Last September, a distressed owner entered the Humane Society of Catawba County of North Carolina. It seems that the owner was given no choice, and had to put their pet 19 year old cat up for adoption. The cat appeared healthy, friendly and easy to handle. This gorgeous cat went by the name of Gus, and soon became known by shelter workers as the oldest cat in the North Carolina shelter.
When Worlds Collide: 101-Year-Old Woman Adopts Oldest Cat in Shelter
What happened next is an example of one of those coincidental and rather unexplainable life events. Soon after the shelters oldest cat was settled in, the shelter was contacted by an elderly woman’s family who had the intent of adopting a companion animal for their 101 year old mom, Penny. Isolation for an older person can have devastating effects on spiritual, mental and physical health. In fact, according to a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine or NASEM, when the elderly experience social isolation health issues increase. More accurately, isolation increased the possible occurrence of premature death, a 50 percent increase in dementia, heart disease, depression and stroke. As for elderly cats, social isolation has similar, negative effects. According to Jane Bower, the executive director of the Humane Society of Catawaba County, the family contacted the shelter beforehand to explain their situation. It seemed that their mom’s cat had passed, “She had recently lost her cat and although they had given her a stuffed cat, she wasn’t happy because it didn’t purr.”. Once it was determined that this would be an excellent fit for both Penny and Gus, the adoption proceedings went off without a hitch.
A Happy Conclusion for All Concerned
Long story short, all parties involved considered the adoption of Gus by Penny’s family to be a good one. Regarding the care and feeding of Gus, Penny’s family had no problem taking care of his essentials. All their mom need do, was to love, cuddle and adore her new friend. At the time of this writing, Gus is happily bonded with Penny. His health is excellent, he’s living as if he is the king of the castle, which includes eating heaps of delicious food. The world was made aware of this beautiful pairing on September 30, 2021. The shelter decided to craft a status which told of the pair’s story, “Our [hearts] are full with this beautiful adoption. Our 19-year-old (133 in human years) great-grandPAW, has found the loving arms of his new mamma who is the ripe young age of 101. Congratulations Gus-Gus. Wishing you the best days ahead watching squirrels and sharing your love and purrs.” Since then, the story of Gus and Penny made nationwide headlines, even appearing in Newsweek!
Cat Overpopulation and its Reality
Fortunately for Gus, he landed at a shelter which does whatever it can to avoid the euthanization of healthy, adoptable companion animals. To strengthen their efforts, the shelter has partnered with the Pat Anderson Center for Animal Adoption and Humane Education organization, which champions the adoption of all companion animals. Their philosophy is simple: No companion animal considered to be adoptable will be tossed away, or euthanized in Catawba County. Sadly, animal over population is a massive problem, not only in Catawba County, but the entire country. According to the ASPCA, there are currently over 3.4 million homeless cats entering the shelter system alone at any given year, given a few million here or there. Those stats also state that of those approximate 3.4 million, 3.1 are adopted out per year. For the rest, euthanization is a strong possibility.
Consider Older Pets Like Gus
The story of Gus and Penny isn’t rare, but sadly it’s not common either. The reason for this is probably Gus’s advanced age. Unfortunately, people searching for an adoptable pet often ignore the elderly pets. Each time an adoptable, older cat is passed over by those looking for a cute kitten instead. Fortunately for Gus, he landed at a shelter which makes an extra effort for older cats to be adopted. If you or someone you know is searching for a pet to adopt, then please let them know the benefits of adopting an older cat like Gus. Such benefits include:
- Older cats are more settled
- As life is winding down for them, their need for hugs and kisses increases
- They are more sedate than a kitten
- They don’t have to be watched constantly as most have already learned proper house manners
When you elect to adopt an older cat, getting ready for its arrival is a snap. Just purchase some catnip, a comfy bed, litter box and scratching post and you’re all set! In general older cats know who they are, what they want and what makes them feel comfortable and secure. This means there’s less ‘naughty’ behavior, contrary to that of a young kitten, eager to explore the world, and topple a few flower pots as they go along.
There you have it, a truly heartwarming story of two souls, one human and the other cat, who found one another through the oddest of circumstances. We hope this miraculous tale of a101-year-old woman adopts oldest cat in Shelter, encourages you to adopt an older pet. When occurrences like this happens, its hard not to believe that there wasn’t some guiding angel helping each one to find the other. The concepts of love and genuine caring are not foreign to us. We haven’t lost them. The possibility of love, connection and being are all around us, waiting to be discovered. So, whether you love your cat, family or sports car, know that the concept of love in your life is not a bad thing, On the contrary, it’s beautiful, just like the shelter workers found out, “Our [hearts] are full with this beautiful adoption,” shelter workers wrote on Facebook, where they celebrated Gus’s perfect new home.