Pet Tales

Given a chance, ‘caution’ cat shows true color

‘Looks can be deceiving, especially with scared cats at the San Luis Obispo County Animal Shelter. Arriving at the shelter, some of these cats are too frightened to be handled. Their kennel cards are stamped ‘caution.’ ”

“These caution cats may be feral, which means — even though their family tree includes pet cats — they themselves have never been nor will make good pets. However, other caution cats are pets, which, in the shelter environment, are too scared to show their lap cat skills.

“Brillo falls into this latter category. When he arrived at the shelter, he just hunkered down in the back of his kennel and avoided being touched.

“Brillo is a brown tabby whose broad face and rough coat makes him look like a feral tomcat. However, experienced volunteers and staff helped him come out of his shell. Today, Brillo enjoyed sitting on my lap and basking in the attention.

“Because of the high number of animals coming to the shelter, scared cats like Brillo may not have the opportunity to show their true colors. With more cats coming in every day, they may be identified as unadoptable because there are not enough staff and volunteers to work with them.

“Having identification on your cat — be it a microchip or a collar with a tag — will help your cat come home. By volunteering at the shelter, you can help cats like Brillo be themselves and contribute to their finding a new home.”

— Animal shelter volunteer Ellen Perryess

For more information about Brillo, id number 165783, call the volunteer line at the San Luis Obispo County Animal Shelter at 781-4413 or visit

The Animal Services shelter is at 885 Oklahoma Ave., off Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo.

To see more shelter animals available for adoption, visit

The adoption fee is $70 for cats and $95 for dogs, plus a $15 county license fee for dogs if the adopters are San Luis Obispo County residents.

The adoption fee includes a spay or neuter, basic vaccinations, microchip, eligibility for a free veterinarian check, new collar and ID tag and a cat carrier.

Animal-related event

The North County Humane Society will hold a Blessing of the Animals ceremony from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 3.

Each animal will receive a personal blessing and prayer by an ordained clergy member and personal Certificate of Blessing.

Dogs should be on leashes and cats in carriers. The shelter is located at 2300 Ramona Road in Atascadero.

For more information, call 466-5403 or visit

If you have a story or photos of your furry, feathered or scaly friend, please e-mail or mail to Pet Tales, c/o The Tribune, P.O. Box 112, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406.

Jennifer VanderSmith is The Tribune’s pet columnist.E-mail her at