Raymond was a stray cat that had been wandering around before being picked up and brought to the BC SPCA Kamloops Branch in October 2008. He had no problems fitting in right away; he was a playful young boy who just wanted to have a good time. Raymond had no identification when he came into the Kamloops branch so he waited for quite some time to see if his beloved family would show up. Unfortunately they didn't so Raymond made a trip to the veterinarian to be tattooed and neutered.
Raymond went by the name "Tornado" for quite some time as every night when staff and volunteer would leave with everything in order they would come back the next morning to a cat room turned upside down. It was all in good fun and always made for an interesting start to the day.
Raymond had gone into foster care more than once to help him feel better when he was under the weather, but that was fine with him because it was just new places to explore. He made plenty of friends while in the community cat room upon each return although for some reason he kept getting overlooked while others were adopted. It could have been because of his black colouring; many people don't find them as pretty or are superstitious when it comes to darker animals.
It was almost a year before Raymond finally worked his way into someone's heart and what a great surprise to Raymond; it was reciprocated. He was adopted in June 2009 to a family that in our minds is still the perfect place for him.
Blue was a lovely girl that also came in as a stray to the Kamloops branch in October 2008. She was found in Pritchard without any forms of identification, as well she was not yet spayed. Just like Raymond, Blue waited to see if her family would come looking for her; when they didn't she went to a veterinarian to be spayed and tattooed.
Upon her arrival back to the Kamloops branch Blue fell ill and went right into foster care. She very much enjoyed her time spent there where she could watch television, sleep on a couch, or even take a nap in her foster mum's lap. This is also where she met her new best friend Raymond; they were like two peas in a pod at times and were bonding quite quickly. Once she was feeling better Blue went back to the shelter so that someone could fall in love and adopt her.
Blue could be a bit of a diva at times; she enjoyed her time spent in the communal cat room, but when playtime came it was her way or the highway. Blue was found to definitely be a people person, she loved being a little lap pillow and yet was still very playful and friendly. Blue, like Raymond, was all black and that made finding her a forever home more of a challenge as it seems people are less likely to adopt a darker coloured animal.
One day Raymond was adopted and it made things a bit more difficult for Blue, she was used to having her friend and ally by her side at all hours of the day. Luckily the wonderful people that adopted Raymond noticed he was having some issues settling in at home; he missed his friends at the shelter. They came back to visit her, but the first meet was not optimistic; Blue didn't care for the female attention at all. Thankfully this couple decided to give her a second chance and upon a male entering the room Blue lit up and it was love.
Raymond, now Gibson, and Blue, now Nora, have been living their lives in luxury since leaving the Kamloops branch; they want for nothing and get everything they could ever need. Their adoptive parents have since written in to tell us how their experience went and how everything has been going at home.
In 2009 My fiance and I started talking about adopting a cat and we knew we wanted to provide a forever home for a kitty who was in need of one so we turned to our local Kamloops SPCA. As much as kittens are adorable it was important for us to adopt a cat who was a bit older, one who had been there for a while through no fault of their own. In total I think we ended up going into the shelter 4 times looking at cats, seeing who would come and greet us. In my mind no one stuck out more than my Gibson, then known as (Raymond.) He was a proud black cat, with a wonderful personality, first to greet you at the door. I instantly felt a connection, and while I knew I was going in looking at cats with an open mind, owning a black cat had never crossed my mind. He was perhaps not the most flashy looking cat, but if you spend 10 minutes with my amazing boy you would fall in love too. He had been at the SPCA for nearly a year when we took him home.
He adapted well, and was everything we could have wanted in a cat, but not long after we got Gibson home we noticed something strange. He would sit in the window ledge and cry a cry like I have never heard from a cat. He would particularly do this when he saw another cat outside. It dawned on me that although he got more attention and love than most cats normally do he spent almost a year with other cats in a community room... our Gibson was lonely.
Having had such an amazing experience with our local branch I contacted them asking if he had a friend while in the shelter. That's when we first heard about Nora, then our little girl was named (Blue). Nora had been fostered in the same home as Gibson had, they had lived in the same Community housing together and although she was very strong willed the staff thought they would be a good match. I went to see Nora by myself and she did not respond to me at all, I was crushed. Wanting to not give up on my first try I took my Fiance in with me a second time to see her, and it was as though she was another cat completely, she loved him at first sight. To this day, Nora is Calvin's cat. She will not greet me at the door, she does not want attention from me, but when she sees Calvin she is love struck! She will lay on his chest, nose right under his chin, purring away, giving him snuggles and at times driving him crazy with her insatiable need for his attention.
We adopted Nora in the middle of chaos. A nearby town was burning in a summer forest fire and when we arrived on the scheduled day to pick her up there were turkeys in the dog field and there were numerous other animals pouring into the shelter from displaced families who had fled the fire's. We walked into chaos, and the staff told us they were not adopting out animals that day. I was walking out when one of the staff recognized me. She asked if I was picking up Nora, I told her that had been my intent and that I was unaware that they weren't doing adoptions that day. She told me "Nora has been here long enough she is going home today" and took the time, even with all that was going on to make it possible for us to bring our girl home.
Fast forward 3 years later, Gibson and Nora lead lazy pampered lives. They are happy, because of the tireless efforts of the Kamloops SPCA staff. Our cats were housed in a shelter for a full year before we took them home. While there, they were cared for, treated for their medical problems and sheltered. I am so thankful to SPCA staff for their efforts and for keeping our cats safe until we could give them a forever home. To their Foster mom, we thank you with open hearts, and to the staff at the Kamloops SPCA many thanks, for all you do for our community. Every day you change the lives of animals and people alike. Your work may not be glamorous but it is important and appreciated.
In Europe it is said that if a black cat crosses into your home "your future will be full of happiness and riches". My Black cats have added much more than that to my life. I encourage anyone going into the shelter to not over look black cats. I have heard that black cats in the shelter take the longest to adopt. It breaks my heart a little knowing how long these guys waited for us to find them, (although secretly I am grateful that we were meant to be their family)
Much Love Melissa, Calvin, Gibson and Nora.
Gibson and Nora sure are some lucky cats, although they both almost spent a year in the shelter we’re sure that it was worth the wait. We’re so happy to see them in such a fantastic home where they are clearly cared for very deeply. Thank you so much to Melissa and Calvin for not only taking the time to meet all the cats, but also for coming back to adopt a second black cat.
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