Woman falls for unwanted ‘ugly’ Exotic Shorthair rescue cat

NEWS AND VIEWS: This is an interesting cat rescue story that requires comment. It looks as though the story comes from Europe but we are not told. It concerns a female, purebred cat, an Exotic Shorthair, whose name is Bean. Bean was at a cat rescue centre for a year and advertised online as an adoptable cat for a month but nobody wanted her.

Even the shelter workers described her as a diva and ugly but I am sure that I am not the only one who is unable to see ugliness in this domestic cat. Do you think she’s ugly? I think not. She has the appearance of an Exotic Shorthair but the breeding is not that great. In other words, she is not a great example of this cat breed but that is neither here nor there. She has that flat-faced head which is the mark of a contemporary Exotic Shorthair. You may know that this breed is the shorthaired version of the Persian.


And I think, too, that some people were put off because they believe that the Exotic Shorthair has some health problems. And they do. They’re predisposed to PKD and breathing problems with tear duct overflow. But once again that should not deter an adopter.

And it did not deter one resolute and determined lady who, as soon as she saw Bean, she fell in love with her and was extremely keen to adopt. Her name is Francisca Franken. She said that she moved into a bigger flat to allow her to adopt a cat again. She lived one year without a cat and then found a larger apartment with a balcony and was ready to go. She wasn’t planning to adopt a cat quite so soon because she rightly says that it is a big commitment.

She was browsing a local animal shelter’s website one night and fell in love the second she saw her. She thought that Bean weighed about 20 pounds (which transpired to be very wrong!). She enquired at the rescue centre by email providing her full personal details but couldn’t sleep that night because she was so keen to adopt this cat and did not want the opportunity to escape.

As mentioned, she was described as a feisty little diva with health problems which might have put off some people. But it seems to have tweaked Francisca’s curiosity. The next day she got a call from the rescue centre who asked her whether she was sure she had clicked the right link because they were surprised that somebody wanted to adopt this cat who nobody had been interested in.

An interesting aspect of this story is that Bean was found in a trailer park in bad condition. She had urinary tract stones, and the classic neglected cat eye infection. She wasn’t micro-chipped and neither was she spayed. It appears that she had never been to a veterinary clinic. Francisca says that she was rescued in the nick of time.

Bean was also described as being grumpy. That probably applies to her appearance which is like judging a book by its cover. It’s a mistake because the Exotic Shorthair appearance is a bit like that. And sometimes breeders over-breed their cats and this can distort the facial anatomy to give the impression that the cat is grumpy. It does not mean that their personality is grumpy.

On January 8 she went to the shelter to see her chosen cat and she put on her best clothes to create a good impression. When she saw Bean she was struck by the fact that she was so tiny and small with short “stubby legs and a short tail”. She saw a cute cat not an ugly cat with a grumpy face. She was overwhelmed and Bean was a lot better than she thought she would be.

She stayed at the shelter several hours but asked her friend not to come by the shelter to pick her up because she felt that the shelter would not allow her to take Bean away that day. She was wrong and her friend was outside the shelter waiting! Her keenness to adopt Bean left an impression with the shelter staff and she took Bean home after her first visit.

As soon as she got home Bean took a three hour nap before she explored her apartment. She had to break from the advice that the shelter staff gave her to keep Bean in one room for a while because she was so keen to explore. Comment: the advice to keep a newly adopted cat in one room really applies to an indoor/outdoor cat in my opinion. If a cat is adopted into an apartment then there is no outside place for the cat to go to and therefore it is safe to let them explore the apartment.

Bean became immediately attached to Francisca. She felt that her new companion was frightened she may have to go back to the shelter. Bean is still recovering in terms of her health. She is eating special urinary health food and her eye has healed well. She has some breathing problems which causes snoring but this is typical of this breed.

It is the best thing that has happened to her, she says. She feels that it was meant to be. Bean brings her so much joy, she said and she is so delighted to have someone at home waiting for her when she comes back from work.

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