ASPCA Happy Tails: A New Moona

December 23, 2015

Animals rescued from cruelty often suffer from post-traumatic stress. At the ASPCA, we work hard to provide medical, behavioral and emotional support to give these innocent victims a second chance, but more often than not, the most effective treatment is a safe and loving home. So although Ecuador the cat was anxious and withdrawn after being saved from neglect, we were sure that the right family could help her blossom into a more confident kitty. Thankfully, we found the perfect fit. Here is Ecuador’s Happy Tail.

Ecuador was one of 23 cats rescued from hoarding this past April. Like her housemate, Tyson, the seven-year-old feline was stressed out and afraid. During her behavioral assessment at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, she was unresponsive and would not approach or even look at our staff members. It was clear that the trauma had left her shell-shocked, and for the first few days she did little more than retreat into the back of her kennel.

Over the next few months, our team worked with Ecuador to help her overcome her fears. Although years of neglect had left her with very few teeth, she was food motivated and began to respond to treats. Slowly but surely, we taught her to relax, and soon she allowed us to scratch her chin. She began to learn that humans can be trusted, and that our staff would only provide safe and loving touches. We were thrilled with her progress, but we knew that Ecuador would always have a nervous disposition—so we were determined to find her a quiet, stable household to suit her special needs. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before we met Crystal and Will.

Already pet-parents to a three-year-old cat named Mercutio, Crystal and Will were eager to adopt a second furry friend. During our annual “Clear the Shelters” event, Will came by the ASPCA Adoption Center to meet our adoptable cats, knowing that Crystal had her heart set on a sister for Mercutio. “Our vet told us we should get a cat a little younger than Mercutio to make him more active, but Will fell in love with Ecuador,” Crystal says. “Although she is actually seven, it didn’t matter—Will sent me a photo of her and I loved the single dark grey tear in her left eye.” Further moved by Ecuador’s sweet disposition and “candle tail,” the couple agreed that she was the cat for them. They adopted her that day and changed her name to Sirona Moon, or Moona for short.

As expected, Moona’s transition wasn’t entirely easy. The sweet senior girl had been through a lot, and at first she was very frightened in her new home. “She stayed in one corner in our hallway for a long time before venturing out into our other rooms,” Crystal recalls. In time, though, Moona warmed up to her new surroundings and began to venture out. “She is more skittish around us than Mercutio, but she is confident in the space and loves to play. She has quick paws and always catches the toy right away,” Crystal says proudly.

Although Crystal and Will’s vet had recommended a younger friend for Mercutio, Crystal notes that Moona is now more active than he is! “She makes Mercutio more playful,” she says. And despite Moona’s initial nervousness, Will and Crystal’s patience and stability are proving to be just what she needed. “Every day I pick her up and I can hold her a little longer,” Crystal says.  “We love her!”

We are so happy that Moona is coming out of her shell and will spend the holidays in a safe and happy home. We know that many other animals are dreaming of the same thing, so we hope you will consider opening your home to an adoptable animal in need.