Pet of the Week: Rupert a ‘love bug’ under timid shell

Rupert, a 3- to 6-year-old short-haired domestic cat, is available for adoption at the Shenandoah County Animal Shelter in Edinburg.   Brad Fauber/Daily

Rupert, a 3- to 6-year-old short-haired domestic cat, is available for adoption at the Shenandoah County Animal Shelter in Edinburg. Brad Fauber/Daily

EDINBURG – Rupert, a feline resident awaiting adoption at the Shenandoah County Animal Shelter, isn’t going to demand much attention when he first enters a room. His timid personality tends to lend to a cautious approach when he’s tossed into a new environment for the first time.

But that nervousness doesn’t hide Rupert’s affection, said Emily Gochenour, an animal caretaker at the shelter.

“He’s a little uneasy with new situations but he is such a love bug,” she said last week. “I mean when you get him out he trusts very quickly and he’ll come up and he loves to just rub all over your legs. He loves to be petted. He’s very affectionate, he just takes a little bit of time to get used to the new situation. And of course being here in the shelter is stressful for him. It’s not his comfort zone at all, the little cages – I think he really likes to kind of free roam.”

Rupert, estimated to be between 3 and 6 years old, arrived at the facility at the end of February after he and several of his feline roommates were surrendered by their previous owner, who could no longer properly care for the animals, Gochenour said.

A tabby cat that weighs about 11 pounds, Rupert has a predominantly orange coat and a physical trait that Gochenour said makes the feline “a little bit special.”

“His jaw is offset just slightly enough that his tongue kind of hangs out a little bit,” Gochenour said. “I think it’s endearing. I think it’s pretty cute actually.”

Gochenour added that she doesn’t know if the condition will require any extra care on the part of Rupert’s new owner.

“I’m not a vet so I don’t really know for sure,” she said. “We have noticed he tends to like wet food more than dry food. I don’t know, that may have something to do with his jaw. It’s easier to eat.”

Still, Gochenour considers Rupert to be a fitting addition to nearly any type of household, although she suggested it would be wise for families with young children to supervise interactions between pet and child.

“We recommend with any animal that if you have young kids you do supervise, you don’t just bring a new animal in and expect everything to be great,” Gochenour said. “He is tolerant. He doesn’t particularly like to be carried and I can’t say that in a home he wouldn’t be a cat that likes to be carried.”

Given Rupert’s previous environment, Gochenour said he should do well in a household with fellow cats, although she added that he’s “not crazy” about dogs and a high-energy canine could send Rupert frequently into hiding.

As far as Rupert’s other personality traits, Gochenour said his nervousness while at the shelter has kept most of those hidden.

“He hasn’t really come out of his shell quite yet for me to see the quirkiness,” she said. “I think he could be a playful kitty if he felt comfortable enough to do that. I just think he would be a great lap cat because he trusts you very quickly.”

Rupert is up to date on all shots and vaccinations, including rabies, and is neutered.

For adoption prices and additional information, visit the Shenandoah County Animal Shelter’s website at shenandoahcountyva.us/animal-shelter. The Shenandoah County Animal Shelter, located at 268 Landfill Road in Edinburg, can be reached by phone at (540) 984-8955 or by email through the link on their webpage.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com

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