Imagine you and your sister/brother/best friend have been together your whole lives only to have a stranger come along and tear you apart - never to see each other again. I don't think we say enough about "Bonded Pairs".
Potential adopters call me all the time and want a new companion for their cat who has just lost their partner cat to cancer, old age, hit by a car...etc. We know animals grieve. I had two sisters - Newman and Whoopie. Whoopie died and Newman was left in total anguish. I remember three days after Whoopie died Newman sat in the foyer and howled. It was like nothing else I had ever heard. It could only be described as "total and utter grief."
Kim at the shelter is very conscious of bonded pairs. I remember when I first heard her philosophy of "they must be rescued together, or they die together." I thought she was crazy! Isn't it better to save ONE than lose two? I don't feel that way anymore. I agree with her 100%. The bonded pairs at the shelter huddle together - they've lost their home and they only have each other. It's really a pitiful sight.
I decided to write about bonded pairs today, because we have TWO PAIRS adopted in the past 2 days. What a victory this is to see pairs that love each other so much go home together forever. Adult bonded pairs are really hard to adopt. We always tell foster homes that they'll have them for a while.
Sometimes pairs that we THINK are bonded really aren't bonded at all! We had a pair named Tiggy and Tazzy. Tiggy was very outgoing and darling. Tazzy was very shy and hid a lot under the bed. The foster Mom was certain that they weren't bonded at all - even though they had lived their whole lives together. With a heavy heart, we permitted Tiggy to be adopted first. After his sister was adopted, Tazzy was a different cat. He no longer hid, and he was Mr. Social! Who would've ever guessed?
What would we do without our foster homes to tell us this kind of stuff? Another wonderful reason that a foster-based rescue is the best way to adopt a cat...or two...or three...