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ASPCA Happy Tails: Fifth Time's the Charm!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 2:00pm
Grey and white cat laying on desk

While we believe that every animal deserves a home, the truth is that not every home is right for every animal. Such was the case with Gus, a fussy fat-cat who was adopted and returned four times for myriad health and behavioral issues. But we never give up on an animal, and sure enough, the fifth time was the charm for this 16-pound stunner. Here is the Happy Tail of Gus and his new mom, Emily.

At 10 years old, Gus is a handful. Over the years, he’s been diagnosed with a skin condition, an irreversible ear infection, and Feline Lower Urinary Tract disease. But beyond his medical needs, Gus has some behavioral issues that have proven too much for past adopters.  Though he is smart enough to use a litter box, he has “accidents” about once every day. Adopters tried using multiple litter boxes, cat attraction sprays, and even a variety of houseplants, but he just continued going on rugs, shoes, in hidden corners, and often, right next to his box. Despite all this, we knew that Gus had a lot of love to give—he was just waiting for the right person to give it to. That’s when Emily came along.

grey and white cat with green eyes“I knew he would be a challenging cat before I committed,” says Emily, who was informed of Gus’ issues at the ASPCA Adoption Center. She recalls the day they met: “There was something about his unusually expressive ‘human’ face that kept bringing me back to him.  He jumped down and got onto the nearest stool. He looked me dead in the eye and swatted an unattended pen off the stool and onto the floor. That’s when I knew he had to come home with me.”

Charmed by Gus’ moxie, Emily adopted Gus that very same day. Though she had been instructed to slowly introduce Gus to her other cat, Billy, Emily says that “Gus immediately decided that wasn’t his style.” He made himself right at home, and was eager to explore everything in the apartment. Billy acted out a bit at first, but Gus soon won him over. “Two days after the adoption, I came home to find that Gus had figured out how to open up the recycling bin and get at the empty food can inside. Apparently that trick had Billy in total awe, so since then, Gus has been Billy’s “cool big brother.” He’s even conned Billy into playing the lookout while he raids the lower cupboards for dry food.”

As time went on, Emily handled Gus’ litter box issues with patience and kindness. Though it’s still a work in progress, she says that he’s shown steady improvement. “Training a 10-year-old animal is an uphill battle, but no one is giving up! He requires extra attention, but he’s worth it.” Though he’s a troublemaker, Emily says she can’t help but love “Gus’ swagger, his odd glare, and his one perpetually floppy ear.”

We are so glad that Gus has found the perfect fit.  And how do we know Emily is perfect? She says, “I think I’d resign myself to mopping Gus’ “accident spot” in the hallway every single day before bringing him back to the shelter.” If that’s not true love, then we don’t know what is.

Do you have a Happy Tail you’d like to share? Email [email protected] and we might feature it on the blog!

Cat playing with young woman holding a treat

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