It's a sad truth that homeless black dogs and cats are adopted at lower rates and euthanized at higher rates than their more brightly colored shelter mates.
Why? Many reasons have been offered: black animals don't get noticed in a dimly lit shelter or kennel; they don't photograph well, so potential adopters browsing photos on the Internet can't see their facial expressions. Others blame the phenomenon on superstition, or the idea that black cats appear to be too "plain."
At Home for Life, we cherish our black beauties. Once we get to know them, we find them to be as varied in personality and appearance as their more colorful cousins.
Once such black cat is Satchel, who seems to be the John Wayne of the feline leukemia cattery. A handsome, masculine boy, Satchel goes his own way, minds his own business, but gets along with everybody.
Satchel had a hard life on the streets of Minneapolis before being trapped in a trap-neuter-release effort by Feline Rescue about five years ago. Upon discovering that he was leukemia positive, they could not release him and risk infecting other strays. Facing euthanasia, Satchel was lucky to land safely at Home for Life at Feline Rescue's request. Satchel is still going strong all those years later, providing that no leukemia positive cat should be euthanized just because they test positive for the virus. Read more about Home for Life's protocols for help leukemia positive cats and kittens, and our convicition that sanctuaries play a vital role in TNR efforts, when cats positive for FIV or FELV cannot and should not be released back into the communities -
A former tomcat, Satchel has put his hard years behind him and found contentment at the sanctuary. Although he is a bit aloof, he's no trouble-maker and gets along with all of the other cats and even the small dogs. This seems to be the case with most of our former toms — they're more than willing to hang up their street attitudes in exchange for a home where they can be themselves in peace.
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