Monday, November 21, 2011

Dupton's Redemption


I'm writing you hot on the heels of a very successful Black Cat Soiree last Saturday night. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of staff, our board, and our volunteers, the FlynnSpace was transformed into a splendor of lights and the event proceeded without a hitch. Incredibly, we raised over $15,000 in profit--a huge success for our animals! A large portion of that ($2500) was donated by Burnett Scrap Metals of Hinesburg, so we owe them a big thanks, too!

We have two more fundraising opportunities quickly approaching: Home Fur the Holidays on Saturday, December 3rd, which is an all-day event at Play Dog Play (Pine Street) with pet-themed vendors and holiday pet portrait sessions; and our 2nd Annual HSCC Holiday Store! This year, we'll be at 198 College Street (formerly Downtown Discs). Our grand opening is Thursday, December 1st at 11 a.m. We're still accepting donations of gift wrap and items to sell (any sort of new gifty-type things for people or pets is great). Please let us know if you'd like volunteer for either event!

And now for the beneficiaries of your generosity: the animals. Ten animals found new homes last week!

To begin with dogs, three of the Pit Bull/Border Collie mixes I wrote about last week (remember Alfie?) went home just as quickly as Alfie did upon becoming available: Simon, Piglet, and Pablo. Rocky, a large Mastif-Lab mix (of "big dog in a little basket" fame) also found a new family; as did Gunner, a Black Lab who patiently tolerated six weeks in medical isolation while overcoming suspicious skin troubles.

The cats also boasted five adoptions: Kaiser, Sukie, Snowflake, Bryn--and the featured adoptee … Dupton!

Dupton is a good example of why it's important to think long-term about pets. This black beauty belonged an elderly couple who had to transition into a nursing home. The wife moved first, leaving Dupton with her husband. When it the time came for the husband to follow, he brought Dupton to us. The trouble was, he was now facing memory loss. He couldn't remember what vet Dupton had been to in her six years, or where her records were. He couldn't remember if she likes small children, or other particulars about her behavior. There was very little he could fill us in on, in fact--which made it difficult to construct a profile for a potential new family. Most puzzling of all, nearly all of the fur on Dupton's hind half was missing, which he couldn't explain, either. After ruling out medical cause, we ultimately attributed the hair loss to severe stress. What was this cat dealing with emotionally, and how could we help?

The first two weeks here, Dupton was a shy, nervous, hissy mess. When she still hadn't improved after those two weeks, our Medical Supervisor prescribed composure formula to be mixed in with her meals (supposed to have a calming effect), and moved her into her own office. Immediately, Dupton turned around. She was still mostly shy, and preferred to hide, but with a little coaxing she released her bottled-up affection in a frenzy of cheek rubbing, purring, and drooling. Most promising of all, Dupton's fur began to fill in again.

One month into her stay here, Dupton was finally made available for adoption in our lobby. She was a given a Tokyo cage and a cube-like bed to hide in. Though she'd made a ton of progress since moving into Jen's office, the Morning Animal Care volunteers noticed right away that she needed more work, and scheduled additional time to come in and shower her with love. Dupton continued to make strides. Her hidey bed was replaced with a normal bed that made her more visible, and Dupton began to engage visitors outside of her cage.

Last Tuesday, a very sweet older man who had just lost a cat (an HSCC alum, no less!) to old age came in looking for a black kitty. He lived alone and was feeling lonely. Animal Care & Adoptions (ACA) matchmaker Amanda suggested Dupton. He agreed to meet her. Would Dupton revert to nervous shyness out of her Tokyo cage--her safety zone--with a stranger?

Not at all. In fact, once Dupton met this man, she wouldn't leave him alone! She was in his lap, in his face, purring away--and didn't want him to go! The next thing we knew, this man was filling out paperwork. She was the one, he announced. And such a dainty, refined cat, he felt, that the name Dupton would never do. He would change her name to Midnight. ACA staff woman Cara handled the adoption, and said that it was an emotional experience for both of them. The man's eyes welled up as he talked about losing his wife a few years ago, and then his cat just a week earlier … he was ready for a new companion. And thereby, this little, black, half-bald cat who'd been nearly forgotten had suddenly become someone's all. 

And Dupton--Midnight--was ready for a new home. We'd worried that without background information, we might not know what sort of family to match Dupton with--but she knew all along. Isn't that so often the way?

That's the good news this week. Thanks again for an amazing Soiree, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We certainly have a lot to be grateful for here at the shelter :)



nycindyloo said...

Wonderful story about Midnight (nee Dupton)! It made my heart warm hearing about her transition from home, to shelter, to finding her new home again. Thanks for all you do. And thanks for this blog - great stuff!

Humane Society of Chittenden County said...

Thanks so much for reading--and sharing :) These adoptions make our hearts warm too!