If you follow me on Instagram, you must be very familiar with Pepper, my adorable and slightly fat black cat. Pepper has been in my life for over 7 years now, and every single morning, I get out of bed with a smile thanks to his furry face purring next to me. And while most of his life, he’s been spoiled and treated like feline royalty, he wasn’t always the pampered cat that he is today.
On my 23rd birthday, a friend and I made our way to an animal shelter in Toronto. My cat Scratch passed away a couple of years before that, and I finally felt ready for another pet in my life. As we walked through the shelter, we saw many animals in need of loving homes…it crushed me. I wanted to adopt every single one of them, but I knew that I had to choose one. After looking for a while, I noticed a tiny black kitten in a cage, and went to take a closer look. He sneezed a lot and looked weak, and as I picked him up and looked into his adorable kitten face I knew that Ethenol Pepper and I would be fast friends. After filling out adoption papers, Pepper came home with me, and has been part of my family ever since.
A while ago I read a piece of research that claimed that pet owners are happier people, and I truly believe this. While my husband and I were looking for a house, and Pepper had to live with my mom, I missed him like crazy. I missed his head-butts, I missed picking him up and having him purr into my ear after a long and stressful day at work, I missed playing fetch with him; I even missed errant toilet paper wrapped around his food bowl. Now that we are reunited again, I can’t tell you just how much joy this ball of fur brings to my life on a daily basis. Even my husband, the self-professed dog person, is now on team Pepper. These days I can often find the two happily snoozing on the couch together, Pepper on Rob’s belly, looking like he owns the place.
There’s no doubt that Pepper has a great life, but not all animals are this lucky. Every day, hundreds of beautiful animals at shelters across the country are in need of permanent loving homes. There are puppies, kittens, and of course, grown cats and dogs, waiting to be rescued…even pure breeds! And once you’ve been to a shelter, you know just how important it is to adopt animals instead of buying them.
Beginning November 1 and until December 31st, the Ontario SCPA will be running the iAdopt for the Holidays adoption drive which aims to change the lives of orphaned animals, and raise awareness about the importance of pet adoption during the holiday season. If you’ve been thinking about bringing a pet home this holiday season, I urge you to consider pet adoption.
If you’re not sure what type of dog or cat to adopt, you can use Link to Meet Your Match survey tool, which helps evaluate an animal’s personality and behavior and matches them to an adopter’s preferences so they can take home a pet they can really click with.
So if you are ready to bring a furry friend home, please, please, please visit your local shelter, and participate in the iAdopt for the Holidays program. Not only will you be saving a pet’s life, but you will also be enriching your own in many wonderful ways. And once your pet goes home with you, another will be able to take its spot at the shelter, giving another animal a chance at a happy life.
Read more pet adoption stories and share your own on iAdopt.ca!
This post was brought to you by the Ontario SPCA. All opinions are my own.