Kitty Matchmaking and Social Media

Sometimes, the pieces fall into place and a cat finds a home that's just right.

By Janiss Garza | Posted: January 27, 2014, 1 p.m. EST

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Black Cats
Cassie found a home thanks to matchmaking intervention. Photos courtesy Sherri D.
Black Cats
Cassie now has a happy permanent home in San Francisco.
Helping a cat in need is a matter of timing, and putting together the right cat with the right person. Those who are deeply involved in cat rescue, who have a full network of people ready to reach out and help, can use a scattershot approach – lots of sharing on Facebook, getting on the phone and contacting a myriad of resources, and using whatever other methods they can come up with. I am not one of those people.

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It frustrates me when people think that just because I love cats, I can wave a magic wand and find them homes. It just doesn't work that way, especially with those of us who are not a big part of the cat rescue community. But occasionally the pieces do fall into place and magic does happen. Over the holidays I helped a kitty find a home. It was a kitty I've never met and the home was with a friend who I haven't seen for a couple of years.  

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The cat, originally named Sadie, is a beautiful, black longhair. Her owner, who had inherited her from a roommate several years back, got a job in a different town and he knew the new situation would be an unhappy one for her. Sadie needed a home, and fairly quickly, and word spread on Facebook. A cat blogger I follow wrote a post about this cat, which I saw. Sadie was located in San Francisco and I knew several friends there. But there was one particular person I was thinking of.

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I've known Sherri since the 1980s. She's a friend from my rock 'n' roll days, and her life hasn't always been easy. During some of her darkest days she acquired a plush calico kitten she named Muffin. Muffin followed Sherri from these bad times to a better life for them both. When Sherri bought a house not far from mine, my fiancé and I took care of Muffin when she was out of town. Eventually she moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco and of course, Muffin, now a senior kitty, came along. Just this past summer, Muffin died and I wondered if Sherri was up for another kitty yet. So when I posted about Sadie on Facebook, I tagged several San Francisco friends, but it was really meant for Sherri.

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It just so happened that not only was Sherri thinking about adopting a cat, she had planned to visit the local humane society that weekend. She visited Sadie instead, and wound up giving her a new home. Sherri loves her "pre-owned" kitty, now renamed Cassie, and vice versa.

You might say Cassie found a new home because of social media, but that's not wholly correct. Cassie found a home with my friend because I'm a careful matchmaker. I think about the cats I see on social media sites like Facebook and blogs, and I share them when I know that there are others in my network who can and will help – or sometimes when I know there might be an actual adopter. As a result, my posts are often successful – even if the cat is not adopted within my group of friends, word gets spread around. It's not something that is skimmed over and forgotten.

Some people I know might get mad that I don't share more needy cats more frequently, but in today's white-noise static of social media, I believe quality trumps quantity. And so far, the results have proven me right.
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