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Adopting The Shy Cat

Lucy was a shy cat who overcame being timid through patience and love.

Lucy was a shy cat who overcame being timid through patience and love.

By Colette Hayes

Below Heaven Can Wait volunteer Colette Hayes shares her story about adopting an extremely shy cat. It is not uncommon for rescued felines to be timid and it takes time for them to warm up to a new family once they are adopted. Sadly, many are returned because they weren’t given a chance to come out of their shell. This story shows how patience and understanding won the love of a very shy kitty.

Ten years ago I adopted Lucy a 2 year-old multi-colored, domestic, short haired cat. When I saw her in the shelter she was rubbing up against the bars of her cage, purring, and meowing loudly. She seemed to be telling me she would be a great addition to my household and a good companion for my 6 year-old cat, Miguel. The shelter had limited information on Lucy, only that she had been turned in two weeks before, because she did not get along with the previous owner’s child. I visited Lucy twice over the next week and each time she purred and rubbed her head against my hand. She seemed to be friendly, loving, and outgoing, the perfect pet for my little family.

At home I brought Lucy to her own room, complete with water, food, and a litter box. I knew Lucy would need time to get used to her new home and her new roommate, Miguel. When I let Lucy out the carrier I expected her to sniff out her new surroundings, instead she bolted under the bed. I left her in peace so she could explore her new home. For the next few weeks whenever the door to her room opened she would run under the bed, cowering in the farthest corner, staring at me with fear.

Miguel began sniffing under the door and meowing at his new roommate, but Lucy seemed uninterested in meeting Miguel. On several occasions, I closed Miguel in another room and opened the door to allow Lucy to explore all of her new home. She timidly stuck her head out the door and sniffed the air, but would not venture farther than the doorway of her room. Loud noises and sudden movements sent her running to the safety under the bed. Over the next few weeks, I would leave the door open, but Lucy never left the room or even under the bed except to use the bathroom and to eat. Miguel would visit, sniffing around, tasting her food and water and trying out her litter box, but eventually he ignored Lucy’s room. Often it felt that I still only had one cat as Lucy rarely ventured from her room or from under the bed. I was very disappointed that she turned out to be so timid.

Back Camera

It took nearly a year before Lucy was comfortable enough to leave the safety of the bedroom. During that I time, I left her alone, knowing she would need to meet me on her terms. After 8 years she still doesn’t come out when guests are over and she certainly does not let just anyone pet or hold her. Loud noises and sudden movements still send her running from the room. Friends and family that come to visit wonder if Lucy really exists, but at 10 years of age, Lucy has chosen me to be her person.

At night when it is just her and I, and all is quiet, she will venture from her hiding spot under the bed and rub her soft head against my hand, purring and meowing loudly. She does not wait at the door for me, she is not perched on the sofa, watching me, listening to me while I discuss my day, but in the stillness of the night, she is there. When everything is quiet she will hop on my bed, and cuddle next to me, circling a few times, and then settling in next to my side. It took a long time for her to be comfortable and to trust me, but it was worth it. I know Lucy won’t allow just anyone to be her person, so I feel incredible lucky she chose me.

Click Here to see the delightful cats waiting for their forever home at Heaven Can Wait. Cat adoptions are held Thursday afternoon through Sunday inside Petsmart at 7050 Arroyo Crossing Pkwy. Dogs are adopted each Saturday at Bone Appetit on W. Tropicana and Ft. Apache.

NV Energy Employees Help Prepare For Lose A Pound Memory Walk

NV Energy employees laced 4,900 memory collars for the HCWS Lose A Pound Memory Walk – Sunday Oct 21

When you come to Heaven Can Wait’s 12th Annual Lose A Pound Memory Walk on Sunday, October 21 you will see the entire pathway of the one-mile walk lined with the brightly colored paper collars pictured above. 

There will be nearly 30,000 symbolic collars placed along the path in memory of a cat or dog that was euthanized this year because of pet overpopulation in Las Vegas.

The collars are purchased by animal lovers who support the work Heaven Can Wait does to stop innocent pets from dying

Individuals and companies from all over the city volunteer their time to painstakingly lace the collars together to create one long chain.  

Employees from NV Energy turned stringing the memory collars into a very successful event and put together a chain of 4,900 collars.  The program was organized by NV Energy Program Manager and HCWS volunteer, Diana Kangas.

“We had our volunteer event at the same time as the company held a “Meet the Candidates” event, so there were a lot of people milling around,” said Kangas.  I gave out a few brochures and talked about what the collars represent.  One of the candidates for Congress, John Oceguera even stopped by to chat about it.”

“The collars have really raised awareness.  While we were channeling our inner kindergartners, we talked about our own pets and about the homeless pet problem in Las Vegas.”

