Elmer, Barn Cat Adoption Success Story
While many cats who are taken in as barn cats remain relatively aloof, Elmer’s story makes the perfect example of cats who seem unsocialized at the shelter, but who blossom with attention and care.
The Precht family of Longmont, CO brought Elmer home with them last summer after moving to a place with a barn. Elmer was offered for adoption through the Longmont Humane Society’s Barn Cat Placement Program that seeks homes for less socialized or adoptable cats. The family is doubly pleased, that Elmer is happy in his new home and that he has gradually warmed up to them and accepts their affections. About a month ago, Elmer reached a milestone by seeking out the affections of his new family.
Elmer lives in comfort in a custom designed kitty habitat constructed by Dennis Precht, who has a workshop in the barn. The habitat has six levels, a little nesting space, carpeting and a plexiglass window near the top. The barn is heated at least part of the time and has a cat flap entry door for Elmer.
The Longmont Humane Society provides spay/neuter, first set of distemper shots, worming, general exam, rabies vaccination and Felv/FIV testing for cats in the barn cat program, and requires adopters to commit to providing nutritious food, water, future veterinary care when needed and a permanent protected place to live. The shelter also provides guidelines on acclimating kitty to his new home. The Precht family followed those guidelines, at first limiting Elmer to a small space, and gradually giving him more freedom.
Daughter Lindsey Precht, commenting on Elmer’s slow but steady progress toward socialization, said in remarks to TimesCall.com, which provided the video report below, “So, don’t judge a cat by how it acts at the shelter, because a cat with a home can do a 360. All Elmer needed was time to trust us and know that we were his family.” Lindsey also said, “But we didn’t get a cat to just stick it in the barn and never touch it. We walked out there every day to talk to Elmer and get him to come to us.”