Pet of the Week: Gonzo the cat

Cheryl Wakeman, animal caretaker at the Shenandoah County Animal Shelter in Edinburg, holds Gonzo the cat. Henry Culvyhouse/Daily

EDINBURG — While there are no numbers on the amount of stray cats in the United States, a cursory glance around one’s neighborhood, town, farm or city reveals there are quite a few roaming around outdoors.

Gonzo, an 11-month-old domesticated short hair was one such cat. On Oct. 11, he was found and brought to the Shenandoah County Animal Shelter. According to Cheryl Wakeman, an animal caretaker at the shelter, Gonzo is a lovable, energetic cat.

“He loves to be held, he has a great purr motor,” Wakeman said. “He loves to play with his toys. He will play for hours with you.”

According to Wakeman, many times people will find a stray cat, take it in for a while, then turn it over to the shelter after realizing they are unable or simply do not want to take care of a cat. Wakeman said Gonzo was brought in right away after being found.

According to Wakeman, Gonzo’s temperament reminds her more of a dog’s than a stereotypical cat.

“He’s still got that independence you see with a cat, but he’s got that loyalty you find in dogs,” Wakeman said. “He’s one of our favorites here at the shelter.”

Wakeman said while Gonzo is rather large, he is not fat.

“He’s got the big-boned genes,” Wakeman said. “He definitely wasn’t the runt of the litter.”

One of Gonzo’s favorite toys to play with is a cat wand, which is a small cat toy tied to a stick. In Wakeman’s office, Gonzo jumps about 3 feet trying to catch the toy.

Wakeman said since Gonzo came in as a stray, the shelter knows very little of his background. However, based on his stay at the shelter, Wakeman said Gonzo needs an owner who can give him a lot of attention.

“It’s going to have to be somebody who can play with him, preferably somebody who has time to spend with and doesn’t mind him under their feet,” Wakeman said. “He’s going to be asking for attention and he needs somebody who can give it to him.”

According to Wakeman, while she does not know much about Gonzo’s past, she does believe the cat would be child friendly.

“When I hold him he’s very calm, very relaxed,” Wakeman said. “When I bring out the toys, he gets excited. Kids love playing with their animals and interact with them. You don’t need to do much to get him excited.”

Wakeman continued, “I think the best owner would have kids, multiple kids that Gonzo can play with. He’d be best as an indoor cat because I think he wants and loves that attention and he’s going to want to be with people.”

At the shelter, cats are kept in separate cages, so Wakeman said she does not know how well Gonzo interacts with other cats. However, Wakeman said the cat probably would get along fine with other felines.

“He can see other cats, he can smell, but he doesn’t actually stay with them,” Wakeman said. “He doesn’t seem to have any problems with other cats though … there’s always an adjustment period when you introduce two cats, but I don’t see any problems.”

Gonzo eats both dry and wet foods and he is current on his cat vaccinations. He is also neutered, and treated for fleas and worms. The cost for Gonzo and other stray cats at the shelter is $15.

The Shenandoah County Animal Shelter is located at 268 Landfill Road in Edinburg. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Those interested in adopting Gonzo or any other animals can contact the shelter at 540-984-8955.

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or hculvyhouse@nvdaily.com