Matt had a hole in his heart, not the kind you fix in a surgical suite, but the heartbreaking kind caused by the loss of a pet - or in Matt’s case, the loss of three pets.
Matt stopped by the shelter recently to donate a large cat carrier he no longer needed. A movement off to the side of the front desk caught his eye… the cat condo was right near the front desk. “Maybe I can just take a look at the cats…” he said to himself, certain he was not ready for another cat. He had recently lost Gracie, adopted from Westport in 1997 with her littermate Stella. Gracie was so dubbed because she tripped un-“grace”-fully over the water bowl in her rush to meet her new dad. Of Matt’s three previous cats, she was his favorite. She, Stella, and Dora had been central to Matt’s little family for nearly 20 years and Gracie was the last to leave. The heartbreak lingered on.
After visiting all the cats, Matt returned to the desk for some friendly conversation. He didn’t want to rush into anything, but the reality was he was having difficulty returning home each evening to a quiet house. He missed the pitter-patter of little paws. He thought it might be nice to take a look at a few of the cats. Just looking couldn’t hurt, right?
Matt liked Barney, an 11-month-old tabby who was playfully inviting interaction from his double decker condo. The staff took Barney and gave him time to play with several other cats. Chemistry between cats can be a cautious dance at first. After some trial and error, Barney and 6-month-old Brooklyn had an interest in each other. They scampered around the room gleefully, playing hide-and-seek among the cat trees and tunnels.
Matt fell in love with the pair, but gave the idea of adoption a few days of thought before coming back to make it official.
Now Roberta (formerly Brooklyn, named in honor of Roberto Clemente) and Willie (formerly Barney, named in honor of Willie Stargell) enliven Matt’s home, and fill the hole left by Dora, Gracie, and Stella. Matt says that Willie is a “chill dude” who likes to sleep in the human bed and greet his new dad every day when he gets home. Roberta is a window watcher, and keeps Willie entertained when their favorite human, Matt, is otherwise occupied.
You never know what will happen when you walk through the doors of the Connecticut Humane Society—You just might find your best friend (or friends) for life.
Photos from top: Willie and Roberta