Let’s Strike “Less Adoptable” From Our Vocabulary

Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week 2012

September 17-23 is Petfinder’s Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable Pet Week. And while I’d like to see the term “less adoptable” become obsolete, it’s important to raise awareness around the discrimination suffered by animals who are viewed as defective and wait for homes almost four times longer than other rescues.

Specially-abled animals – as my kitty friend Tiny Timmy likes to say –  have so much to give and should not be overlooked because of their dark coat, advanced age, missing limb(s), or chronic (but manageable) conditions.

 I had the pleasure of meeting and hugging specially-abled kitty Moki Fogg at Blog Paws this year. BTW, turns out t I was kneeling on doggie doo. Nice going dog people.]

Last year in honor of this week I featured two VERY special and handsome specially-abled kitties, Moki “the Wobbly” Cat and Tiny Timmy. If you haven’t read their inspirational stories I hope you take the time to do so today.

dangers of toxic OTC flea powders

Tiny Timmy  (aka TT) suffered neurological damage from toxic over-the-counter flea powder. He and his owner Claudia Tietze have made it their life’s work to have damaging flea and tick products (collars, powders, drops) labeled with appropriate warnings and ultimately banned from the market.

Read more about TT at:  What’s “Less Adoptable” Anyway?


Moki the Wobbly Cat, Scout's Fund, Scout's House At three months of age, Moki The Wobbly Cat* (Moki Fogg) began suffering symptoms from the onset of an unknown neurological and orthopedic disorder.

Moki receives physical therapy (including hydro!) and acupuncture to help his mobility. His mom Crystal Fogg consults for Scouts House and Scout’s Therapy Fund, a non-profit fund dedicated to under writing the cost of physical rehabilitation for disabled shelter & service animals.

Read more about Moki here.

 Have you ever, or do you now live with a specially-abled pet?  How did you decide to adopt him/her pet, and what have you learned from him/her? 

PS – At BlogPaws I learned I was pronouncing his name wrong. It’s “mow-key” I was saying “moo-key” before (whoops!).

*Please note: Though called a “wobbly cat,” Moki is not kitty suffering from CH (Cerebellum Hyperplasia), and his lifestyle/treatment should not be confused as such.

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38 Responses to Let’s Strike “Less Adoptable” From Our Vocabulary

  1. Sparkle says:

    Tiny Timmy and Moki are awesome! I think they are SPECIAL kitties, which means they have something extra-special to give!

  2. Eva says:

    Both my cats are somewhat less adoptable. One is very shy and very afraid of humans he doesn’t know. He spend 6 weeks under my couch before he decided he could trust me. (He did come out to eat when I wasn’t home). Now he is the sweetest and cuddliest cat ever, just not when I have company. So a little patience works.
    My other cat was in the shelter for about half a year with no one interested. Because he has a small heart murmer and might not get very old. I don’t care. He’s adorable, very playful. He gets along fine with my other cat and I’m happy I may take care of them both.

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      awwww thank you for adopting/rescuing the kitties you have. How very lucky they are. You made tears come to my eyes talking about your kitty with a heart murmur. what a difficult but amazing thing to do. to fall in love with someone/something that you know will not likely be here for long. thanks for giving him/her an amazing life while he/she is here.

  3. Currently there are two pets in our home that are physically disabled but full of life, love and determination to enjoy their lives. Tough Tilly is our little cat with three legs. When we found her she had a severe leg injury and infection. The vet amputated the front leg. Tilly runs, climbs, jumps, plays and does everything any cat would do. She is a joy because nothing stops her from being the wonderful spirit she is born to be. Kaizer, my dautghter’s yorkie mix was mauled and has lost feeling in his hind legs. He has a wheelchair, but also scoots wherever he wants to go, plays, enjoys his life and brings love and joy to our hearts. There is no such thing as “unadoptable” based on these worthless assumptions. Animals I’ve known have always risen above their physical circumstances and embrace their own possibilities with enthusiasm, determination and bravery. Tilly and Kaizer melt into your arms with love and sweetness. They give everything they have every day. I would never hesitate to adopt an animal with a disability because I know as frail as they may seem at first, their strength, determination and capacity for love are a joyous example of the best life has to offer.

