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Hi folks, Thomas here with a very important announcement. You may not know this, but June is Adopt-a-Cat Month, a time when shelters and rescues all across the U.S. gear up to get as many cats into forever homes as they can.

Love waits, I watch you go by my cage and wonder what it would be like if I were your cat.

Image by Wayne Morris (who happens to be the founder of Black Cat Appreciation Day, another one of our favorite kitty celebrations), used by permission.

It totally makes sense that Adopt-a-Cat Month is in June because after all, it is the height of kitten season, and shelters and foster homes are bursting at the seams with litters of cute, sweet little babycats looking for their forever home. But I’d like to make a request: Please consider walking past the kittens, who probably won’t have any trouble at all finding families, and visit with the adult cats.

Thomas at the animal shelter, February 2004

This is me when Mama met me back in 2004.

I know it’s hard to resist cute kittens, but this is personal for me.

You see, I found myself at the shelter at the age of three because my papa had to go into a nursing home and couldn’t take me with him. If Mama hadn’t found me, I might have spent the rest of my life there. And if that shelter had been a kill shelter, I might not even have had the chance to meet Mama at all!

I’ve been a part of Mama’s family, and the Paws and Effect Gang, for 10 years now, and I’m so glad she let me adopt her even though I was long past my “cute and fuzzy” stage.

If it hadn’t been for her coming to visit me and giving me something to look forward to, I might not have survived my illness. I was so heartbroken from losing my papa and then being stuck in this cage by myself because I was sick, that I really did want to just Stop Moving.

But Mama gave me a reason to live because she promised that if I wanted to go home with her, I could.

And my life has been amazing ever since! Sinéad and Siouxsie were welcoming to me, even though Siouxsie growled a lot. But then when Dahlia came along, it was like the two of us were just made for each other!

Thomas and Dahlia snuggle together, 2009.

Dahlia was my first ever snuggle-buddy.

Now, of course, we all know what happened with poor Dahlia, and I don’t want to go into that right now. But let’s just say that if you’re afraid of adopting an adult cat because you’re afraid they’ll die soon, there’s no guarantee that a kitten is going to live for a long time, either.

I’ve heard there are people who think adult cats in shelters must be broken or poorly behaved in some way, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, a lot of people will tell you that adult cats are mellower than kittens, that we’ve settled into our purr-sonalities, and that we’re so very grateful when we find our forever homes … because often we’ve been at the shelter long enough to really miss a soft bed and a warm lap to call our own.

Thomas and Bella snuggling

Bella is my latest snuggle buddy, and we both have a soft bed and a warm lap to call our own thanks to Mama’s willingness to adopt kitties that have a harder time finding a forever home!

The next time you go to the shelter looking for your next feline friend, please, please, please come and visit the adult kitties, too. An adult, senior or special-needs cat can fill your life with many years of joy and happiness and love.

I’m 13 years old now, and I’m still very healthy (and Mama tells me I’m still the handsomest kitty in the world, too). Well cared-for indoor cats have an average lifespan of 16 or 17 years, and more and more cats are living into their 20s. Siouxsie’s 18, and I bet I’ll get at least that old before I’m ready to Stop Moving for good.

JaneA and Thomas

Mama took this photo a couple of days ago on Hug Your Cat Day. I’m going to be 14 next year, and I’m still a very healthy and handsome kitty. My vet says I’ve got PLENTY more life in me!

If you’ve adopted an adult, senior or special-needs cat, please tell us about him or her in the comments. The more people who share their happy stories of live with cats that were adopted after their kittenhood, the better the chance we have of saving grown-up kitties’ lives.

This post is sponsored by BlogPaws. Mama is being compensated for helping spread the word about Adopt-a-Cat month, but Paws and Effect only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. BlogPaws is not responsible for the content of this article.