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Review for The Hermitage Cat Shelter, Tucson, AZ, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

2005 was a rough year for my husband and me. We had two cats (18 and 11 yrs) and a greyhound (12 yrs) at that time. The hound and one of the cats were best buddies, so when we had to euthanize the hound due to a severe stroke, the cat was depressed and grieving. The second cat didn't like dogs at all, but was not helping his friend through the process. We did our best and after a month of trying thought that maybe another dog would help, so we adopted a dog that likes cats from one of the rescues. He did his best to help our older cat. After a couple of weeks with no improvement, we took our older cat to the vet and found that he was diabetic and his organs were failing. We couldn't bear to put him though more and decided that since he'd reached a respectable age, his organs wouldn't improve by treating the diabetes and getting a new dog wasn't helping his grief, we made the sad decision to euthanize him. Which left us with a dog that liked cats and a cat that didn't like dogs.

I had seen (and put change in) several donation containers for The Hermitage around town and knew that they really cared about the cats in our community. We went with the intention of adopting an older cat who liked dogs. We spent about 3 hours there being 'interviewed' by various cats and guided through the facility by knowledgeable and caring staff who knew the residents well, but none of the cats 'claimed' us. My husband passed one of the large wire kennels they used to integrate kittens into the larger group when one of the kittens climbed the wires, reached a paw out to snag his jeans and yelled at him. He asked to hold the kitten, who promptly snuggled into his chest. He was enthralled. After a while he passed her to me. She took one look at me, carefully reached out a paw and pulled my glasses off. I left them off while she carefully sniffed my face and when I put them back on, she took them off again. My husband and I went home to think carefully about our choices. We adopted the kitten who had claimed my husband, brought her home and she immediately warmed up to our dog.

She's 7 years old now, and our only cat. Our older cat passed away two years ago at the age of 17 and I think our girl is happy to have the dog all to herself. When we're ready to get another cat, we'll be going back to The Hermitage to find another companion. I still put change in the containers for The Hermitage, thankful for all they do.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

recommend they utilize social media better to more aggressively promote fundraisers.

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Role:  General Member of the Public