02 November 2014
By Joanna Dunn Samson, FOTAS Director
Bubba was one cool cat.
A large fellow with a striking white and gray coat and dazzling emerald green eyes, Bubba was a favorite among FOTAS volunteers and shelter staff at the Aiken County Animal Shelter because he was so affectionate and intelligent.
Bubba was also one bad dude in the jungle of shelter cats. The mere sight of another cat sent Bubba into a frenzy of hissing and spitting. Too aggressive to be set loose in the cat colony, he had to be segregated in a cage.
Bubba’s time was running out at the shelter when he was adopted by Pam Borger and her two boys, Austin and Chance. Although the family already had two cats, Pam was undaunted by his past history.
“He had been in the shelter for a very long time,” says Pam. “He had been declawed. It didn’t surprise me he was fearful and aggressive. I was certain I could make it work.”
Here’s what she did.
When she brought him home, Pam segregated Bubba up in a small, quiet, sunny guest room with a soft bed and a clean litter box – a safe place for Bubba to adjust to his new surroundings.
She rubbed clean socks all over her other two cats, Jeter and Wally, which she scattered around Bubba’s room so he could get used to the scent of the other cats. (She also left Bubba-scented socks around the house for Jeter and Wally.)
She first tried putting a gate up instead of closing the door, but Bubba hissed and arched at the first sight of the other two cats.
Too much, too soon, she decided. Bubba had been through a lot. She closed the door to let him settle in to his new home.
For the next several days, Pam and the boys just hung out with Bubba – stroking his ears, playing with toys, and watching TV. Bubba was in cat heaven; content with his surroundings, thrilled with the company.
On night 3, Pam let Bubba sleep with her. She woke up to find Bubba’s head on her pillow and his paw on her cheek.
On Day 4, she let Bubba roam the house in the morning while the other cats and her dog, Lucia, were outside. He spent the next 3 mornings exploring his surroundings. He slept in his room in the afternoon, he watched TV with the boys in the evening, and he slept with Pam at night.
After 7 days of settling in and getting used to the smell and sounds of Jeter and Wally, Pam let Bubba out of his room under supervision. After a brief period of slight hissing and circling by Jeter and Bubba and a total lack of interest by Wally and Lucia, the cats settled in different parts of the room and watched each other warily.
By the next day, it was done. Little by little, Bubba and Jeter began to play and sleep together, and as you can see by the photo, the three cats have become great friends. All it took was a time, patience, common sense and kindness.
Bubba has found a home.
There’s a Bubba waiting for you at the Aiken County Animal Shelter. For the month of November, you can adopt a spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated cat for only $10.
Please don’t wait. Their lives are in our hands.
BY THE NUMBERS
8/1/14-9/30/14 VS 8/1/13- 9/30/13
Received – 864 dogs/cats received- 894 dogs/cats
Adopted/transferred- 378 dogs/cats adopted/transferred- 232 dogs/cats
Euthanized – 436 dogs/cats euthanized- 697 dogs/cats
PETS OF THE WEEK
CHIPPER — Male — Lab retriever mix — 2 yrs old — 35 lbs. — $70.00
BELLA — Female — Tabby — 2 yrs old — 5.4 lbs — $10.00