Heaven Can Wait is very grateful for all the work NV Energy employees do all year long for homeless animals.

Lose A Pound Memory Walk – Sunday, October 21

Location – W. WayneBunker Family Park (Alexander and Tenaya)

Registration 9a.m. – Walk 10a.m.

Click Here for Online Registration

Pricing – Individual -* $30, Group or Family Pack (4 people) **$50

*1 LAP t-shirt and 1 goodie bag

** 4 LAP t-shirts and 2 goodie bags

Skip Martin for Gimme Shelter

Check out this great video from Skip Martin, Grammy Award winner and lead singer from Kool and the Gang about Gimme Shelter!   Skip will be headlining at the 3rd annual Gimme Shelter Concert to benefit the cats and dogs at Heaven Can Wait Animal Society.  Join us at the concert at Lake Las Vegas on Saturday, May 28.  You can buy tickets here!  See you there for a fun evening under the stars!

HCWS Youth Group – Yard Sale

Oreo Cookie

Oreo needed a special family that could handle her occasional seizures.

Written by HCWS Volunteer – Carol Lisowski

Susan and Kevin Smith lost their 17 year-old lab around Christmas time.  Kevin thought their Yorkie, Major Little, would be so lost without his companion, so he started looking for another dog to bring home to his family.  He found Oreo at the Heaven Can Wait Dog Adoption Center and fell in love with her.  Susan and their children felt the same way when they met her.

 Oreo immediately fit right in with Major and her new family.  She acquired a middle name as well–Cookie.  What she loves to do the most is snuggle.  She doesn’t particularly like being by herself and wants to be held.  The Smith’s don’t know a lot about her previous owners, except that they were told they didn’t have time for her. 

In the past Oreo has experienced a couple of seizures, but the veterinarian thinks she is doing relatively well and doesn’t want to put her on medication at this point.

Oreo loves playing with Major, especially trying to take the squeak toys away from him before he can chew them apart, pull out all the stuffing, and hide the squeaker under someone’s bed.  She loves to go for walks and plays well with all the other dogs at the dog park.  Because Oreo is a girl, she gets to dress up in sweaters or her coat and thoroughly enjoys being a fashionista.

 The family enjoys coming home to find Oreo waiting for them at the door.  She really makes them laugh because she’s such a funny girl.  She frequently “yawns” which looks like she is talking to them, telling them about her day or what she wants to do tomorrow.  Another successful happy ending.

 If you want to create another happy ending for a dog or cat yearning to bring joy to your family, visit the Heaven Can Wait Website to find available adoptions.

It’s Great When Someone Takes A Chance On You

Jesse and little Chance make a good team.

Written by Volunteer Lucy Joyce

I’m Chance, I was at Henderson Animal Shelter on death row.  I wondered why I had one more day to live, when I knew I was truly innocent?  My eyes were sad and teary, I knew I was a good dog.

The kind folks at Heaven Can Wait Animal Society knew I needed help, they took me in to their ‘Pups on Parole’ program. I was free from death row thanks to HCWS – this time things were different. All the guards at the prison loved my friendly nature and the inmate handler was patient with me.

It took seven months of training to direct my energy and high spirits into the dog I am today. I am an Australian Shepherd mix, we like to herd and we like to run. My handler understood that I needed time to learn, and taught me so well, that I learned commands, like “sit” and “stay.” I showed everyone how smart I really am. I was so busy going through my training program that I even learned how to ‘play dead’. I still had so much life in me, I knew Heaven Can Wait would find a good home for me.

Chance channeled his high energy into learning a variety of tricks.

Now here’s the part, I like the best – Jesse Nelson saw me at the HCWS Adoption Center at PetSmart.  Jesse could see the same spirit in me that my saviors from Heaven Can Wait had seen. Jesse’s girlfriend’s dog had recently died, she didn’t know how she would deal with another dog. That’s where I, Chance, really could help. Jesse and I make a good team, we continued our ‘Pups on Parole’ training.  I can stand on my back legs and high five Jesse. With my lovable personality and cute tricks, I managed to win Jesse’s girlfriend’s heart with my friendly spirit.

Isn’t it great when someone takes a chance on you? 

Chance found a family that challenged his intelligence.

CLICK HERE to meet other One-of-a-Kind pets ready for adoption at Heaven Can Wait Animal Society.

Las Vegas Valley Humane Society Dog Walk is April 3rd!

The Las Vegas Valley Humane Society will be holding their annual dog walk-a-thon on April 3, 2011 at the Kellogg Zaher Sports Complex: Located at 7901 W. Washington Avenue.  Click the banner below for more information.