Zephyr isn't a shelter cat, though. No, his origins are closer to that of all the animals I had growing up: He just popped out of the woods. In Maine, especially in the area I grew up in which tends to be lower on the economic scale, it's fairly common (and heartbreaking) to find stray cats and kittens out in the wilderness or on the side of the road. People don't often take advantage of the spay/neuter clinics offered regionally, and when their cat comes home expecting babies, it's off to the woods or the neighbor's doorstep (I'm in no way saying this is what everyone does, but I have experienced this firsthand, more than once). All of my childhood pets were either strays, fosters, or taken in from neighbors and friends, so it was only natural that Zephyr and his brother Zeb (who now lives with my mom) have the same origins. My mom found them on the side of a dirt road near our house -- two tiny kittens dragging a squirrel across the road -- after some coaxing we were able to bring them home, where they hid in our woodpile for nearly a week, only coming out for kibble. Seven years later they are two of the most spirited and sweetest cats I have ever lived with. Zephyr is such a huge part of our little family, he chills with us on the couch and promptly hops up on the bed when we turn in at night.
Today is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, and earlier in the week I had the opportunity to visit Philly PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society) with FP's engagement intern, Katerina to take photos of some of the adoptable animals there for a Free People blog post. We didn't use all the images for the post (for the sake of length), so I wanted to share a few with you today! PAWS is an incredible non-profit organization here in Philadelphia that is dedicated to saving and rehabilitating the area's abandoned, unwanted, surrendered, and homeless animals. They're a no-kill shelter and they do incredible work - just take a peek at their Instagram and read the success stories for proof.
All of these animals (except for sweet Zephyr) are available for adoption through PAWS. Visit their website for more information or stop by sometime to visit!