Christmas cats

Space is limited for the 185 cats in the shelter of the Humane Society


Space is limited for the 185 cats in the shelter of the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley and its foster families this winter.

“We see that influx as it gets colder and people are picking up strays or abandoned cats and bringing them to the shelter,” explained Director Tim Cole. “It was kitten season in the spring, too, so that adds to the numbers. It’s pretty common this time of year to have more.”

And with practically every cage occupied in the shelter, many cats of various sizes and temperments are awaiting selection for a forever home.

“We do have some senior cats that have been here a while but most make it out within a year,” said Cole, who started working at the shelter in October.

But thus far this year of the 870 taken in by the shelter, only 785 have been adopted so far.


“We’re hoping to offset that kitten season in the coming year though with a feral cat program where we catch, fix and release feral cats,” Cole added.

But for the cats in the shelter now, a warm bed and friend to play with and cuddle up next to is all they want for Christmas.

The following are four cats at the shelter ready to head home.

Curious Katerina

Lightly striped in hues of grey, 2-year-old Katerina is an explorer.


Her favorite spot for a soft scratch is between her eye and ears on her forehead and with perked ears and a spritely jump she likes to find new hiding perches both on the ground and up on shelves and in cabinets.

“Katerina has been here since September,” said staff member Katelyn York. “She was mean at first, didn’t trust us since she was a stray but now she’s super nice.”

With a brave step Katerina has no qualms about checking out her new surroundings and rubbing up against one’s hand and face.

She’s a climber, ready for an active family to take her in and make her part of the gang.

Inquisitive Izzy


Very vocal with velvety black fur, 4-year-old Izzy states her intentions with vibrato.

“She’s been here since August,” said York. “She came in after living with an older man so she’s really laid back but hasn’t really been around kids much.”

Though she has little experience with children, the ebony cat would make the perfect companion for an older child or family looking to spend lots of time cuddling.

“She’d be good for a quiet home,” added York.

Izzy simply talks to get one’s attention for more nuzzling. Once her belly is up she expects a rub down as all she wants is to lay next to someone and warmly purr her approval.

Timid Tangerine

A rotund ginger and white short haired cat, 5-year-old Tangerine wants to feel safe and protected.

“A lot of people when they come in here for a meet and greet, they look at cats like Tangerine but when they get her out of the cage she runs and hides,” said York. “They don’t understand that her cage is all she’s known for a long while and she’ll open up as she gets comfortable with you. You can almost tell her mannerisms better when she’s in the cage and feels safe.”

But once the timid cat’s trust is gained, all she wants is to plop down her round creamy belly in the arms or lap of someone who will love her.

“She’s a little demanding for love,” laughed York. “When we’re cleaning her cage she’ll grab at your hand to make sure you pet her. When you look at her she’s so lazy though you don’t realize she’s also playful.”

Content to be in someone’s arms without a single claw extended, this basketball of fur is ready to simply sit and purr.

Voluptuous Gloria Jean

Calico Gloria Jean is a proud and round feline found abandoned in Beverly this past June.

Her calm demeanor would be a good match for someone looking to have a friend in the home that can also be left to their own devices.

She’s quiet, and willing to accept a scratch along her neck or given a blanket to sleep on without much fuss.

But even for low-maintenance cats like Gloria Jean, Cole made sure to point out that regardless of which furry friend may be adopted this holiday season, proper care and hygiene are still needed.

“Keeping those vaccines up to date and washings, flea treatment and clipping toenails, those basics still need to be done,” he said.

The shelter is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekend hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At a glance

Consider adoption:

¯ Where: Humane Society of the Ohio Valley, 90 Mount Tom Road, Marietta.

¯ Hours: The shelter is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekend hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

¯ For information: 740-373-5959.

Source: Humane Society of the Ohio Valley.