Adoptions are sweet. But some are just a bit sweeter than others.
When 4-year-old Mystic came to the shelter in June, her kennel card was printed out with the words “Owner Died.” It’s a small phrase that can imply a big trauma for an animal. We don’t know much about Mystic’s previous life. What we do know for sure is that she’d been living in the only home she’d ever known and now it was gone.
You know those cats who paw through the bars of their cages, crying for attention? Mystic was not one of them. Or how about those cats who, despite being in a strange environment, love to be snuggled? She wasn’t one of them either. Add in the fact that she was seriously overweight and you get a cat who was not flying out the shelter door.
Despite the care of staff and volunteers, the stress of shelter life can make cats vulnerable to illness and Mystic was no exception. In her case, an infection progressed to the point that her eye had to be removed. It seemed that Mystic just couldn’t catch a break.
“Who’s been here the longest?” That’s what Jayson Stohl asked one of our shelter agents recently. Bells should go off and confetti should drop from the ceiling when we hear that question. In this case, our staff member just took Jayson to see Mystic.
What motivated Jayson to ask that question? “I feel better taking a castaway, a non-typical cat. They deserve a shot.” Two years ago, he adopted Maggie, a nine-year-old cat who was missing most of her teeth and hid at the back of her cage. Jayson looked beyond all that. “Even if a cat is shy and withdrawn at the shelter, it’s still a great cat.”
In fact, Jayson says Maggie blossomed into a playful, loving animal who followed him around the house and greeted visitors at the door. Sadly, she recently passed away. But despite this loss, Jayson was ready to bring another cat into his life.
He admits he was a bit surprised when he saw just how heavy Mystic was. Then, he says, he chuckled and thought, “This is right up my alley. I knew right away I’d adopt her.”
So, after more than three months at the shelter, Mystic finally went home. And apparently she was all for the move. She slept on Jayson’s bed that first night and often asks him for attention. “And she’s been showing a surprising degree of athleticism.” This includes relocating toy mice from the 3rd floor to the basement, for reasons known only to Mystic. (And yes, she’s on a weight-loss plan!)
Jayson encourages anyone looking to adopt a cat to consider one that’s been overlooked. As he puts it, “I’m two for two!”