Amish, an assistant professor and attending physician at New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital, is the quintessential busy New Yorker. When not treating emergency patients, he teaches medical students and residents at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and provides emergency care for the New York Jets when the team plays home games. In his spare time, Amish enjoys acting, piano playing, photography and travel. Having always been an animal lover, in 2008, he decided to pursue his philanthropic bent by volunteering with the ASPCA.
Amish felt that our organization was a great place for him to make a difference, partly because our volunteer program doesn't require previous experience with animals. He started out as an adoptions counselor and cat socializer. "I watched many people pass over certain cats because they were a little older or weren't immediately friendly," Amish recalls. His determination to change this led him to the ASPCA Foster Care Program. Amish decided that he wanted to foster older, less visible shelter cats who needed a little extra TLC in order to get adopted. Although a dog lover as well, Amish felt his schedule was more conducive to fostering a cat who could be left alone for 8 to 10 hours a day.
After meeting a few different kitty candidates, Amish finally met Taylor, who had been in the shelter for a year and a half. Here is his account of how it all unfolded:
When I found her, she was pacing about and clearly wanted space to explore—she is naturally very curious. When I opened the cage door to play with her, she seemed really shy and afraid. After a few minutes, she looked up at me and bravely stepped forward, head-butting my hand and offering a gracious purr. She seemed genuinely happy to introduce herself, play with me and respond to my voice. She also explored everything around, which told me that a dose of independence was going to make her happy, too.
After spending a month with Taylor, Shah knew he would never bring her back to the shelter. The two bonded instantly through piano duets, joint computer projects and neck scratches for Taylor.
As their year anniversary approaches, the two are happy as can be. Taylor enjoys chasing after string/laser pointers, stalking Shah's computer screen and most of all, dining in. In order to keep her girlish figure, she is on a prescription weight diet, but hasn't solved her hankering for cheese and spanakopita, which she occasionally nabs from her dad's plate. According to Amish, she dances hip hop with a laser pointer, and her favorite song is Flo Rida's "Shorty Get Low," or in her case "Kitty Get Low." She's also learned to meow on command, as long as there's a yummy reward!