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28 August 2016 ·

The gift of bonded pair rescue cats – Harry the Rescue Dog’s Rainbow Street Animal Shelter blog

Harry the Rescue Dog hasn’t posted in his Rainbow Street Animal Shelter blog for a while, so in penance, we’re sharing a cat story today.

Australian edition

Have you heard of bonded pairs? For this context, they’re animals who’ve lived together and arrived at the shelter together, and the shelter feels that they are too closely bonded to be separated.

When a friend’s Jack Russell dog died, at an enormous old age, she and her teenage daughter decided that they weren’t ready for another dog, but that they would like a cat. One little cat. So they headed off to the shelter, and met quite a lot of cats and kittens, but none that really spoke to them. The worker asked if they’d considered a bonded pair – just about at the same moment that my friend’s daughter spotted these two cats. The four of them of them quickly fell in love, and by the time my friend was asked to come to the office for a special discussion about these cats, she knew she couldn’t change her mind, no matter what dread news was about to be discussed.

US edition: Rainbow Street Shelter Book 2

This pair of cats, the shelter manager explained, had outlived their owners. The will specified that they were to be cared for in a shelter until someone arrived who wanted them both. Only after the person committed to the cats would they be told that all vet bills would be covered for life; even the annual checkup, worming etc, would be done by house call.

We stayed with my friend last year (we as in husband and me, not Harry) and can guarantee that they were lovely cats, and very happy in their new home.

So, when you’re ready for an animal companion and you head to the shelter to meet them, you never know what story might come with them! And anyone who’s old enough to make a will – i.e.  any adult – perhaps we should think about what would happen to our pets if we should die unexpectedly.

On that cheerful note, a long and healthy life to all of us and our pets!



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Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Dragonfly Song, a novel in free verse and prose of an outcast girl who becomes a bull-leaper in Bronze Age Crete. Read full bio