In between two auto shops, there is a small blue nook with a black gate. A sign proclaims it to be the Lange Foundation, and you can see a few cats sunning themselves in a room-sized cage that pokes out from the front of the building. It’s peaceful with a calm kind of happiness.
Inside, you’ll find a clean and comfortable shelter that is brimming with cats and dogs, animals who will happily sit on your lap and give you a few kisses (yes, even the cats!). You’ll also find that these caring animals have been rescued from euthanization; doesn’t that just sweeten the deal?
As part of a community service project, I’ve been doing a lot of volunteering at Lange over the past few weeks. I’ve learned a lot about the animals I’ve spent time with and about how important it is to not only adopt, but to adopt regardless of age. A cat’s or a dog’s age is often seen as an expiration date instead of a challenge to give an animal the best life it can have while it’s with us. If a cat named Charlie could pick who he was going home with, do you think he would choose the twenty-something or the recent retiree? Wouldn’t the obvious choice seem unfair?
These are some of my new friends. I hope you like them as much as I do!
(Cat Room 1)
Murphy is a big, affectionate boy. He’s lazy but strong, and he loves pushing his big paws into your legs as he settles down for a nap. When he’s awake, he’s gooey and melts into your hand; but, if he’s not sleeping on you, then you can guarantee he’s sleeping somewhere else.
Keira is the smallest cat I’ve ever seen, and she’s the boss lady of the room; I would rename her B.B. (short for Ball Buster) in a heartbeat. She’s insistent and gutsy; she curls up on your lap like she’s claiming territory, and she purrs like a steam engine when you massage her paws.
Mercedes is a big, soft lady with the most understanding eyes. She communicates in cackles and can hold a conversation in which she will convince you to go back to petting her fuzzy head. If she wants your attention, she’ll give you a little pointed chirp that will gradually become more and more pointed if you withhold. She’s patient, endearing, and loves mutual head-butts.
(Cat Room 2)
Fred is a delicately featured but uniformly large boy with quite the gob; he’ll sit and whine at the door until someone comes over to rub his head. He’ll paw at you for attention, and he loves to be involved in everything that’s going on. Fred’s definitely the king of this cat room.
Champagne is a gentle giant with white mittens and boots. He purrs like a hesitant motorcycle and will lean his head against your chest before burrowing into and playing with your hair (if you’ve got long hair). He’s a quiet kitty, but he will continue purring even after you’ve stopped petting him.
A common misconception is that a cat with the FIV (kitty HIV/AIDS) virus is damaged and will live a less fulfilling or healthy life or that a cat with FIV will somehow give its disease to its own. This is completely untrue. One of my cats has FIV, and she’s living happily and healthily into her tenth year.
Tom is a big, fluffy, ginger boy-kitty version of a teddy bear; his paws have the mats to prove it. He keeps his beautiful, slanted eyes closed when you’re petting him. He judges you blind with his lone capacity to love. His huge paws and mane make you feel like you’re petting a small tiger.
Leo is a beautiful ginger-n-white boy who is recovering from multiple injuries and a surgery. Even so, he’ll lope over to you for a place in your lap and a good dose of attention. He’s gentle and alert, always watching you and his food (he loves his food).
Now, for the dogs!
Wes is a Terrier mix with warm, worldly brown eyes and a fondness for long walks. He’ll give you kisses and sit with you on street corners while you both watch the time float by. One gets the feeling that he’s the reincarnation of a famous author — Fitzgerald, perhaps?
Oscar is a small poodle with the sweetest ears. He has endless energy, loves cuddling, and surrenders his beautiful white belly for scratching almost right away. If anyone has ever read the Tintin books, he is almost exactly like Snowy, in both looks and personality.
And this is just the beginning. There are even more dogs and cats just waiting to be loved. The Lange Foundation is a haven for sweet, friendly animals, and I hope you drop in to make some new friends as well.
(all photos courtesy of the Lange Foundation adoption website)