ASPCA Happy Tails: A Magical Home for Alakazam!

October 28, 2015

After being rescued from the home of a hoarder, Alakazam was conflicted about human attention. The one-year-old tabby was unsure how to act around both new and familiar people, and it seemed apparent that she had not had much experience with loving, one-on-one attention. Thankfully, a successful stint in our Office Foster program paved the way for Alakazam to have a bright, joyful future. Here is her Happy Tail.

 The ASPCA rescued Alakazam and six other cats from the home of a hoarder in October, 2014. Just 16 weeks old at the time, she was sent to the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where she spent the next six months maturing into a strong, healthy cat. But although she was physically fit for adoption by the following April, she was still suffering from an array of emotional issues that needed some extra TLC.

You see, life in the hoarder’s home had left Alakazam skittish and shy. When meeting new people, she would alternate between a sweet, purring approach and a tense retreat, and she could only tolerate minor petting before backing away anxiously. We decide that she was a perfect candidate for our Office Foster program, which allows under- or un-socialized cats to live in the office of an ASPCA staffer. In this program, cats like Alakazam receive more one-on-one attention, as well as the chance to interact with new people and experience a domestic living environment. She stayed in the program for more than a month until, one day, a couple arrived that was eager to meet her.

Ashley and Gray of Brooklyn, New York, had been thinking about cat adoption for a while before heading to the ASPCA Adoption Center for the very first time. “We have several friends that have adopted cats, and they all had great success stories,” Ashley recalls. “We toyed with the idea for months, until we went on the ASPCA website and fell in love with the pictures of Alakazam. That’s what finally got us to come in.”

The couple said that they were drawn to Alakazam’s adorable face, and when they arrived they were brought in to meet her. “She was very talkative, played with us and rubbed against us,” Ashley says. “She seemed shy, but there was something there. We wanted to win her over!” On May 5, they officially adopted Alakazam.

Fortunately, Alakazam’s time in the Office Foster program seemed to have eased some of her anxieties. Although she hid under a dresser during her first few weeks at home, she slowly ventured out and grew more comfortable with her new family. Ashley says, “She is a total sidekick. She follows us to every room, brushing up against us so we acknowledge her presence. She’s also taken playing with her toy to a whole new level! She rolls over and even does some acrobatic jumps that are hilarious.”

Ashley and Gray debated about whether or not to keep the pretty kitty’s name, stating, “We completely get why the ASPCA called her Alakazam; she has this twitch that makes her tail zigzag like a magic wand when she’s excited.” After some thought, though, they decided to give her a Spanish name. “Seeing how elegant her mannerisms had become, we now call her Cataluña, or Luña for short. It suits her,” Ashley says.

Although she is still nervous around new people, Cataluña always wants to be close to her family. “She is the perfect reading companion, and she’ll even hold a conversation with you,” Ashley says. “We love her!”

We are so thrilled that sweet Cataluña seems to have forgotten all about her start in the home of a hoarder. We can only hope that more rescued animals will find a family as loving, supportive and happy as this. Congrats!