Be My Valentina

Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 11:30am
Valentina under christmas tree

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Ashley Salaris told us about falling in love with a shy kitty who filled a feline-shaped void in her life.

My father and I decided to get a cat after three years of an empty house. Our previous cat, Brandy, lived for a full 22 years before passing away peacefully, and we waited several years for the wounds to heal. Once we were ready, I immediately suggested the New York City ASPCA shelter in Manhattan.

The volunteer we met was very helpful, and we saw quite a few kitties who all seemed very nice, but my father and I simply didn't feel that connection just yet. However, in the very last room I noticed a gorgeous Calico looking up at me with huge yellow eyes. I could tell she was shy, but she never took her eyes off me and I begged my dad to take a look at her.

Valentina was very reluctant to leave her cage, but did leave for a moment to eat a treat. We talked sweetly to her and she even began to knead her paws, which made me fall in love with her even more. The vet explained to us that Valentina was a nervous cat who would need a lot of time and patience to warm up to us, but we decided we were up for the challenge.

We are happy to say that it has been three weeks and Valentina—renamed Cali—has fit in perfectly! After a few days of hiding and running away from us, she suddenly came out of her shell and made herself right at home! As I write this, she is lying on the couch next to me, sprawled out and comfortable on a stack of pillows.

She is such a joy to have in the house. She is always meowing at us and playing with her toys, and she loves to have us pet her and rub her belly. The house feels so much more like a home now that she is a part of it. My dad has also become more cheerful, and Cali is his new best friend.

Thank you, ASPCA, for bringing us together!

Have you ever adopted a shy cat? Tell us about it in the comments! Got a happy adoption story of your own? Email it to [email protected] and you could be featured on our blog.

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What a nice story about your new adoptee, Cali! Congratulations and thank you for adopting a shelter cat. I wish you many, many years of love!

Gloria Georgiou

She is beautiful...


Another happy beginning!


There is something so rewarding about earning the trust of a shy cat! I've had some that took up to two years to warm up, but I never gave up on them. Thank you for giving this pretty little girl and loving home!


Like Ashley, I took in a very shy Persian cat named King Tut. He hadn't had human contact in a very long time. Time, food, kindness, and a gentle voice quickly won him over and he is now my constant companion at home despite 3 other cats. He even politely "asks" to be up on the couch.




Cali is so beautiful, I am so happy that she got a good home... , Thank you for adopting her.. All animals need love.


It's a very comforting feeling to have furry friends. Our cats, 14 yrs and 17 yrs passed away within a month of each other. Our house was so empty and lonely. After a few months, we couldn't stand the quiet but couldn't find the right fit for us. Until we found Baby and PC. Brother and sister and the only two in their litter. Their mom was super small. We took both since we couldn't separate them. Our house is a wonderful place now. They are inseperable and play all the time. It's been two years since we brought them home at the age of eight weeks. Baby follows me everywhere, even the bathroom, where he won't sit anyplace that he can't be close enough to touch me. PC has become my husbands best bud. She even pees standing up sometimes. They started playing fetch all by themselves and are two wonderful bundles of joyous energy and I wouldn't want to be without them. I just can't exist without furry friends in my life. I've helped several friends realize how lonely they were without pets. Dogs, cats, birds, all animals need care and love and if I can help one friend realize this then I've done well. Everyone should have animals in their lives. It even helps my blood pressure to have them in my home.

Joan Miller

I did not adopt this cat from a shelter although I have done that with others. This cat that we named Skitzo adopted me. As a small kitten she found shelter in my garage where I kept the door open for my other cats and there was food and water there but then it got to be winter so I had to close the garage door. You rarely seen the kitten so could not catch it so I thought it would have to fend for itself and it did, it followed my other cats around to the back yard and discovered that just inside the dog door was food and water so she came in to eat and drink but if she seen anyone she would dash back out. My other cats slept on my bed at night and one night I woke up with something cuddled up against my back purring for all she was worth and it was the little grey cat. She has become a permanent member of the household although now she is an only kitty as my others passed away. She is still wild in alot of ways but I love her as she is so unique and by the way I did trap her after she moved into the house and had her fixed. Her best friend in my Schnauzer.

Gigi Middlebrook

Thank you so much for taking the time to reach a cat that may not have found a home due to her shyness. God bless you and your Dad for adopting her. She is a very lucky girl (as I am sure she realizes now). ;-D I wish more people would adopt those older and sometimes handicapped cats to give them a chance at a loving home and owners.