by Paula Hunsaker
Shrimp is a very special kitty that has touched so many lives (human). Shrimp is a beautiful orange tabby boy now four years old. Shrimp has been CCSPCA shelter office cat since he was just a kitten and was dumped at the shelter. Staff fell very much in love with Shrimp at the time he came into the shelter. The shelter’s past office shelter cat on the adoption side of the shelter had passed away about three months before Shrimp came into the shelter. Shrimp was then chosen to be the new shelter cat on the adoption side of the shelter.
When I first met Shrimp, he was just a kitten running around the office area like a big orange ball of fur. He was into everything in the office. Running across the office desk knocking off papers just having a ball. They had a kennel in the office area when Shrimp really got out of hand. He’d have to go into a time out in the kennel, but he would have a fit and tear up his kennel. As time went on, Shrimp began to grow up and his ways were changing as he adjusted to the shelter setting. The kennel was then removed. As years went by, Shrimp began to go outside and walk around the shelter, but not venturing far from the office door. He would greet me, but he was reluctant to let a stranger pick him up. There were times I would be walking up to the office door, and I would see Shrimp run over to the office door and look out to see who was coming to the door. When I was at the shelter picking up cats, I would see staff walking by Shrimp and stopping and petting him. He loves and is attached to the staff, greeting them when they came to work in the morning and going into the lunch room where staff shared their lunches with him and getting him special beds and toys. This nineteen pounds character of orange fur has staff twisted around his little paws. He has it made at the shelter.
About a month ago, I got a call from the staff at the shelter asking if I would take Shrimp. I was like…take Shrimp? They went on to explain the problems rising up from renovations set to be the done: the stray building was closing, the offices Shrimp called home would be relocated into the stray building, the adoption side of the shelter would be closing, all the animals would be moved. With so much construction going on they feared Shrimp would be confused or could get hurt, but he couldn’t go to the stray building since there was already a Stray office cat in residence…Ghost. Ghost is very set in his ways having been at the shelter for many years.
I thought about what they were asking of me. At the same time, I felt very honored that they would ask me to take such a special, loved kitty. I felt horrible that Shrimp was losing the only home he’s known along with all the attention from staff. I called the shelter back and talked with the staff who asked me to take Shrimp. I suggested to them that I take Shrimp and foster him at our rescue until the remodeling is done, and then bring him back to the shelter. They were very excited that I would foster him and then return him when it was time for Shrimp to come home. So we came to that agreement. The day I picked up Shrimp from the shelter, the staff come out to say their goodbyes. It was heartbreaking for Shrimp since he had become a part of their lives and someone who greeted them daily and with whom they shared their lunches. It was so hard to drive off with Shrimp in the car.
I had prepared for Shrimp coming to our rescue and gotten him a large stand-up kennel to live in at the rescue under a big shade tree in front. Shrimp could see everything going on at the rescue. It was a little bit of an adjustment for Shrimp at the start, but now he is doing wonderful. I tried to put him on a diet with some diet food from my rescue vet, but when I give it to Shrimp, he put the bowl of food into his litter box. I told the staff the diet idea was a struggle. I give the shelter updates on Shrimp with photos, and when I am at the shelter picking up cats, they always ask about Shrimp. This orange ball of fur has touched so many lives at the shelter, and when Shrimp returns to the shelter, it will be a happy day because it is Shrimp’s real home and family. I am just a stopping spot to keep him safe before he returns home.
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