Volunteer Marilyn Edwards sits with Regina, a black-gray tiger female available for adoption, Thursday at the Jackson County Animal Care and Control Center in Phoenix. Mail Tribune / Julia Moore - Julia Moore

Adult cats need good homes, too

The black-and-white cat and her feline cohorts watch the couple wandering in the cat room at the Jackson County Animal Care and Control Center Tuesday afternoon with varying degrees of interest.

A pretty, adult, apple-faced cat does her best to entice the passersby, rolling on her side, sticking out a willing paw and offering a sweet meow.

But the young woman announces they're only window-shopping. Perhaps another day, once they have a place of their own, the woman says.

"We're really looking for a Persian-type cat. One with a pushed-in face," she adds.

As if understanding their words, a big Maine Coon in the upper level gives a flick of his fluffy tail and turns his head away. His eyes squint in what looks to be a disgruntled glare.

Jane "Rabbit" Babbitt, a shelter volunteer, says the big cat is weary of life lived in a cage. Earlier in the day, she and Oliver had shared some special bonding time. His resistance to being placed back in the cage had caused her to have a "meltdown" of her own, she said.

Most of the felines in the shelter are strays or "owner surrendered," said Randi Coleman, kennel technician.

"A lot of people don't go looking for their cat if it's missing," she said. "They think it will just come back. But what they don't understand is that if it's here, we don't hold them long. We put them right up for adoption."

Some of the cats have been at the shelter for many months, Babbitt said.

Babbitt grows wheat grass at her home for the cats to nibble on. She, along with other volunteers, also groom, pet and play with the cats and kittens.

Kittens may edge out their older brothers and sisters on some people's cuteness scale. But older cats are equally soft, cuddly and in need of good homes. And Babbitt wants people to realize adopting an adult cat can be a wise move.

"I'm a big proponent for the adult cats," she said. "You can tell a little bit more about what their personalities are like."

The shelter's older cats have been temperament-tested, socialized and are great companions. They also have been spayed or neutered and usually have had all their shots.

"The cost covers the spay, neuter and one free vet visit," Babbitt said.

To help boost the odds that Aramis, Oliver and the other cats and kittens get a home of their own, the shelter is offering two special deals on adoptions — thanks to donations from generous volunteers, said Coleman.

Adopt an older cat for $40 and save $25 on the normal $65 adoption fee, thanks to the "Whiskers On Wheels" program, said Coleman. The shelter is also offering a "two-fur" deal: Adopt one cat, and sponsors will cover the $65 adoption fee for a second cat, she said.

If you would like to help but already have your full complement of cats and kittens, that's not a problem, said Babbitt. The shelter could always use donations of non-clumping clay kitty litter, good quality dry and wet cat food and, of course, more volunteers, she said.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email

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