Every year animal shelters are over burdened with millions of cats needing to find their forever homes. The sad reality is that because of the immense burden far too many innocent cats are euthanized for simply remaining up for adoption for too long.
The very thought of such a tragic situation can break your heart and there is no shortage of shelters and individuals doing everything in their power to rectify the situation with no-kill shelters, foster programs, and around the clock, tireless efforts to find the right forever homes for these deserving and lovable cats.
Often cats are given a reputation (unfairly, I might add) for not being affectionate and cuddly enough. Yet the truth is that cats are usually social, lovable fur-balls who love to cuddle with their owners! This is especially true for a cat once known as Jacque.
But poor Jacque has had an uphill battle to climb despite his immense desire to snuggle and cuddle his days away...
Jacque was only 7 months old when his first owner moved away and simply did not take the sweet kitten with him. Nancy Hutchinson, founder and president of Michigan Cat Rescue, told The Dodo in an interview:
He was found in a house that was foreclosed upon. The person who owned him left him there and didn’t care. He was found by the Realtor and brought into the shelter. This happens quite often, sadly.
Like many shelters, the one Jacque was in was over-crowded and sweet, little Jacque was repeatedly passed up for adoption. Because of the amount of time Jacque had spent at the shelter, he was placed on the euthanasia list. It was then that his life was spared thanks to a visit from Nancy Hutchinson.
Immediately enamoured with the sweet cat, Nancy said:
I saw him in his cage and felt so bad for him. I opened up his cage and ... sat on the floor with him for a while and he sat on my lap. I thought, ‘Wow. What a nice cat.’
Hutchinson knew she couldn't sit idly by while such a sweet and affectionate cat was put to sleep for no reason. She knew someone out there would truly appreciate how special he was so she pulled Jacque from the shelter and took him into the care of Michigan Cat Rescue. She then immediately had her team of volunteers work to find Jacque his forever home.
Hutchinson said that they made it very clear what kind of cat Jacque was, advertising him specifically as a "lap cat." This appeared to work, since a woman came along and happily adopted sweet Jacque!
Sadly, this was simply not the happy ever after the rescue had hoped for.
Unbelievably, after less than a year, the woman returned Jacque to the rescue! Hutchinson said:
After about a year, she said she didn’t want him anymore! She said, ‘He’s constantly trying to sit in my lap — I just can’t stand it anymore. I’ll have to return him to you — this is not what I signed up for.’
It almost goes without saying that everyone at the Michigan Cat Rescue was stunned. Nancy remarked:
Actually, it is what she signed up for because she requested a lap cat specifically, but she just became tired of having him.
Can you imagine how Jacque felt being abandoned twice? Hutchinson said it upset everyone, and that Jacque was visibly distressed. Even worse... his emotional trauma led to him getting physically sick. Hutchinson sady recalled:
He didn't eat for a few days. I think he was confused and upset by the rejection. Stress can really take its toll — not just on people, but on animals — and it broke down his immune system. He had a horrible upper respiratory cold; his eyes were swollen and infected.
With respect and dedication, the team at Michigan Cat Rescue helped nurse Jacque back to health and began the search to finding the right forever home for the sweet, sweet cat.
Hutchinson said this time they were a lot pickier about who would get to welcome Jacque into their home and hearts:
We received a lot of applications for him, but a lot of them weren’t appropriate for his personality.
It was then that a woman named Liz Myziuk and her husband applied to adopt Jacque. Hutchinson had a good feeling and that led her to set up a meeting between Liz, her husband, and Jacque.
Hutchinson recounted the events that took place:
We met Liz and her husband at one of our veterinary hospitals, and we put them in a room together. I let him out of the carrier, and he walked around a little bit. Then they picked him up and put him in their laps and he just stayed there. They were crying and so happy — they were so in love with him.
I left him in the room with them, and they came out and said, ‘We want to give a home to him. We want to take him.' Then I started crying. I was just so, so happy. I think Jacque was relieved, too. I think he knew he finally had his happy ending.
Liz and her husband brought their new fur-baby home and with a new start they also gave him a new name: Giuseppe.
Joyfully, Hutchinson said:
They absolutely love him. He’s doing really well. It’s just really great.
Feeling a sincere emotional connection to Giuseppe and everything he's been through, Hutchinson is genuinely thrilled that the cuddly cat got the forever home he truly deserves:
We were so upset when he was returned to us by his owner. I was just so heartbroken for him, and I can tell that it hurt him as well. So to find him the perfect home is just a beautiful, beautiful thing. It makes me cry because that’s why we do all of this, and that’s why we struggle every day just to save their lives so they have good, happy lives.
We never get tired of a cat's happily ever after.
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