Kenai and Shenandoah Begin Their New Adventures
When Allegra D. decided to adopt a cat, she began browsing available kitties on the ASPCA website.
“I wanted a cat who would be less likely to get adopted out,” Allegra tells us. “I figured I would find a single, older cat who could just chill at home while I’m at work all day.”
While browsing, Allegra came across a bonded pair of cats. Initially, she hadn’t considered two cats, but after chatting with her friends who also had multiple cats Allegra quickly warmed to the idea.
“I liked the idea of them keeping each other company,” recalls Allegra. “So, once I wrapped my head around adopting two cats, it was hard to let the idea go. Why not save two lives instead of one?”
Those two lives would be Kenai and Shenandoah.
Left: Kenai (now Hunter). Right: Shenandoah (now Cricket)
New Faces Around the Office
Kenai and Shenandoah were brought to the ASPCA in September 2018 after they were rescued from a difficult situation.
Their behavior evaluations demonstrated that they were both shy kitties who relied on each other for comfort and support, so the team at the ASPCA Adoption Center determined that they should go home together.
To complicate matters, Kenai was diagnosed with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which can weaken his immune system. Despite sounding scary, FIV is extremely manageable, and cats with FIV are able to live full, happy lives. Once our medical team determined that there was minimal risk of Shenandoah becoming infected, there was no concern with them going home together. But now they needed an adopter to not only care for their unique behavior needs, but also care for Kenai’s medical needs too.
To help them come out of their shells, Kenai and Shenandoah were transferred to the ASPCA Offices in Midtown, Manhattan as part of our Office Foster program in late September 2018 where they were fostered by Samantha Tress, Data and Program Analysis Manager, Community Medicine. While the pair lived in Samantha’s office they had time to decompress and were given the opportunity to get more comfortable with human interaction.
“Shenandoah and Kenai were so much fun to share my office with!” Samantha says. “They were playful and gentle and sweet and so funny. Shenandoah lived for her wand toy and loved to chirp at the pigeons from my window. And Kenai was a total mush but would turn into a fierce little hunter when his feather toy came out.”
Love Before First Sight
Allegra had been showing Kenai and Shenandoah’s bios to nearly everyone she knew. She hadn’t even met these bonded cats yet and she already adored them. When they were introduced in Samantha’s office, the duo did not disappoint her. In fact, they may have exceeded her expectations.
“I got to meet them one-on-one (or one-on-two, rather) in a setting where they were already comfortable, so their personalities could really shine through. They were just so sweet!” says Allegra. “They were playing with me and taking turns with their favorite toys and showing off their jumping skills on all the furniture. They warmed up to me pretty quickly and were just so cute. I fell in love and knew they'd be a good match for me!”
Allegra became their new cat mom on November 30 2018, when she made the adoption official. After a couple of days to settle in, Allegra chose new names as she got to know their individual characters.
“I renamed them Hunter (Kenai) and Cricket (Shenandoah) since Hunter loves hunting down toy mice for me to throw for him, and Cricket gets so chirpy when she's playing!” says Allegra.
Hunter and Cricket have come such a long way from the sensitive soulmates they were when they first arrived at the ASPCA. Allegra tells us they are now adventurous explorers who climb into any open closet or cabinet and continue to claim most of her apartment.
“It's been so great with the two of them, I can't imagine life without them!” says Allegra. “They're sweet and cuddly, and their personalities bring so much joy and laughter that I never knew cats could bring. They've made me a part of their pride as much as I've made them my fur-kids. They like to snuggle together on the couch or bed and play fetch with their toys. And they love chasing birds and fish on the TV if I put on a nature show. It's great coming home to two little furry faces who are happy to see me, even if it's just because they want their dinner.”
The family of three are happy and comfortable together—even in the limited space of a New York City studio apartment. Allegra has made the situation work well for them all and continues to be an advocate for those extra special cats who are looking for their loving homes.
Hunter and Cricket remain in the heart of their foster caregiver too, who follows their new adventures and antics on Instagram: @two_little_monsters_
“I just love seeing how happy and loved they are in their forever home!” says Samantha.