In a very roundabout way I heard the news this week that Penny, the calico cat rescued this past fall, was adopted from the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society! But what’s truly important is that Penny is in a wonderful loving home, her adopters are excited to share their home with her, and her rescuer was surprisingly on hand when Penny was being adopted, on her first shift as a volunteer at WPHS.
Penny truly is an angel to have brought all this about. Here is the rest of the wonderful story of Penny.
A little background
Early Wednesday morning, January 4, Ingrid King forwarded a comment to me that had been posted on her profile of me from a few years ago from the people who had adopted Penny: “…My fiancée and I recently adopted Penny (named after the phrase ‘pennies from heaven’), a beautiful calico cat. We were told you’d written a story about Penny; the woman who’d brought her to the shelter gave us your name.” She added that it was difficult to find the article or many other things on The Creative Cat, which is how she ended up talking to Ingrid.
Thanks to Ingrid I could contact the woman through the comment, introduced myself and gave her the link to the article. I added, “I love to post updates to cats I’ve posted for adoption on The Creative Cat. All people are completely anonymous unless they wish otherwise. Would you mind telling me a few things about why you chose Penny, why you visited the WPHS and perhaps why cats are special enough for you to be taken into your home? If not, I’d never betray your privacy, I can just announce that Penny was adopted and a lot of people will cheer.”
From Penny’s rescuer
I also sent off an e-mail to the woman who rescued Penny saying that I was so glad to hear, not sure that she knew, though I knew that she had followed through with her promise to train as a volunteer at WPHS so she might be in the know. Better than that! She wrote back:
“I was at the shelter when Kitty got adopted. That was the first day volunteering and I was doing the laundry and was mentioning Kitty and one of the girls told me she was getting adopted right then. I rushed over to say goodbye to Penny….I don’t think she recognized me at first but then she got more playful and then I think she recognized me. The man and lady who adopted her said they already had a cat and it was not a lap cat and took more to the girlfriend than the man that owned her. He wanted a cat to sit on his lap. I think that is just what he got because Penny liked to be held and have her ears rubbed. She would fall asleep when you did that. I asked him why he picked her and he said she seemed friendly and came over to him. He looked at another calico but Penny seemed more friendly. He seemed like a really nice man and I was so happy that Penny got to be adopted that day….I told them about the story you wrote about Penny and I wrote down your name to look up your website. Do you know if they got to read the story about Penny? I have a copy and give it to friends when I talk about her. That was such a special story. We still miss Penny and talk about her but I am so happy for her that she got a home.”
And from her adopters
About three that afternoon I received a sweet e-mail from the adopters, “Read the story about Penny and loved it! The attached file answers the questions you posed. You may absolutely use our first names as well as any portion of the attachment. Many thanks for all you do.” Attached to the e-mail was a story they’d written in answer to my questions! People don’t do that unless they are really smitten, and I would guess they are.
“My fiancée and I have been cohabitating since our engagement last February. Randy came into our relationship with two cats and I had one. To keep the focus on Penny, our new addition, suffice it to say two of our three cats passed on. We were down to Friskie, a healthy rambunctious striped cat whose favorite past time is shredding our toilet paper. I had been whispering in Randy’s ear for a few months that Friskie was bored and needed a companion. The day after Christmas Randy surprised me when he pulled into the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society (WPHS)!
“Friskie is a little over two years old. We wanted a female cat of similar age who had been fixed. Penny’s cage was positioned near the entrance to the cat enclave. While the signs say NOT to stick your fingers in the cage, of course we did! Penny was immediately responsive, gentle and Randy was already gone on his little girl. Randy was extremely desirous of a ‘lap sitter’, something Friskie only does briefly.
“We liked two other cats but of those two, one was a boy ~ not meeting our criteria; the other was adopted out before we moved from the cage ~ believe it or not!
“We had some private time with Penny in the ‘quiet room’. She seemed most content to sit on each of our laps and have her ears scratched. The deal was done. We wanted Penny.
“While we waited our turn to complete paperwork Randy and I met the woman who had brought Penny to the shelter. It was her very first day volunteering at WPHS. When the kindly woman saw we meant to adopt Penny she gave us all the background information you previously printed in your article “An Angel Named Penny” posted on December 1, 2011. What are the odds? We’d chosen a famous kitty who’d been published. WOW!…
“Now, a few weeks after adoption, Penny is officially one of us. Our Friskie is still shredding toilet paper if left within claws reach, but he does have a companion. They are seldom out of each other’s sight; it’s too CUTE!
“Our only concern is that Penny sleeps an awful lot and is a bit thin. Her appetite is unbelievably good so I expect she’ll thicken up in no time. I’m not overly worried about her sleep habits either, but Randy almost obsesses on it. I’ve explained that Penny’s had a rough go of it and to give her a few weeks. And too, cats lean towards nocturnal. I’ve seen her racing through the house with Friskie in the middle of the night when I’m getting up to use the bathroom or grab that 4 AM snack.
“In closing, you had asked why we chose WPHS and why cats? Randy and I are both animal lovers. We love ALL animals. A discussion about adopting a dog sporadically surfaces but our lifestyles aren’t conducive to dog ownership. Dogs take a lot more effort, what with the walking, scooping and dependency issues. We’ve both owned dogs in our past but are at a place in our lives where cats are the more desirable pet. We’ve got a few cats and a few fish; that’s good for now.
“And as to why WPHS all I can say is why not? We’re not about breeding pets or raising them up for ribbons and shows. We just wanted an addition to the family. We didn’t need a thorough bred or something with papers. We had a ‘wants’ list, but mostly we wanted something warm, furry and cuddly. We got it; we got Penny!
“Marsha & Randy”
I can’t say more than that…
…except to say that I’m glad I was a part of it. And I know this kind of magic happens every day, even without my intervention, at shelters all over the country. I am in tears thinking about how many happy endings are wound up in this one story!
Keep shelters on your donation list
While Penny was at WPHS, they spayed her and treated her for an upper respiratory infection, and of course they fed her and supplied litter for her personal use. This is not free, and the medical care can get expensive. WPHS is an open-door shelter, charged with accepting any animal brought to their door—a little over 14,000 cats and dogs last year.
Please make a donation to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society to help support what they do for other cats and dogs all year round. I’ll give you a gift if you do: Visit my Friendraiser page for WPHS and order a dozen Feline Greetings cards in honor of Penny, and $10 of every purchase will be donated to WPHS. Use the link on the Friendraiser page to go to my Etsy shop, and make sure you enter the code WPHSPENNY in the notes section when you order!
If not WPHS, please support your local shelter in any way you can.
And if you are looking for an angel kitty, there are many more kitties who have stories as well. Adopt if you can, foster if not, or donate to your local shelter in time, goods or money this holiday season.
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