A Home of His Own: Tyson’s Happy Tail

October 14, 2015

It’s difficult to imagine what life is like for an animal victim of hoarding. The smells and sounds, the cramped space and scarce food are all difficulties faced by hoarded pets, and Tyson was no exception. The five-year-old feline was one of 23 animals the ASPCA rescued from a single home last April, and he was suffering from severe medical and emotional issues as a result. Fortunately, Tyson found the perfect adopters who were eager to give him all of the love he had been longing for. Here is his Happy Tail.

After Tyson’s rescue, he and his 22 feline housemates were taken to the ASPCA Animal Hospital for assessment and care. It was clear from the start that Tyson was affectionate, but the hoarding situation had left him extremely nervous and fearful. He was too scared to even leave his carrier. At the Hospital, Tyson tested positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, or FIV, and was also diagnosed with a heart murmur. What’s more, the pretty kitty needed to have 10 teeth removed as a result of his neglect.

Despite his suffering, Tyson clearly had a lot of love to give, and once he got to know someone he enjoyed being petted all over. We were determined to find him a loving adopter who could handle his special needs, which included emotional support and twice-daily medication. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before we met Jason and Karen, a couple from Brooklyn, New York.

Jason and Karen’s previous cat, Stella, had been adopted from the ASPCA some years ago. Sadly, Stella passed away from cancer in May, and the couple was heartbroken. “We weren’t sure if we were ready to adopt so soon,” Karen recalls, “But our apartment seemed so empty without a little furry friend.” In July, they decided to visit the ASPCA Adoption Center “just to look,” which Karen jokingly admits are “famous last words.”

At the Adoption Center, they met Tyson and it was love at first sight. “Tyson was it, right away,” Karen tells us. Drawn in by the cat’s sweet orange face, the couple inquired about his history and learned of the medical issues and anxiety he had developed in the hoarder’s home, and that he might be slow to warm up to them. Karen and Jason were not deterred, as they were already certain he was the cat for them. On July 12, Tyson was officially adopted and brought to the very first home that was entirely his own.

In an update a few months later, Karen was proud to report that Tyson has come a long way. “He’s still a little jumpy with noise, and he hasn’t really mastered using a cat bed, but he’s a new man,” she says, “and he is a total lap cat whenever we sit down.”

We are so happy that sweet Tyson has finally found a happy home to call his own. After being one of 23, we’re sure it feels amazing to have so much love and undivided attention. Karen says, “He’s such a great cat and we feel so lucky to have found him that day,” but we know that Tyson must feel pretty lucky, too.