It can be tough for older cats to shine in a shelter. It can be even tougher when they have just three legs. Throw a shy and nervous demeanor on top of all that, and you know you’ve got to find a very special and patient adopter.
Such was Champion’s plight when he arrived at the Connecticut Humane Society this fall—for the second time in his life. His first shelter stay was as a kitten in 2006 when, at three weeks old, his leg needed to be amputated. And so began his days as a tripaw.
He adapted to the change easily, as young pets do, learning to walk and jump in his own way. And he soon found family members who adopted and loved him for the next decade. But when they hit a real rough patch this fall, they brought him back to the CHS Westport shelter, the first “home” he ever knew.
Yet this black-and-white boy was scared. And confused! And so frustrated that he hardly would give shelter staff and volunteers a chance when they talked to him or tried to pet him. Their friendly hellos were greeted with a hiss and flattened ears. It was time to try out a small “free-roam” room to see if he’d benefit from extra space.
Champ still hid under his bed, but was now willing to sit on a staff member’s lap. He slowly started remembering he enjoyed scratches behind the ears and that this friends-with-humans deal was pretty good.
However, he wasn’t ready to show this side to potential families…until one day, he was. In walked a previous CHS adopter who wanted to help a cat who could really use an extra dose of love and understanding. He said when he faced some uphill battles in his life, his CHS alumnus cat got him through. So he wanted to do the same now for a cat in need.
Champion’s new dad was happy to give him a fresh start in a home where he could revel in the peace and quiet. Lo and behold, on his very first night, Champion crawled out from under the bed and jumped up to sleep with his new best friend. This champ was back to being No. 1.