Precious the cat was accustomed to change. In the span of two years, she moved from the local city shelter to the ASPCA, then into a home and back again. The three-year-old long-haired tabby just couldn’t find the perfect fit, until she met an adopter named Carmen, who, like her, was ready for long term love. Here is their Happy Tail.
Precious first came to the ASPCA in March 2014, in a group of eight cats that were transferred from the local city shelter. All eight cats—including Precious—were adopted quickly, and we were thrilled for their success. But one year later, Precious’ adopter was forced to return the pretty kitty because he was moving to a place that did not allow pets. Once again, Precious had a new address and was back to searching for a permanent home.
Meanwhile, Carmen had just moved to New York and was living on her own. Still mourning the loss of her 15-year-old Pomeranian, she decided that it was time to adopt her first feline companion, so she headed to the ASPCA Adoption Center. “I am also adopted, and I told myself that I always wanted to adopt a pet one day,” she says. She decided that she wanted an adult cat, and when she met Precious it was love at first sight.
“I will never forget the day I met her and looked at her beautiful eyes,” Carmen recalls. “Then I noticed her long fur coat that reminded me of my Pomeranian!” Carmen mentioned that brushing her Pomeranian’s coat had been valuable bonding time, so she was thrilled to see that Precious “needed lots of maintenance” as well. “I knew she was a sweet cat after just petting her, and I knew right on the spot that she was going to come home with me,” she says.
Carmen adopted Precious on July 8 and changed her name to Pluma. Although Pluma had been shy at the Adoption Center, she settled into Carmen’s home with ease. “The minute I let her out of her carrier she looked around my house, ran into my boyfriend’s lap and wanted to cuddle,” Carmen recalls. “I’ll never forget that after a couple of days, Pluma came into my lap and put her nose up to mine and gave me a cat kiss. She made a meowing sound and gave me a look like she was saying, ‘Thank you! I’m finally home!’”
Now Pluma spends her days cuddling and playing fetch, which Carmen says she can do for hours. “Pluma is truly a lovely cat and has made my home a happy environment,” she adds. “I hope others that are able to care for and provide a clean and healthy home for dogs and cats consider adopting one of the beautiful animals at the ASPCA!”
After years of uncertainty and ever-changing homes, it seems that Pluma has finally found a place to call her own. Carmen says, “I love her so much and I pray that she will be in my life for many years. Thanks again to everyone at the ASPCA for bringing these animals HOME.”
Lots of people come to the ASPCA Adoption Center with a “wish list” of traits for their new pet. They have a certain, age, breed, gender or temperament in mind, and we do our very best to provide them with a perfect match. But often, these same people meet an animal that inspires them to throw their whole list out the window, and Natasha was one such person. She and her new cat, Lala, are proof that sometimes, there’s just no formula for a new best friend. Here is their Happy Tail.
Lala arrived at the ASPCA in January after being transferred from the local city shelter with five other cats. She was friendly but extremely shy, and she had a tendency to cower away from loud noises, strange objects and new people. We worried that her reticence would make it difficult to woo adopters, and for weeks she was continually passed over for other, more gregarious pets. Then, just before Valentine’s Day, Natasha showed up.
“I’ve wanted to adopt a cat for a very, very long time, and this year was the first time that I had the capability to do so,” Natasha tells us. After moving into a new pet-friendly apartment in January, she became what she describes as “cat crazy,” stating, “I absolutely needed a cat to join the family. All I could think about was cats!” She spent some time researching shelters in her area, but was ultimately drawn to the ASPCA for our variety of benefits, including the fact that cats over the age of three are free.
You see, an older cat was part of Natasha’s specific plan. She says, “My checklist for what I wanted in a cat included adulthood (as a first-time cat owner, I wanted a cat who already knew itself), self reliance (ability to be left home alone) and, most importantly, a lap cat.”
But when she arrived at the Adoption Center, the very first cat she met was Lala. “Lala was not a lap cat,” Natasha says. “She enjoyed being petted, but only if she got to stay in the far corner of her kitty condo. When we put her in the interaction area, she immediately bolted to hide behind any structure and refused to be bribed with treats.” Thinking that Lala wasn’t the perfect fit, Natasha went on to meet other adoptable cats who fell more in line with her request for “lap cattitude,” but none of them felt like the one. After heading home, she couldn’t get Lala out of her mind. “I realized I may have recklessly given my heart away when I showed Lala’s—and only Lala’s—adoption profile to people whenever I discussed getting a cat,” she says.
