Sweet senior cat wins the heart of loving adopter

Selfie with Rachel and Katt
Katt won the hearts of everyone he met, including an adopter who had no plans to adopt a cat the day she met him.
By Ashley Maish

Linda DeBerry loves the unique opportunity she has to meet so many incredible animals at the Best Friends Pet Resource Center in Northwest Arkansas. She may not be able to take them all home. But give the Best Friends marketing specialist a camera, and she’s ready to share the stories and sweet personalities of as many adoptable pets as she can.

Recently, Linda was filming the arrival of some new animals when someone pointed her toward the carrier of a 16-year-old cat. She peeked in and couldn’t believe this sweet feline — aptly named Katt — was a senior. She thought he looked younger than his age.

“He wasn’t shy at all and sure didn’t act or look his age; he just wanted to be loved so much,” Linda remembers. “I feature adoptable animals on social media regularly to draw attention to them, but this was the first time I ever made a personal plea for an animal.”

Linda wanted everyone to know what a special guy Katt was. She just knew he had so much love left to give his next family.

Older cat gets his golden years

When Rachel Melilli and her fiancé, Ryan Wells, decided to visit Best Friends, she wasn’t looking to bring home a new pet. After recently losing a cat she had for 10 years, she just wasn’t quite ready. But she and Ryan still loved visiting the pet resource center’s café and taking the time to play and socialize with the pets.

Rachel walked into the café and grabbed a coffee, and that’s when she saw Katt lying on his back with his legs in the air. “He just looked so comfy,” Rachel says. “I walked over to him, and he was so sweet.” Rachel went to look at Katt’s bio and found out he was 16 years old. She was surprised by his age — he looked so young — and she couldn’t shake the feeling that Katt’s age might hold him back from getting adopted.

[8 reasons to adopt a senior pet]

“I wondered what he had been through to end up at a shelter at that age,” she says. “We were in the position to give him a great home, and I wanted to make sure he had somewhere loving to live out his golden years.” That day, Rachel and Ryan brought Katt home.

When Katt met Rachel and Ryan’s two cats, 5-year-old Little and 2-year-old Popcorn, Rachel was happy to find the three got along well despite their age differences. Katt is very mellow, and she could tell how much he appreciated her giving him a new home. “He’s a hoot — my little shadow,” she says.

Enjoying a senior pet’s love

As someone who enjoys traveling, Rachel prefers to bring her cats along whenever possible, and now Katt is hitting the road, too. Katt did great on his first vacation, a road trip to visit family. He didn’t mind riding in his carrier, and upon arrival he found a spot in the sun to hang out and enjoy his extended family. He was the perfect house guest.

[Cat proves it’s never too late to begin again]

“Just because a cat is a little older, it doesn’t make the adoption experience that different,” says Rachel. “They may sleep more or require medicine, but they have so much love to give, and we have the opportunity to give them an amazing life for the rest of their years.”

Knowing that a loving family adopted Katt brings Linda so much happiness; she’s grateful this special senior found a wonderful home. “Anyone who has had a senior pet knows how rewarding it is to love them and see them enjoying their golden years surrounded by security and love,” she says. “The love they return is so good for our own spirits and hearts, too.”

Be a light for senior pets

Mature pets like Katt have a deep appreciation for the simple things and come ready-made for your companionship.

Adopt a senior pet near you

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