10, I was allowed to choose our next cat. As I perused cage after cage at the Oregon Humane Society, the choice became increasingly difficult to make. That is until I saw the most beautiful striped, gray kitten in the world. He was perfect. I ran to my mother to tell her my choice and found her in front of another cage.

“That’s nice, sweetie,” she said. “But what about this little one? She’s hurt her paw and I’m worried she won’t get picked.”

Inside the cage was a scrawny little black kitten with white paws. She was indeed limping around and mewling pathetically. I insisted I wanted my super-kitten, but through sweet cajoling and not just a little bit of guilt-tripping (as mothers are so skilled at doing), my mom won and I begrudgingly chose the gimpy kitten.

by: SUBMITTED - Check out this book to learn how to choose which breed of cat is right for you.

When we arrived home, I opened her box and watched a cat-shaped torpedo rocket through the room at top speed. The little con artist had tricked us all! That was the moment I fell in love with my Mittens. She was tricky, sassy and an immense comfort in rough times. For 18 years, Mittens followed me all the way through school, college, grad school and starting my career at the library.

Nothing compares to the love and loyalty of a beloved pet, and I think every person should get the opportunity to care for an animal at least once in their life. June is “Adopt a Shelter Cat Month” and I urge everyone to take a trip to the Humane Society or the wonderful PAWS Animal Shelter located right here in West Linn.

In the meantime, before you adopt an animal, make sure you are prepared for the responsibility of taking care of it. The West Linn Public Library has books that will teach you about the care and keeping of all kinds of pets. Here’s some excellent examples that you can grab on your next library visit:

“Cats: How to Choose and Care for a Cat” by Laura S. JeffreyProvides information on cats as pets, including how to choose among different breeds, find a cat to buy or adopt and how to feed and keep a cat healthy.

“A Kid’s Best Friend” by Maya AjmeraDescribes the special relationship that exists between children and their pet dogs all around the world.”I Just Got a Kitten: What Do I Do?” by Mordecai SiegalEvery day, adorable kittens are charming their way into our homes. What happens once they get there? This book is written specifically for the baffled “parent” of a new kitten, with all the warmth and wisdom to bring you and your feline safely and happily from the veterinarian’s office to the home.



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