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Oh my Hassie! You made get all choked up at work! Bless you and your family for loving Tilly and Kaizer for who they are. And what lovely spirits they must be – such little survivors! Thanks so much for your comment. 🙂

  4. Random Felines says:

    we would love to see that phrase no longer used – but will use it if it means more people see that these animals really are no different. one of our current foster monsters was born with no knee caps and some calcification of his back legs. He gets around just fine – climbs up everything…though jumping down results in more of a splat than a landing.

  5. Hey, I know Moki and mom Crystal! Been following them for a number of years now. What a trooper he is!
    Since I moved into my house in 1998, with my two shelter cats, I’ve taken in 10 neighborhood strays over the years that included four black cats. With the death of my sweetest boy, black cat Woody on July 4 that brought my black cat count down to one and six overall.
    Against my better judgement I started looking at the Petsmart cats (from Feral Cat Rescue). One caught my eye (damn it!). He was a gray and white eartipped guy with the most beautiful aqua eyes. His name was Scruffy and his card read that he had a hard life with a feral colony but was sweet and quiet and got along with other cats. One thing I noticed is that he always seemed to be staring off into space. The workers there said he had been there the longest and no one had been interested in adopting him and hardly anyone even tried to pet him. Well, that was it. I had to get him out of that tiny metal cage. I adopted him at the end of July and renamed him Possum
    Possum is now fully integrated into my home. My vet estimates he is around 10-12 years old (his card read 6-8). He has bad back legs and cannot jump at all. He also has a milky spot on one eye but I love him dearly. His favorite thing to do is to lay right between the kitchen and living room where he can watch and whap all the other cats as they walk or run past.

  6. We have 11 cats. Of our tribe, many would be considered “less adoptable”. However, in our eyes, those same reasons are why we chose to adopt these VERY special little souls. We have two that are over 10 yrs old. {One we’ve had for many years}, two are black cats, one of which is totally blind {both eyes removed}, and we have two that have a single eye removed, and one that has both eyes, but is blind in one eye. We decided some time ago that we would adopt only “special needs” furbabies. I honestly don’t understand the stigma of the black cats. Before we started being adopted by the cats instead of the other way around, I always chose black cats.
    As for raising a blind cat, I admit I was initially afraid we wouldn’t be good parents for a blind cat, but Memphis had been such a joy and so easy to care for, that we can’t imagine turning down the opportunity to bond w/a blind cat again. She is precious and you truly wouldn’t know she was blind if you didn’t see her in the face.
    I worried at first about those w/vision in one eye. I was concerned about depth perception and injuries that might result, but we haven’t had any of those issues.
    People have no idea what they are missing by walking past those kitties who might appear to have special needs. All they really need is love. and that makes them pretty special at our house.

    • RiverfrontCats says:

      Reneda I love your story! I too have a soft spot for specially-abled kitties and black ones. With website like this and wonderful people like you sharing your story, we CAN illuminate the rest of the world that these cats are special and offer so much joy, more than people can imagine. Right now we are desperately trying to find homes for two gorgeous all black cats who’s mother just passed away of ovarian cancer. The son is running out of time and the house is ready to be sold and he warned me he’s taking them to shelter this week. We have to find them homes!

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      I love the name Memphis! It’s amazing how well blind cats do…..sweet babies. Thank you for taking in so many special babies!

  7. jmuhj says:

    As all of my beloved cats have always been rescues, most from “the streets”, I guess they would all qualify as “less adoptable” by some. Not by me! For my family and I, it’s always been about making friends, the way we make friends with humans, but with cats. When we meet a cat in need, that’s that. Among the cats currently sharing life here with me is one little girl whose chronic, incurable URI makes her sound “like a freight train” as I say. People — and even her other cat family members — are alarmed by the way she sounds, but she is 13 and going strong. Very kittenish and playful, too. No human is even close to perfect — why should people be so arrogant as to judge others, then?

  8. You know how I feel about it. Less or more is quantitative. If any of my cats winded up in a shelter tomorrow, none would get adopted and yet each one has brought more joy than any “perfect” pet.

  9. katboxjanitor says:

    Though I have not met Moki or Tiny Timmy in purrson, I love them with all my heart.
    Their people are wonderful and I admire how much effort and support they have given to each kitty and sharing their stories.

