Tuesday, October 25, 2011


By Jamie Morgan, Satellite Adoption Manager

Everyone has a way of dealing with stress. It took me years to stop biting my nails and while manicures are easy now, you will be hard pressed to find a pen that I haven’t chewed at the end. There are thumb suckers, hair twirlers, and teeth grinders among us, all trying to self-sooth. Cats are no different and when the world is not right they also develop habits to deal.

When you first meet Buddy you can’t see evidence of his rituals until he darts past. His sleek black fur is missing in places. Perfect circles of pink skin spot his back legs and belly. Buddy is what we’d call an over-groomer, part allergies and part anxiety; he has taken a normal kitty habit a little too far in order to cope.

How does anyone deal with stress? Routine. The more consistent and planned our days become the less we worry about what’s next. At HSSV, Buddy’s day is scheduled for him - breakfast, petting, lunch, clicker training, nap, play, dinner, sleep, repeat. A steady stream of positive associations with people = food = good and distractions through learning new tricks and play keep his focus away from his bad habits.

If you think about it, most of us are on a routine because of our animals. I wake up and let the dog out before getting my coffee. Buddy needs someone who likes routine but it doesn’t have to be boring. Surprise cuddles are always available, which we will talk about next week as our Buddy series continues towards finding his forever home. So if you are a creature of habit or know someone who’s daily grind could benefit from a furry companion, take a trip down to our Animal Community Center and meet Buddy.

Buddy is a complex kitty; you can get to know better by talking to his friends on our Adoptions team. Call 262-2133 x 150 for more information or email adoptions@hssv.org.


  1. My heart just melted all over the place. I didn't know cats could develop anxiety that manifested itself in coping mechanisms. I would adopt this little guy in a heartbeat if I could.

  2. My beautiful black adopted girl does the same thing. Despite prednesone and antihistamines, she keeps working on her bikini wax. We've got a very regular routine. Any other suggestions as to how to distract her?