Adopting Older Cats Well Worth It

I have been meaning to write and tell you about our experience having adopted two MEOW cats.

After many years of raising kittens into adulthood and with the last one having to be put to sleep just before her 21st birthday, we decided that we would rather adopt an older cat. We, ourselves, were long past the scaling of the curtains and the nocturnal chasing around the house. I had volunteered at MEOW for a couple of months and thought this was the perfect place to find our next cat.


Madeline (MEOW name Alida for one of the volunteers) was the first beautiful cat that we got on September 9th, 2005. Madeline was 14 years old, had eight teeth and was sporting a lion cut and a catitude. My husband fell in love with her and Jorinda Rankin delivered Maddie to our house the next day. Maddie fit right in and when it was time to go to bed she slept horizontal at the top of the bed between my husband and me. I guess Maddie and I had enough room to sleep but my husband claimed that he slept on a three inch prison cot all night. When I asked why he didn’t move her he said that since she just arrived he wanted her to settle in. Three days later my husband went out and bought a new bed and he moved into the spare room.

Maddie was my husband’s cat. She would sit with him and I have many pictures of the two of them on the garden swing fast asleep. She always slept with me at night though. Then, when she was eighteen she had a stroke. We took her to the emergency clinic fearing the worst. Unbeknownst to me, my husband had said to fix her at any cost and $2,200 later, she came home. We were told that she could go at any time but to enjoy her.

Maddie slowed down quite a bit. She could climb down the stairs to visit us in the basement but when she wanted to go back upstairs she would sit beside them and wait until we carried her back up. We had this beautiful cat, who turned out to be a Maine Coon, until she was 19 1/2 years old and then she had another stroke and we knew that it was time to put her to sleep. I don’t think my husband and I have loved and cried over any cat as much as we did Madeline.

Hannah with her Mum

On April 8th, 2011, we adopted Hannah from MEOW. Poor Hannah had been left by her owners to fend for herself and was living under the deck of a neighbor for the past year. Hannah was terrified of everything. A year after we got her not much progress had been made. My husband had to box off the beds so that she couldn’t get under them as she would spend all her time hiding underneath.

Finally, the second year we made progress thanks to my husband having sciatica so bad that he was confined to bed. This sounds awful but my husband has vision in one eye so he tends to walk into things like walls, counters, furniture, etc. He also has a lot of keys on his belt so they make noise plus the fact that he rides a motorcycle so he wears boots. In other words, he is just plain noisy. This scared the pants off Hannah. Since he was confined to bed, she became braver and was actually on his bed looking out the window. From there, she started to progress and we keep seeing baby steps forward. She also sleeps with me at night and is definitely my cat. I got used to feeding Maddie at four in the morning and have continued with Hannah. If I happen to sleep in, Hannah will lick my eyelids, touch my face or simply stand there watching me until I wake up to this little cat face looking at me. She is the sweetest, most gentle cat. She has a wonderful nature and she slowly worked her way into my heart.

Taking on a MEOW adult cat is certainly different. You never know what they have been through [abuse] and you have to gain their trust. Some take longer than others but it is worth it. Maddie fit in right away. She had a stronger personality and was able to adjust. Hannah at five years of age might have gone through more abuse and she has such a sweet disposition, it just took longer. But it was well worth it in both cases.

– Sandie