Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Happy Ending

When I go to area shelters to pull cats, I usually only give their history a passing glance. Most of the time they're strays and I'm glad for the opportunity to provide them with a second chance at a nice home. I never entertain the idea of finding the cats' original home.

Never. Until I met this handsome Russian Blue.

Where'd my home go?

He was named Anton when I met him at Berkeley Animal Care Services. Like so many other cats, he'd been brought in as a stray and, since no one came to claim him, he was up for adoption. He was a little reserved when I opened his cage to say hello, but he quickly warmed up to my pets. I could tell he'd come from a loving home and wouldn't have a difficult time finding his next home. I brought him to BEBHS to begin his next leg on the journey towards adoption.

A few days after Anton (who we renamed Aleksei - a nice Russian name for a Russian Blue) was transferred to BEBHS, I got a phone call from a very sad woman named Ashley who thought Aleksei might be her lost cat. He'd been missing for a month and she was chasing down her last lead. "I posted flyers in my neighborhood and someone saw this cat at BACS and called me because he looks a lot like my cat. It's so hard to tell from a picture though. I don't know if I'll ever see my cat again."

Ashley reunited with her lost kitty. At last!
I was excited but doubtful, like Ashley said, it's so hard to tell if the picture of a grey cat with yellow eyes is the same cat you raised from a kitten and loved. Nevertheless, I made plans for Ashley to come meet Aleksei before he went up for adoption on Saturday.

Saturday morning rolled around and Aleksei's foster mom dropped him off early as arranged. A little while later Ashley showed up to meet him. As soon as she saw him, she knew she'd found her missing cat. The skeptic in me wasn't convinced, so I encouraged her to spend some time with him, just to be sure. After a few more minutes she was certain.

It was such a wonderful moment. One month, two shelters stays and two temporary names later, Ashley's efforts and perseverance paid off and this sweet, handsome cat (who was actually named Kuumba) was reunited with his person. 

It was also a wonderful lesson in the power of hope (take that inner-skeptic!), the importance of community (thank you kind-stranger-who-takes-the-time-to-read-lost-cat-flyers), and the unshakable bond between a cat and his person.


And if you thought it couldn't get any sweeter, here's some icing for this wonderful story.

Ashley sent me this awesome email a few days later:

Hi Cathy!

Everything is great! It is so nice to have him back home. He's been getting super special treatment and visitors! I can't tell you enough how amazing it was to get him back! I was really at the place of thinking I would never see him again. :(

He went missing on 9/20 near Mosswood park in Oakland. I rescued him in 2007 from Los Angeles Animal Services. He was 6 weeks old and needed to be sponsored as he had to be hospitalized. He had an intestinal hemorrhage. After 2 days in the hospital and a few months of iron supplements for anemia he was good as new, and we've been attached ever since.

He's 5 and a half years young, and he was named after the swahili word for "creativity," Kuumba. It is also the 6th day of Kwanzaa

(Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it."

He truly embodies all of that for me and those whose lives he has touched. I attached a picture of him as a kitten for fun.

Thanks again,


  1. Wow, that is amazing! I'm so happy the two of them were reunited. Thanks for sharing this special story, Cathy. :)

  2. I love this story, and of course, the happy ending. Here's to all who helped. I also appreciate the reminder of "Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it." Kim

  3. What a wonderful story, this is why I love what I do (volunteering) and why I admire the staff at BEBHS and BACS so much. I met Anton while he was at BACS and he clearly was a cat well cared for. I am so happy to hear that he go reunited with his person :-)