Courage from the Cat Castle & Beyond
“Do something every day that scares you” - Eleanor Roosevelt
My name is Luke. Luke Skywalker. I have not yet discovered the Force. I am working on being a Jedi Knight but keep failing. But I carry on. I recently arrived here at the Second Chance shelter with my brother Switch. It was not a happy day. It was a big adjustment from our kittenhood home of six years. We resisted the change and tried to block it out. It didn’t work. But today I try something new…teaching others about courage and risk.
So here at the Second Chance Cat Castle we get to roam freely and meet the other homeless pets as well as supervise the staff and volunteers in their cleaning and feeding routines. Initially Switch and I had no interest in any of this. But then we started noticing that a) no injuries occurred to cats who did leave their comfort zones and b) those that did explore were returning happy and brimming with new confidence. Switch and I decided it was time for us to Cat Up.
Despite seeing more cats and people in our first week at Second Chance than we had our whole lives we are pushing ourselves daily to get out there and interact a little bit more. Like Walt Disney, fired from his first job because he “lacked creativity” or Babe Ruth, who held the record for strike outs, Switch and I have decided not to let our fears or failures stop us from living our purpose.
"Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit." – E.E. Cummings
As Switch and I experience success in our new life of venturing into the unknown we continue to gain confidence. In fact we have been spreading the good word of rsiks here at Second Chance, even pushing the dogs to reap the risk-taking rewards (like getting adopted!)For instance, Cherry arrived here at Second Chance last week with four other small terrier mix dogs, all very frightened and shut down. But Cherry took the lead and dipped her paw into the pool of the unknown and soon was finding that it was the path that led to exciting outings to the Telluride Farmers Market and other adoption venues where petting and treats rained upon homeless animals.
So pet parents of the world – keep in mind the importance of doing activities with your pets that boost their confidence. Whether it is in your household or out in the world use treats and praise in training and not fear and punishment. The result will be healthier and happier pets.
And also remember that dogs and cats have been shown to significantly boost the confidence of their beloved family members (I think it was Napolean who stated “adopt a pet and you can conquer the world”) - adopt your confidence booster today!
Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.