    The way Crystal and Claudia share their perspectives on the joys and challenges of their cats via their blogs and facebook pages is incredibly interesting.

    My bucket list includes meeting Moki and Tiny Timmy (and maybe others…sometime!)

  10. Tiny Timmy says:

    Thank you so much for posting this and bringing awareness to differently-abled kitties everywhere. Not one day goes by that Timmy doesn’t bring me joy, smiles and inspiration. His heart and determination remind me that I can do anything if I really want it… Tiny Timmy is my hero and always will be.

  11. I want my next cat to be specially-abled! 🙂

  12. RiverfrontCats says:

    Great post! And I love the personal stories from your readers. I believe specially-abled kitties are extra special and offer so much more joy than one can ever imagine.

  13. Sharon McNulty says:

    Nice post and great topic. Actually some of the special needs pets at the shelter where I volunteer tend to get adopted quicker, but usually when it’s the result of abuse or a well publicized news story. When dogs or cats have “behavior problems” or suffer from chronic illnesses, that’s when they become “less adoptable.” (And if you’re a pit bull, you’re guilty just on looks and a very undeserved reputation.) I think special needs pets make special pets and I’m always grateful to those who rescue or adopt them. But, at the same time, the homeless problem for cats AND dogs is so huge, every one of them are truly “special needs” in a way. Sad. 🙁

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Thank you 🙂 Very good point about behavior problems…. it’s so hard because that can often require an adoptive family beyond the “regular” normal ones for whom a black cat or deaf cat would be no issue to integrate into their lives (if they can see past it). we need to start there i think…

  14. Nicoli says:

    Yes. I’m a big softie and I adopted an FIV-positive two-year-old cat a couple of years ago. My husband and I named him Beefcake. I couldn’t help but think that hardly anyone else would have adopted him (both because of his age and because of his condition) and it made me so sad that I just had to take him. Plus, he’s adorable. The major drawback is all of the surgeries and medications he’s had since that we can hardly afford. Still, if I had to do it all over again, I still would have adopted him anyway. Like I said…BIG SOFTIE.

  15. Marmar says:

    I love acapookie!!!!!

  16. AlyMitchell says:

    If anyone ever has a chance to adopt a special-needs kitty, do it & you will not regret it! I have 2 that have neurological disorders (one is blind, but you’d never know), both have wobbling when they walk, & both have occasional seizures. But the meds help, & we baby-proofed our home, especially the stairway. And did I mention they rule the roost? And they don’t even know they have “special needs!” I’ve had a lot of cats, & these are the sweetest ones ever. You really get a deep appreciation from rescuing the “special” ones. I think they know when they are given that second chance & you will be rewarded with tons of love & affection in return.

  17. Molly says:

    I’ve got a former alley cat that is FIV+. It’s a shame that people don’t understand FIV better to know its not as contagious as most people think and you can have non-fiv+ cats live with fiv+ ones as long as they are all fixed and get along. (Ie no bloody battles)

  18. cloud19th says:

    I found “Boomer” in the strays section of a shelter (back when they were segregated in a “strays” room and a “surrendered” room), but he had been surrendered for not getting along with another cat and dog. Boomer became my Tikhon. I grew up with cats, this guy was the first I had on my own. He loved being walked on a leash outside, where we’d meet other cats and dogs, and he was always fine with them. Since he had some major separation anxiety, two years later I got another cat. Being careful with the introduction was all that was needed–they were buddies for life. So much for being surrendered for not getting along!

    When he was 5 or 6 he was diagnosed with asthma, and my little ange orange went from being just psychologically needy to having needs of the expensive medical variety, getting “puffs” of medication twice a day for almost 5 years. Waking up to him standing on me and kneading the front of my shoulders, purring in my face; seeing the relationship he had with his buddy Pippin and the mentoring he did of little (cat) sister Violet; seeing how how quickly he won over friends who were avowed “dog people” or not really animal people at all (like my husband)… his body was just a “special” vessel for a very wonderful cat soul. We miss him, and he was always worth it.

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Wow, I’d never heard about the division of cats like that. I’m glad they don’t do it like that anymore. Awwww poor baby rE: his health issues…he certainly found the perfect human for him – so lucky….