Becca Adams shared the following story with us about meeting her beloved feline companion Lily at a time when she least expected to adopt a cat.
The story of Lily actually begins 18 years ago, when I met the first love of my life at the SPCA in Virginia Beach, Virginia: a domestic shorthaired cat named Rassa. For 17 happy years, Rassa was my companion, partner in crime and best friend. He was diagnosed with cancer in December 2011. We discussed our options with the vet, and decided to make him comfortable for as long as he maintained his quality of life. Never one to enjoy a change of scenery, he seemed to agree. Rassa left us in March of last year, which is when Lily’s story begins.
My husband was out of town on business when I said goodbye to Rassa, so a friend came to stay with me. We stayed active, and during a day trip, she suggested that we stop by the SPCA. I told her I was not ready. The next day she suggested the same thing, and remembering a spring day 17 years earlier, I decided to go, but under no circumstances would I adopt an animal.
The Richmond SPCA is absolutely wonderful. There are two huge cat playrooms with large tunnels and hiding spaces and, for the more reserved kitties, large, private condos. I walked past Lily twice, thinking what a beautiful cat she was. A predominantly white calico with one blue and one green eye, Lily seemed rather interested in me. My mom had calico cats and they definitely had a fair share of “cattitude,” so I kept going.
My friend said she’d found the perfect cat for me. Thinking, “yeah, yeah, sure,” and feeling a bit guilty, I agreed to meet this perfect cat. Of course, Lily came prancing into the room. She walked right over to me, jumped in my lap and gave me a healthy head butt in the face. She looked me square in the face and sat down in my lap.
Two hours later, Lily and I were headed home.
She’s been with us for exactly a year, and has “adopted” two other rescue cats as her babies. I couldn’t imagine life with another cat a year ago, and now I can’t imagine my life without Lily.
When Midnight, a six-year-old Labrador Retriever mix, came to us, he suffered from severe skin disease and ear infections and looked emaciated. He underwent treatment at the ASPCA Animal Hospital and slowly began to recover. When he was ready, Midnight stayed for months in our Adoption Center, waiting patiently for someone to take him home.
In February, Victoria D'Asto and Michael Pisula did just that, giving Midnight a new life as part of their family.
“My husband and I waited a year and a half after the passing of our last dog before visiting the ASPCA in Manhattan,” Victoria says. “After looking at all the dogs and meeting several of them, we settled on Midnight, now known as Harley.”
Harley has come a long way, but he still suffers from chronic ear infections. With medication and TLC, Harley’s ear infections are manageable.
“Even with his health issues and difficult past, we felt that he would be a great addition to our family,” Victoria says.
And they were right. Harley is thriving in his new home.
“It turns out that we really lucked out—Harley is so well trained and sweet with everyone he meets,” Victoria says. “He seems to enjoy his new diet and exercise program as he gains those last five pounds to bring him back up to a healthy weight.”
Victoria tells us that Harley loves to go for walks in Manhattan’s Riverside Park, on shopping trips, and enjoys romping around at Victoria and Michael’s country home on the weekends.
“He loves destroying his toys, fighting for the peanut butter in his new Kong toy and lounging by the fireplace,” she says. “It's been almost two weeks, and he's already become our best friend! Thanks, ASPCA!”
When Jessica Lovelace-Chandler visited the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan for the first time, she was nervous but hopeful that she’d find a cat who could be a companion to her older, resident cat named Winston. Our staff led Jessica to meet some friendly felines who would be great candidates for cat companionship. That’s where Jessica met Francine, a sweet kitty who had been the victim of a hoarding situation.
“When I met Francine, she was very nervous and hiding out, but she still managed to let me pet her head,” Jessica says. “She was so soft and cute, and I had sympathy for her story and background. I could tell she would be shy at first but was very much looking for love, which has proven to be true!”
Once in Jessica’s home, Francine was still pretty shy. She didn’t eat much at all and seemed uninterested in human affection.
“I knew things would take time, and I knew how to handle the situation thanks to the wonderful coaching I received at the Adoption Center,” Jessica says.
With patience, loving care, and some time alone spent in Jessica’s bathroom, Francine seemed ready to come out of her shell and join her new crew. And, while Winston wasn’t sure what to think of Francine at first, he is coming around as well.
“Winston hissed viciously every time he walked by Francine’s door and at the slightest reminder that she was in the house,” Jessica says. “Francine handled it all like a champ, which made me particularly glad the adoption center had suggested her as a cat-friendly cat. I'm pleased to say…that they are able to be in the same room now and get along. They're not best friends yet, but they tolerate each other. I'm sure as time goes on, they'll continue to grow with love—or at least, acceptance.”
We feel sure these three amigos will enjoy a long-lasting friendship.
Kay, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon with an impressive silver mane, looks as though she was born to romp around in the snow. It took some time and special care for Kay to get to where she is now, but thanks to her adopters, Robert and Nancy Leete, Kay regularly gets to do just that.
When Kay arrived at the ASPCA Adoption Center in 2012, she suffered from heartworm. She reacted poorly to her initial treatment and became very sick after her first round of shots. It took a while, but eventually, Kay recovered and soon after, she joined the Leete family in Massachusetts.
"We fell in love with Kay the moment we saw her picture and read her bio," Nancy says. "Our decision to adopt Kay just felt right and we couldn't get to Manhattan quick enough."
Kay’s pet parents decided to move to a 12-acre homestead in Vermont. With plenty of fresh air and more than enough room to play, Kay is thriving there with her dog brother, Gus. Before this winter’s snow arrived, Kay and Gus took long walks through the woods, exploring their new territory. Robert tells us that Kay shows her enthusiasm for nature by bouncing and prancing along the path during their frequent hikes. Kay and Gus also dearly enjoy paying visits to their dog neighbor, a golden retriever named Spencer.
While Kay wasn’t too thrilled with the first Vermont snowstorm, she has learned to enjoy being outside in the fresh air and sunshine, even with snow on the ground. She never tires of getting love pats, eating yummy treats after playing outside, and going for walks with her family. We can’t imagine a better place for Kay to call home.
Got a happy adoption story of your own? Email it to [email protected]and you could be featured on our blog.
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.