A week later, Natasha decided to return to the Adoption Center to “make absolutely certain I wasn’t just delusionally building up my connection to her in absentia,” she jokes. “Nope! I still felt a great rush of affection for her, even when she stayed in the corner of her cubby.” On February 18, Natasha made the adoption official, and she and Lala headed home to begin their new life together.
“I was prepared to wait weeks for Lala to stop hiding under the bed,” Natasha tells us of their initial adjustment period, “but she started exploring the day after she arrived!” The transition continued to go smoothly in the months that followed. Natasha says, “I think the best sign of her increased confidence and comfort is that, when keys would jingle at the front door, she used to bolt into one of her hiding spots. Now, she walks toward the door to investigate. She also loves jumping on my bed in the morning to be petted. I’m quite proud of her.”
In closing, Natasha has a message for the ASPCA volunteer that decided to introduce her to a pet who didn’t quite fulfill her all-important requirement of a lap cat: “Thank you so much for having done so. I love Lala so much, and chances are I would never have been introduced to her at my visit if I had been much firmer with my checklist. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Congratulations to Lala for finding the perfect fit!
They say that when one door closes, another one will open. Perhaps the same can be said of the animals who come into our lives and touch our hearts. For ASPCA Medical Director Jill Pomrantz, the passing of her senior dog, Romeo, paved the way for the adoption of a special needs pup named Morena. Morena and Jill helped each other heal through a difficult time, and now they’re both living a very happy life together. Here is their story.
In 2006, Morena was purchased from a pet store. The Shih Tzu puppy spent eight years with her first family until, in December 2014, they surrendered her to the ASPCA for financial reasons. As is typical of pet store puppies, Morena suffers from a number of chronic health issues that require regular treatment, including dry eyes, for which she needs twice-daily eye drops, and diabetes, for which she needs twice-daily insulin shots. Despite these difficulties, Morena is a love-bug who is fond of everyone she meets. All she needed was an adopter willing to see beyond her special needs to give her a happy home.
In early May, Jill met Morena at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where she was consulting on her case. “I fell in love with her,” she says. “The vets and I spoke about trying to get her into a foster home to help with the treatment of her diabetes, and I actually made an offhanded comment that I would love to take her but had too many pets.” Jill and her partner, Britta, were already pet-parents three dogs and two cats, all rescues.
But the very next day, something sad happened. Jill and Britta’s dog, Romeo, who was blind and had heart disease, passed away. It was a difficult time. Jill recalls, “A few days after that, still devastated by the loss of Romeo, I was talking to Britta about Morena and her diabetes and the need for a foster home. We already had a diabetic cat, so we knew that it wouldn’t be a big deal to have another diabetic pet.” They decided to foster Morena to help get her diabetes under control so that she could be adopted.
But things don’t always go as planned, and the foster pup quickly became a permanent family member. “From the minute Morena came home, she fit right in with the rest of the crew and made herself at home,” Jill says. She even slept on the couple’s bed the very first night. “After having her for a day, we knew we were likely never going to give her back, and we didn’t.” In June, they made the adoption official.
Jill and Britta kept Morena’s name but also call her “Mo,” and in the months since her adoption, the senior dog has only grown stronger and happier. “She’s so loving and follows us around the apartment,” Jill says. “She’s blind in one eye, but you’d never know it.” And although she will always feel the sadness of her loss, Jill is grateful to Mo’ for helping her heal. “We still miss Romeo very much, but Mo’ has eased the pain.” We’re sure that for this sweet, special Shih Tzu, Jill and Britta have eased the pain, too.
Britta with Mo', Nilla (Yellow Lab) and Mattie (Chocolate Lab)
For tiny tabbies Blair and Garrett, the road to adoption was not always easy. The young siblings were rescued as strays and spent nearly two years bouncing from home to home, partially because big brother Garrett’s rambunctious personality was more than most adopters could handle. But through it all, his sister stuck by his side, and now these sweet cats are living the good life together in a loving home. Here is their Happy Tail.
Blair and Garrett first arrived at the ASPCA in October 2013. Just tiny kittens at the time, they were quickly adopted into a home where they stayed for nearly two years. In January 2015, however, the adopter was forced to return them when she moved to a place that did not allow pets.
In the time since we had seen them last, Blair and Garrett had grown into friendly, social cats, but they were reliant on one another and needed to find a new home where they could stay together. We were thrilled to see them adopted in February—only to be dismayed by their return three days later. Then they were adopted a third time and brought back after five days. In both instances, the adopters reported that Blair was calm and sweet while Garrett was prone to boyish antics and loud vocalizations. We began to worry, but then, almost as if on cue, Sally F. walked through our door.
