Feline friends looking for a home

[attach]5192[/attach]It’s been almost a year and a half since cats Cyrus and Pearl were rescued from deplorable conditions inside a Mimico home.

While the pair is healthy and happy now, there is one thing they’re missing — an owner.

In June 2010, Cyrus and Pearl, along with 19 other cats, were removed from a home belonging to a woman who believed herself to be an animal rescuer. All of the cats had ear mites and none of them were spayed or neutered. The Etobicoke Humane Society nursed the felines back to health, and has since been adopting them out.

But Cyrus, who is now two and a half years old, and Pearl who is a couple months younger, are still waiting.

Currently, Humane Society volunteer Cheryl Rhind is fostering them. They’ve been with her for four months.

“It’s a joy just to watch them because they’ve bonded,” she said. “You’ve got to see the love between the two of them, it’s a privilege just to watch them interact. It’s incredible.”

Pearl is fully rehabilitated and shows no signs of problems, says Rhind. Cyrus is virtually the same, except he remains a little shy around new people.

[attach]5193[/attach]“They were there for over a year when they came here, it just seemed time for them to get into a house,” says Rhind, who has also adopted two cats from the Etobicoke Humane Society. “They weren’t in a cage there … They were out free, but they still needed a little more interaction, a little more socialization.”

Because they’re so close, Cyrus and Pearl must be adopted together. So is that part of the reason they’ve been at the Humane Society for so long?

“I don’t think so because most people have more than one cat,” says Rhind, adding they are well-behaved. “Cyrus and Pearl they’re very gentle cats, they don’t hiss or paw or anything like that.”

Shortly after the pair was rescued last summer, Etobicoke Humane Society ended up taking in cats from two more hoarding cases in the area, which volunteer cruelty investigator Jerry Higgins said at the time was likely a result of media coverage bringing hoarding cases to light.

While there are bylaws in place restricting the number of cats people can own, Higgins said, as long as the homes and cats are clean, that number can be stretched a little.

Higgins stressed there are two important things people can do to keep their cats healthy.

“The key is to have them spayed or neutered, that’s number one,” he said. “The second part is when you have cats, just take care of them. Keep their litter boxes clean.”