Red Goes from a Life of Neglect to a Home of Love

June 29, 2022

On January 18, 21 dogs, seven cats and nine reptiles were discovered living in deplorable conditions during the execution of a search warrant in a Brooklyn apartment.

The NYPD, with the assistance of the ASPCA, seized the animals. The ASPCA took in the cats and dogs, and the reptiles went to the Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine.

One of the animals, a three-year-old cat named Red, soon became a favorite among staff at the ASPCA Animal Recovery Center (ARC).

“Red was super sweet,” says Patrisia Rivera, an Integrated Care Assistant. “He had no concerning behaviors, was vocal and affectionate, and very easy to care for.” 

Red came from an unclean and crowded environment, according to Dr. Laura Niestat, an ASPCA Forensic Veterinarian.

“His haircoat was dirty and he smelled,” she says. “The environment he came from was also cluttered and potentially unsafe, with exposed wires and places where animals could get caught.”

But Red checked all the appropriate behavioral boxes, lapping up attention with his relaxed, talkative and friendly nature. He rubbed against people’s hands and kneaded their laps. He leaned into being petted and tolerated all handling gladly. 

Colleen Jaskot, an ASPCA Matchmaker, met Red after his intake.

“I saw what a sweet cat he was,” she says. “He climbed into my lap and was head-butting me the first time I met him. I couldn’t wait for him to become available for adoption because I knew he would be such an awesome cat for someone.”

It wasn’t long before that someone came along.

Red with the ASPCA’s Larissa De Oliveira, Integrated Care Assistant, left, and Marny Nofi, Director of Feline Behavior, right

A Purr-fect Match

In February, Daniel G., who lives close to the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan, applied to adopt a specific cat but discovered that cat was on hold for adoption by someone else. 

He and Colleen spoke about three other available cats, and Daniel looked them up in real-time on the ASPCA website

“When I refreshed the page, there was Red, but without any write-up yet,” Daniel recalls. “As soon as I saw him, I said, ‘tell me about Red.’”

“When I described Red, he was exactly what Daniel was looking for—an affectionate, social cat,” says Colleen. 

On the day Red became available, Colleen and Daniel spoke on the phone. Daniel came in immediately.

“Daniel told me how important his previous cats were to him,” says Colleen. “He was very thoughtful about the adoption and wanted to make sure the cat he adopted would be right for him.” 

Daniel adopted Red on February 18—four days after Valentine’s Day.

“I brought a friend who loved him too,” says Daniel. “There was no reason to look any further.”

“The Sweetest Animal”

Daniel renamed his new orange-and-white cat Loki. 

“Not only is Loki the sweetest animal I’ve ever owned, but he may be the sweetest animal I’ve ever come in contact with,” says Daniel. “He is so loving and affectionate. As soon as I come home, he jumps on me and nestles himself in my arms. And he’ll stay there for 20 minutes."

Daniel and Red at home

Daniel works remotely as a website art director, enabling him and Loki to spend most days together.

Daniel’s childhood cat, Petunia, was aloof, he says—the opposite of Loki. But his most recent cat, Maxwell, was a “very sweet boy” who lived to be 19.

“When my dad visited Loki for the first time in April, I showed him how Loki gives me hugs,” Daniel says. “He gave my dad a big hug, too.”

Despite his background, Loki’s disposition was always that of a happy cat.

“He’s pleased,” says Daniel, who is grateful to the ASPCA for finding him the perfect match. “It can’t be overstated enough how much I love this cat.”