Giving thanks for Lady Lou

Special cat leaps her way from Best Friends-Utah into a new home.
By  Denise LeBeau

Louis Fazio was heading to lunch with his personal care assistant in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City, when the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center sign caught his eye. “How long has that been there?” he asked, as he made a beeline for the building.

Louis had been thinking awhile about adopting a cat and, suddenly, here was the perfect opportunity. But Louis had one concern as he made his way to the cat adoption area. He was worried the wheelchair he uses to get around might frighten off any potential furry friends.

Perfect timing

Louis and Lady snuggling“I knew I wanted an older cat who wouldn’t be too skittish,” says Louis. As he was looking at some of the available pets in the cat towers, Erin McMullin, Best Friends adoption specialist, asked him questions about what type of cat he was looking for. Erin brought Louis into one of the cage-free cat adoption rooms to see if anyone there might pique his interest.

“We were discussing the personalities of each of the cats to really make the right fit,” says Erin. As they talked about the various attributes of each cat, time ticked by and none of the cats were being very interactive with their potential new pop.

“I was thinking, ‘I guess it’s not going to work out today,’ when boom, Lady jumped up on my chair,” says Louis.

A very special Lady

Lady, a delightful tortoiseshell cat, had only been at the adoption center for a few days when her new dad rolled into her life. “Lady had just recently moved out from our Best Friends Kitten Nursery as a mother,” says Erin. It was quickly apparent that Louis didn’t need any more convincing.

As they started the adoption procedure, Louis was sure Lady was meant to be his. “I wouldn’t let anyone take her from me,” he says.

Kismet Thanksgiving

The Fazio house will be abuzz with good cheer this holiday season. Lady is now Lady-Lou and she’s a constant companion to Louis, something he’d been yearning for. “People always think about dogs when they think about therapy animals, but cats provide the same companionship but with different care requirements,” says Louis. “Lady-Lou likes to always be close to me. She’ll lie on my stomach or sit on my shoulder and lick my ear. I love how affectionate she is.”

The holidays have been harder for Louis since he lost his parents a few years ago. But Lady-Lou surely will help make this his best Thanksgiving in a long time. “I think everything is interconnected and I believe Lady-Lou is a gift from my mother,” says Louis. “She is the perfect cat for me and I’m thankful to Erin and the pet adoption center for bringing us together.”

Get involved

To help more animals like Lady go from homeless to home, become a Best Friends member.

Learn more about Best Friends local programs.

Photos by Erin McMullen