As Black Cat Awareness month comes to a close, we’re catching up with Cat Town alum Valentino, a special senior black cat brimming with personality. His journey demonstrates the truth of Cat Town’s unofficial motto that love + time = magic.
Valentino arrived at Cat Town in the summer of 2017 with his sister, Nefertiti, after their previous owner passed away. Being senior cats, the upheaval in their routines was a stressful period and Nefertiti sadly passed away a few months after their arrival. In such a short period of time Valentino’s life had been turned upside down.
Meanwhile, Tavi was considering adopting and Valentino’s profile caught her eye. “When we first went to his foster home, his foster mom warned us he would probably hide or keep his distance,” Tavi says. “She gave us some of his favorite treats to offer to him, and he came over to us tentatively, but stayed with us our entire visit. He even played with us! I think the moment he came over for treats we knew we wanted to adopt him.”
For the first few weeks in his new home Valentino hid like many cats do in a new space. “Once he became more adjusted, his loving and charming personality really began to show,” says Tavi. “Valentino is so sweet; I can’t imagine anyone not falling in love with him. We still have to be very patient with him. He still gets scared and hides sometimes, but it’s absolutely an incredibly worthwhile process.” Tavi’s grateful to Cat Town for giving Valentino a second chance when other organizations might cast him aside. “Every cat deserves to live in a loving and patient home.”
As is the case with so many of our cats, Valentino has continued to make progress in his home. It’s because of open-hearted adopters like Tavi that we’re able to take on vulnerable shelter cats in the first place. Since bringing him home, Tavi has made sure Valentino knows he’s part of the family, creating a welcoming and patient environment. Despite his initial fear, she’s found Valentino to be a very social cat at heart, one who loves to sit in a window nearby while she’s working, or makes sure he finds a place at her feet during meals. He’s especially fond of music — when Tavi turns on the tunes, she can almost guarantee Valentino will start rolling around, happy as can be.
For anyone considering adopting a friend from Cat Town who is a little more shy or under-socialized than an average cat, Tavi recommends patience. “I think you have to do research and make sure you really understand what it means to adopt an under-socialized cat,” she says. “Then it takes patience and love. If the cat is misbehaving or acting up, it’s not to spite you, it’s usually because something made them afraid or reminded them of past trauma … I know it can be daunting, but the effort you put in will be nothing compared to the love your cat will give you! In the end, cats want a loving and safe home just like any of us. I don’t think that’s a lot to ask for.”
You can be part of the Cat Town magic and foster or adopt a black cat or a senior cat in need. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.