Terry Tries to Find Feline Friends a Home


Dominique Zamora-Arias

This cat, Cheddar, is one of the many cats at the Humane Society that is looking for a forever home.

Lisa Terry is the backbone of the Humane Society. From running special events and fundraisers to doing the dirty work of cleaning the litter boxes, she does it all. Before Terry came to the Humane Society she was working with several other not-for-profits.

“When the board offered me my job here, I thought it was going to be part-time,” Terry said. “I’m here every day.”

This doesn’t bother Terry though because she loves animals with all her heart. Terry has helped rescue and raise over 100 animals. She owns only cats, which are rescues, but has previously owned and taken care of dogs, a cockatoo, raccoons, squirrels, and much more.

Terry’s love for animals comes from two people in this world, one of them being Walt Disney. 

“When I was younger, I watched every single Disney movie, even the sad ones like ‘Old Yeller,’” Terry said. “I found myself gravitating towards the ones centered around animals like ‘Lady and the Tramp’ and ‘Dumbo.’ I mean, think of all these movies. Think of all these animals that are just trying to live their lives to their fullest potential. These movies that I grew up with taught me to see the beauty and worth behind each and every living creature. As I grew older and older and older, these movies stuck with me. They really resonated with me deep down.”

The other person who helped form Terry’s passion for animals was her mother. Terry’s mother played a crucial role in forming her passion. By teaching her daughter to care for pets and instilling a sense of empathy and compassion for all living creatures, she inspired Terry to do what she does now.

“I remember how my mother, every time there was a hurt robin, bunnies without a mother, or a baby squirrel fell out of a tree, I remember that she would help them without any hesitation,” Terry said. “My mother was always telling us that the right thing to do is to love and do whatever we can to help. She said that these animals don’t have a voice, and it was our responsibility to help them be heard. So, I became their voice.”

Those who own cats will understand that there is nothing quite like the bond we share with our feline friends.

— Lisa Terry

This pushed Terry to begin moving along the path to get where she is now. As stated previously, Terry has cats of her own, plus all the cats waiting to get a home of their own at the Humane Society, and she treats them as beloved family members.

“You don’t choose your cats,” Terry said. “The cats choose you. My cats match me perfectly. We know each other and can understand one another. My cats know when I’m sad or angry, and they’re always there for me when I need them.”

Terry goes on, elaborating on why she, specifically, loves cats so much. She makes sure to emphasize how cats have a way of making their owners feel loved and appreciated with their playful antics and quirky personalities.

“My cats are always there to greet me when I come home,” Terry said. “They’re always there to cuddle up with me after a hard day. Even despite their occasional annoying antics, I still love them. Those who own cats will understand that there is nothing quite like the bond we share with our feline friends.”

Despite Terry’s love for cats, she understands that there are stigmas surrounding cats. Some of these stigmas that Terry mentioned are black cats being unlucky, cats not being able to be trained and senior cats being mean or grumpy.

“I believe that historically cats have been connected with witchcraft,” Terry said. “There’s that black cat stigma you know, them having bad luck and all that. It absolutely breaks my heart to see these cats get tossed aside because of this. We have more black cats at the Humane Society than any other type of cat.”

Terry then goes on to explain that TV and other streaming services also misrepresent cats, painting them in a negative light.

“Television and other services like that aren’t any help either,” Terry said. “TV has always been villainizing cats since I can remember. Now people go around hating these cats for no reason.”

Adding on to the fact that many people view cats negatively, people who do adopt cats tend to only ever go for the younger cats or kittens, leaving behind the older, more senior cats.

“People tend to believe that kittens are the ones to adopt,” Terry said. “No one ever goes for the senior cats since people think they can’t bond with them. Truth is that it doesn’t matter what cat you adopt. With enough patience and the right personality, people can bond with any cat.”

It’s true that cats don’t have the same pack mentality as dogs do and tend to do things independently. So this has led to some people believing that cats can’t be trained.

“I don’t understand why people believe cats can’t be trained,” Terry said. “I’ve taught my cats how to walk with a leash. They retrieve a ball and bring it back to me, and they know many tricks. All a person needs to train any animal is patience.”

It’s my life goal to care for these animals. I will do everything in my power to make sure they get the home they deserve.

— Lisa Terry

A cat’s body language is another thing people tend not to understand, which leads to them adopting different animals, leaving the poor felines behind.

“When a dog comes up to you, its tail is wagging, and you know it’s happy,” Terry said. “With a cat, when it comes up to you giving you the stink eye, you don’t know if it’s about to attack or jump up into your lap for cuddles. So, I just think that cats have gotten a bad rep simply because people don’t know how to recognize what they’re feeling.”

There are positives and negatives to owning any pet, cats included. Terry goes on to explain some of the positives of owning a cat compared to owning a dog.

“You can leave a cat alone for an entire weekend with dry food and water and that cat is fine,” Terry said. “But, you can not leave a dog for more than four hours alone. A dog is very high maintenance while cats are very low maintenance. When you’re trying to decide why a cat instead of a dog, there are many things you need to think about. Cats are very intelligent.”

With each cat that comes in, Terry finds it difficult to find them a good home. Certain cats need a certain environment in order to flourish and live happily. She is determined to find each of her cats at the Humane Society their forever home.

“I will tell you a true story,” Terry said. “So, a really good friend of mine, who I grew up with, is living in Texas. His mom is living in town and had just recently had to go to a nursing home. The mom had this 12-year-old Siamese cat, named Maggie, and the friend called saying, ‘Lisa you have to help me,’ and I had to explain to them how hard it was to get a 12-year-old cat adopted out. But, I made a promise to them right then and there. I promised to find that senior cat a home. We have had Maggie since Betty White’s birthday back in January. Many, many, many people looked at the cat and considered adopting her because the cat was just so beautiful. Bu,t with the age of the cat and the people having young children, it just wouldn’t work out. Maggie never was with kids, and her only companion her whole life was the mom, the older lady. I needed to get her the perfect family. Eventually, I did. The cat just got adopted this Monday. I called my friend out in Texas, and we both just kind of cried a bit. I told him I had found the perfect home for Maggie. It was a young couple who adopted her, and they had no kids and didn’t plan on having kids. So now, Maggie is in a comfortable home where she can spend the remainder of her life being spoiled and surrounded by love.”

Besides adopting an animal from the Humane Society, another thing a person can do to help out is to donate to the Pet Pantry or volunteer their time. Donating to the Pet Pantry provides food, litter, toys, and many other things to people with pets who are struggling to get the necessities their pets need. Volunteering at the Humane Society helps to make sure the animals have the care they need to thrive in their temporary shelter.

“It’s my life goal to care for these animals,” Terry said. “I will do everything in my power to make sure they get the home they deserve.”

Cats Available for Adoption at the Logansport Human Society