Sampson here. Have I got a great story to tell you. It’s all about me.
Last July, I was still a little guy when I found myself in a really strange place, full of people and other cats. It was the Brown County Humane Society. Everyone was super-nice and there was lots of action. I had my own kennel because I was diagnosed with Feline Leukemia. It sounds scarier than it actually is. It’s a virus that affects cats only, not people or other animals. Kitties can get the Feline Leukemia virus from their moms when they are born or while nursing, or from drinking from a water bowl that a Feline Leukemia cat has used, through mutual grooming, from a shared litter box or from bites. I don’t know how I got it. There is no cure for Feline Leukemia, but cats who test positive can live several years with proper food, care and an inside home. And I lucked out. BCHS doesn’t automatically euthanize cats with Feline Leukemia, like other shelters do. Instead they gave me kisses and said they liked the challenge of finding me a home because I deserved one.
The staff treated me like I was a king, holding me all the time, playing with me. I enjoyed every minute of it. I got the whole playroom to myself (after the other cats were put away and before they had to clean everything with bleach) and I was known as Special Needs. I had to have a special home with other leukemia cats or in a house where I was to be the only cat. Lots of people came to say hi to me, but they weren’t the right ones to take me home.
Days, then weeks, then months passed and no one adopted me. We all knew the right person would come along. I was very patient, but I was ready for my own family and my forever home.
Then it happened. A lovely lady named Jean Miller walked into the shelter—ten months after I arrived. Jean’s 23-year-old beautiful cat, Shalimar, had died in late April. Her heart, hurting and empty, drew her to the BCHS shelter in May to meet and socialize the kitties there—both to help her heart heal and to give precious “people time” to the kitties. She walked in and met me. I knew she was the one. I turned on the charm. As soon as Jean picked me up, I cuddled into her arms and gave my best purr. But Jean wasn’t quite ready yet. Again, I had to be patient—but I knew the results would pay off for this one.
Jean kept returning to the shelter to focus on me and in time she realized she needed me and I needed her. I had been patiently waiting 10 months for my new “mom”. I was adopted on June 7, 2010!
The first afternoon in my forever home was wonderful. Best day of my life. I crawled onto Jean’s chest as she was resting and stared into her eyes, telling her “thank you for my forever home—I knew you would come for me”. Also, that evening I found a photo of the most gorgeous kitty. This was Shalimar. I bumped my nose, trying to kiss Shalimar’s picture and then rubbed my head against it. I thanked her for giving me the opportunity to live out my life with our mom, Jean.
And now I know, dreams really do come true.