After Benjamin B.’s beloved cat, Fat Larry, escaped from his apartment, his roommates thought they found him at the ASPCA. Sadly, this new cat turned out not to be Larry. He was a loveable imposter. Benjamin shared the following bittersweet story with us:
My roommates left our apartment door open and let out my cat, Fat Larry, while I was working my night job. I was upset and in disbelief that my favorite pet in the world had gone missing. Weeks turned into months until finally in December 2010, the ASPCA contacted my roommates about a Tabby cat rescued in Manhattan. They rushed to the shelter and brought the cat back to our apartment.
When I returned home that evening, I discovered a large cat that looked almost identical to my beloved Larry. My roommates tried to convince me it was him. Frustrated with their feeble attempts to restore feline order in our apartment, I named this cat Fat Barry.
At first, Barry was timid, shaky, and despite having a huge belly, seemed to have no appetite. We set him up with a cozy bed, but he spent entire days in our cold, damp tub. If more than one person entered the room, he became paralyzed with fear. After several visits to the vet, I knew Barry was struggling psychologically.
Finally, I decided to bring him upstate to my parents’ house in a quiet, suburban neighborhood in Albany. A few weeks went by and Barry began settling into his new home. He was sleeping in the bed we set up for him and nibbling at his food. Barry was still nervous with multiple people in the room, but he would let one person pick him up and pet him. I was shocked the first time Barry actually jumped on to my lap to request some petting.
I am proud to report that Barry is now the happiest cat in upstate New York. He enjoys rolling around in the grass, and when there’s more than one person in the room, he is content as long as everyone is petting him.
Barry came into my life due to a loss of another cat, but sometimes things happen for a reason. With a little love, all pets can live a happy life.
It’s not uncommon for a member of our team here at the ASPCA to fall in love with one of the animals at our Adoption Center. Luckily for a sweet senior named Hennessy, Todd Speciale, a Client Services Representative at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, did just that.
Todd and Hennessy’s bond grew over the course of the year that Hennessy spent with us, waiting to join a loving family. Todd says he visited Hennessy each day during his lunch break.
Todd eventually decided to see how well Hennessy would fit in with his family, especially with his two young boys. When Hennessy’s week-long home visit went smoothly, Todd decided to make the adoption official.
“Hennessy has adjusted extremely well to living with her new family,” Todd says. “She is such a sweet and loving dog. She is very good with my two young boys. She loves to go on walks, and most of all, she loves to give kisses. We think she greatly appreciates us for saving her, and we greatly appreciate her for being her.”
We think Hennessy is very lucky to have found such a loving home at long last.
“She is a sweetheart, and I am so glad I was able to adopt her,” adds Todd.
Sometimes pets come into our lives when we least expect them to. Sharon O’Connell shared the following story about rescuing two of her four special kitties, Dymphna and Pepper, when both were in desperate need of a safe and loving home.
On a summer Saturday three years ago, I went to drop off my recycling and garbage when a little furry kitty ran past me. I had never seen this kitty before, and the attendant said someone must have dropped her off the previous night. I tried to go up to her, but she kept running back and forth from recycling bin to bin. Frantic that I could not take her home with a busy day ahead, I vowed to come back.
That Monday after work, I put some tasty tuna fish in a cat carrier, waited for her to go in and eat, and then rushed her to the vet. After they took blood tests, they came back to tell me she was disease-free and in much need of fattening up. When I arrived home, I knew what I wanted to name her—Dymphna, after the princess Saint Dymphna of Ireland, because of her calmness and kindness. To this day, Dymphna is the sweetest kitty, constantly seeking love and attention from us and the other kitties. She is my littlest angel. She is kindest cat I have ever met in my life.
A year ago, I received a phone call from a local vet attendant pleading with me to find a home for a 14-year-old kitty—someone had dropped her off because she did not get along with their new kitten. I immediately called a friend, and she agreed to take the senior kitty. Soon, my friend moved, and Miss Pepper became mine! It took a few months to adjust, but she is doing fine with my three other kitties—especially Dymphna who was the first to accept her.
Pepper is now 15-years-old, and is experiencing so many new things in her later years. She is so soft, and even hugs me and holds me tight with her paws when I hold her. Every day we walk together in the yard, and to have been able to see her smell the grass and flowers—probably for the first time in her life—melted my heart. She is my comfort girl, and I vow to make her final years great ones.
In early February, Virginia Stevenson brought home a ten-month-old cat named Coffee from the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan, and the two experienced an immediate connection. Coffee, since renamed Mr. Coffee, also became fast friends with Virginia’s resident rescue cat and has wasted no time making himself right at home.
“I cannot imagine my home without him,” Virginia says. “He is the perfect companion and playmate for my other cat, Martha, who is a one-eyed rescue I got from Bideawee in New York City. Mr. Coffee is sweet, playful and affectionate, and acts as if he has been with us forever.”
In fact, Virginia tells us it took “about one minute” for Mr. Coffee and Martha to become friends, and that “they have been thick as thieves since the first day.”
When he isn’t playing with Martha, Mr. Coffee has already picked out his favorite places in Virginia’s home for taking catnaps and exploring.
“One of his favorite sleeping places is the bathroom sink,” Virginia says. “He also loves the climbing tree, the window sill, the back of my chair, my computer and the bathtub.”
We’re thrilled to hear that Mr. Coffee found a home where he feels so comfortable.
“He is a treasure,” Virginia says. “I thank you all for bringing us together.”
Wendy Kling shared her story of taking a chance on a special needs dog named Nemo at the ASPCA Adoption Center, just in time for Christmas.
It has been more than one year since we welcomed Nemo into our home on Christmas Eve. He had an interesting journey here, beginning with my husband spotting him one morning on Fox News wearing a little red jacket asking to be adopted. He called me in to take a look and, after realizing Nemo was missing a back leg, I thought, "Would we really be able to take care of a pet with special needs?" I said no to adopting him and went to work.
I thought about Nemo for the next few days and joked that all I wanted for Christmas was a three-legged-dog under my tree. That set the ball in motion. My husband found him at the ASPCA, and without my knowledge, set up an appointment to see him on Christmas Eve. My husband, Will; daughter Marisa; our Husky, Mishka, and I drove to the city from Quakertown, Pennsylvania. After spending several hours with the wonderful staff there, we signed the paperwork and brought our new family member home to spend Christmas morning watching us unwrap presents.
Nemo is a wonderful dog who is full of personality and a bit of a lounger. He also tends to make us forget that he is missing a leg—except when we’re picking him up to carry him to bed every night and downstairs in the morning.
Just recently, I saw him featured in an ASPCA commercial. What a surprise! To us, he is a bit of a celebrity. Thank you, ASPCA, for making that night such a memorable one and for allowing us to bring Nemo home and become one of us. I tell everyone I know who is looking for a pet to adopt, adopt, adopt!