After losing her cat, Pablo, in January, Sally was bereft. “I thought it would be good to take a break—to live without the litter dust and those pre-dawn wake-up meows,” she says, “but I was totally miserable.” Missing the companionship of a feline, she and her boyfriend decided to stop by the ASPCA Adoption Center while running errands on Valentine’s Day.
Sally swore that it would just be a quick visit, but her plans went out the window the moment she met Blair and Garrett. “I thought they were beautiful, friendly and sweet,” she says. “Having planned to just ‘look’ at adoptable cats that day, I somehow walked out with two!”
Sally renamed the siblings Penny and Scooter, and in an email update a few months later, she wrote: “For the first few days, I couldn’t imagine how anyone could ever return such perfect cats. They were social, affectionate and lots of fun. Then Scooter’s mischeiv0o9==============.”
Scooter had stepped on the keyboard just Sally wrote that his “mischievous side came out.”
Yes, true to his reputation, Scooter was up to his old tricks. Sally told us that he had rearranged the art on her walls and thought everything in her home was a toy. “He was an active little boy who didn’t like me to get more than two hours of sleep at a time,” she says, “but luckily, I had fallen in love with them so I knew there was no way they were going back.”
Sally’s patience (and a little bit of redecorating) paid off, as Scooter soon settled down and relaxed into his new life. “He’s so much better now,” she says. “Scooter and Penny are so sweet and loving, and I can’t stop taking pictures of them snuggling together.”
Though it took multiple attempts, this brother and sister are finally happy and safe in a loving home. In closing, Sally tells us, “You can rest assured that this adoption is going to stick. They’re here forever.”
Some animals are people-pleasers: they love everyone they meet and aren’t afraid to show affection. Some animals are shy, and instead prefer to devote themselves to one or two close confidantes who have earned their trust. Cheerio, a one-year-old Maltese rescued from cruelty, was the latter. Fortunately, she found the perfect companion to share her life—and her love—with after being rescued by the ASPCA. Here is her Happy Tail.
When Cheerio was rescued in February 2015, she had a hair band embedded deep in her neck and head. Although her skin had started to repair itself, the band had caused damage to her left ear canal. At the ASPCA Animal Hospital, Cheerio received medical care, along with dental and spay surgeries, before heading to our Adoption Center to search for a home.
But the abuse Cheerio had endured left her emotionally drained—she was nervous around strangers and other dogs and cried when left alone. Underneath the scared exterior, though, Cheerio was a sweet pooch eager for affection. Once she warmed up to someone, she would stick right by their side. The true definition of a “lap dog,” she loved to be stroked and cuddled. We knew that some adopter would be very lucky to have her, and fortunately, we met Jacqueline A. just a few months later.
Jacqueline admits that she wasn’t always eager for a new furry friend. “When our Bichon Frise passed away after being part of the family for 16 years, I decided to never have a dog again,” she confesses. The heartbreak was more than she could handle. But Jacqueline’s son had a different point of view. “He argued that our dog, even though a family dog, had been rather mine,” she says. “He said he wanted to go through the experience of adopting a dog and having a dog that would follow him, like my dog followed me around the house. A dog that he could call his own.”
Moved by her son’s request, Jacqueline began “window shopping” on the ASPCA website, and less than a month later they were at our Adoption Center meeting available pups in person. “We wanted a small dog that could come with us everywhere we went,” Jacqueline says, and it wasn’t long before they spotted Cheerio. “As we walked through the ASPCA, we saw her through a glass wall, all curled up and shaking. We couldn’t see her face, just a number of gray, black and taupe spots on her shaved, white body.” Cheerio had just been released from the Hospital and wasn’t ready for adoption yet, but Jacqueline’s son took one look and said “THAT ONE” without hesitation. “We decided to wait as long as it took for her to be ready for us.”
On April 10, Cheerio was finally ready. Jacqueline and her son adopted her and gave her a new name, Piccola, which means “small” or “little” in Italian. Jacqueline says, “From the moment she came home, she displayed a great personality. She is friendly, vivacious, sometimes naughty, and so cute that we can’t take a walk without being stopped every few steps with a petting request.”
What’s more, Jacqueline adds, “From the first day, she determined that my son was her ‘person.’ Even though I am the one who feeds her and bathes her, it is my son whom she follows around the home.” In other words, it sounds like both Cheerio and Jacqueline’s son got exactly what they both wanted: a best friend to call their own. Congratulations to this happy new family!