The staff and volunteers at animal shelters like to believe that they can find loving homes for every single animal that comes through their doors.
However, after an elderly, one-eyed cat who had been rescued from a kill shelter spent the past two years in the Michigan Cat Rescue’s care without being adopted, the staff started to doubt whether that was actually true.
“I just happened to go into the shelter that day just to look around and I saw this beautiful cat sitting there,” said Nancy Hutchinson, founder and president of Michigan Cat Rescue, about Apollo, who had ended up in the shelter after his owner had to be put in a nursing home. “He had been there for a while. Probably a good two months. It’s a high-kill shelter and they felt sorry for him so they didn’t put him down yet — they kind of kept him longer to give him extra time.”
Hutchinson took him home and began fostering him until she could find him a perfect home, but shortly after, he became sick and lost his eye from a bad infection that didn’t respond to treatment. As if it wasn’t already hard enough to find him a good home, he was now an elderly, handicapped cat.
“I recall one time in particular a lady came up to him at an adoption event,” Hutchinson said. “He was sitting in a cage and she told him to his face that he was ugly. I truly believe that he understood her because he put his head down. I could tell that he felt bad and it made me cry.”
As a last resort, Hutchinson paid for a post about Apollo to be spread on Facebook, and finally they recieved the adoption application they had been waiting for. “We’re very selective about who we give our cats to,” she said. “We want to make sure they stay indoors and go to a nice family who’s going to take care of them. Otherwise, we do all this for nothing.” After sorting through tons of applications, she actually started crying when she realized the search was over. “I don’t know what it was, but I just started crying and thought, ‘This is the one,’” Hutchinson said about the applicant named Denise. “I called her and said, ‘We’ve been waiting for you for so long to come along. We both started crying.’”
“He waits by the door for her when she comes home from work. He sleeps next to her. It’s a happy ending for him,” Hutchinson said. So many cats are like Apollo who need someone to come along. They’re not perfect cosmetically, but they have beautiful hearts, beautiful souls and truly deserve a second chance.”
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[Featured image: Michigan Cat Rescue]