Black Friday was not adoption day for Sedgwick
Sedgwick is back at the adoption center for the second time. Photo: Annette Birch
by Annette Birch
Sedgwick was looking out from his glass cage with a thoughtful look in his yellow green eyes at the people passing by and the other cats playing in the small hallway between the cages. Elizabeth Franklin, one of the volunteers at the center, nudged him through the bars.
“He is just as sweet as he can be,” she said.
On Nov. 23, also known as “Black Friday” or the post-Thanksgiving sales, the Washington Rescue League offered a deal of its own: reduced prices to adopt cats and dogs.
Sedgwick, a five-year-old tabby cat, suffers from a birth defect which affects his balance. Dr. Janet Rosen, medical director at the center, suspects that he got the birth defect, either because his mother got vaccinated or had a viral disease called feline distemper.
“It is a little like Parkinson for humans, but with Sedgwick it is very mild. His balance is bad, but he does not have any problems mentally and seems to know what is going on. In fact, Sedgwick might learn to compensate over time,” she said.
Back for a second time
Only six months old and having trouble using his hind legs, Sedgwick was found outside a shelter in 2007 and from there came to the animal adoption center.
Mary Jarvis, program coordinator at the center, said Sedgwick was adopted by a Maryland woman who returned him to the shelter five years later when her allergies became a problem.
Let into a larger cage, Sedgwick could walk around, use the scratching board and was eager to be petted, eyes watching everything going on outside the cage.
The younger ones are adopted first
The odds are against Sedgwick, however, because he is an older cat. The Washington Animal Rescue League normally has around 50 cats and 100 dogs, most of them come from local shelters via Washington Humane Society, an animal shelter and advocacy group in Washington, D.C. Cats usually got adopted within three to four weeks. However, Jarvis explained that older cats like Sedgwick could risk staying longer, the kittens were adopted first.
“We have had cats here for a year, but eventually they get adopted. We do not euthanize unless they are very sick or very aggressive,” she said.
John Murray, who was looking at the cats together with his wife and three children, two boys of two and a half and seven years old and a girl of five, did not think the age of the cats made a difference.
“We are just looking for a friendly cat. The age does not matter,” he said.
Chris Flynn, who was there with his wife and four children between nine and 13 years old, agreed. He already had two cats, one dog and two stray cats.
However, like many other people that day they did not look at Sedgwick and the children played with the kittens.
Other cats got adopted, but not Sedgwick
At the end of the day, there were 27 applications for adoption of cats and dogs at the center. Jarvis concluded that the Black Friday reduced prizes had been a success. “We are not usually this busy during the day. We see more people coming and more animals getting adopted because of Black Friday discounts,” she said.
However, nobody had applied to adopt Sedgwick. Franklin though was confident that Sedgwick would also find a home.
“It is just a matter of finding the right person. We got another one, Checkers, who had the same condition as Sedgwick. She was adopted pretty fast,” she said.