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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Wonderful story. Most cats just need to be a given a chance and a bit of love. One thing to think about. Getting a second cat usually is a good move and keeps them from being lonely when you are away. And you are saving another life. You just need to follow the guidelines of introducing another cat into your household. Best of luck.


Thank you for taking a shy cat! Years ago, I rescued a beautiful calico from the back seat of a junked car. Normally I wouldn't just pick up a cat, but I did and she also started to knead into my sweater and purr so LOUD! I took her home without hesitation since I was "in love." I already had two bonded cats, so called my mom and asked her if she would take in this kitty (until I found her another home, wink wink) We had already named Chloe. Mom said "okay" so my sons and I drove her 80 miles to mom's house. They had a love affair for 19 years and everyone loved Chloe, the sweetest kitty who loved every back too! Rescue pets are the best!


Sometimes its the timing that really counts. It takes patience and effort:
But it's ALWAYS worth it!


Valentina is a beautiful cat! I hope that everyone has a great and safe weekend!


Happy for you and Cali


I love the pictures and story of Valentina (my friend's daughter's name also). Cali is cute too but Valentina is more
of a model's name!
I think I'd like another kitty too and will look at my local shelter.


Hello, I just had to comment on this story. I too lost my beloved kitty of 22 years and her name was Callie! And yes, she was a calico who looked very much like your Cali. I adopted her from a shelter as a kitten and she was with me for the next 22 years. She was a total lovebug from the get go and lived a long, full, healthy and happy life. She passed just 3 months ago and I miss her so much. I hope you have another happy 22 years with your Cali!


What a heart warming story. Cali is too cute.


Love these happy endings. I just adopted a cat who was living outside. During the recent winter storm here in the northeast it was nice to be sitting on my couch, with "Noah" asleep next to me as the wind howled outside. I love that he is now warm and happy and safe.

Melaina Ramos

She is soooooooo adorable! I love Valentina!