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Adoption Update: Ren & Chevelle

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A community cat caretaker noticed a bright orange cat with chubby cheeks limping in the neighborhood. She first thought he was limping due to being hit by a car, but he actually had an abscess on his paw that was causing him discomfort. He was friendly, sweet, and clearly needed medical care, therefore she spent weeks luring him inside her home to help him receive the medical treatment he needed. Once inside, he was very affectionate and loved to be on her lap. Knowing she needed assistance with his care and help finding him a home, she contacted Our Companions and we welcomed Ren to our Sanctuary in March of 2021.

Ren was fully vetted, neutered, and his abscess was taken care of prior to welcoming him to our Sanctuary. He was estimated to be around three years old and quickly settled into his new room. Being a young cat acclimating back to indoors, he loved hanging out on his catio where he was still able to soak up the sun or feel the breeze. During his first couple of months with us, he would get a bit overwhelmed with too much petting or handling. Ren was very appreciative of all the playtime and enrichment both staff and volunteers provided to him! In the warmer weather, Ren was one of our guests that loved taking trips to the play yard that’s adaptable for cats. He would smell the flowers, get the zoomies, and chase bugs! With his exercise needs being met, he started to relax a lot more and would seek affection from his friends. He had no problem claiming your lap as soon as you sat down with him! Ren was also quite social and would spend his time in our shared living room with his other feline friends.

With Ren all healed, settled, and happy, we posted him up for adoption. We found a nice, semi-retired couple that loved Ren and was looking forward to giving him a great home. Shortly after his adoption, Ren experienced some constipation and we helped cover vet expenses. Despite our best wishes, the couple felt there were more underlying medical concerns with Ren and he was returned back to our Sanctuary after a month. Though we were sad the adoption didn’t work out, we understand things happen for a reason and we were happy to welcome him back in our care.

Shortly before we welcomed Ren back, we invited a very special girl to our Sanctuary. Chevelle was trapped as part of a cat colony outside to be vetted and spayed. During her recovery, she was kept in a dog crate and spent almost all of her time in a cat cubby where she felt safe. She was very nervous and shy, but still seemed fine when her caretaker would clean, feed, and care for her in the crate. The caretaker that trapped her noticed that Chevelle wasn’t responding to noises around her and suspected that she was deaf. She felt that returning Chevelle back outside was too dangerous and searched for an alternative option. Our Companions was ultimately contacted and we welcomed this two year old Dilute Calico in November of 2021.

Ren acclimated quickly back to the social, living room and Chevelle was in her own room adjacent to the social room. We were grateful Chevelle had her old cat cubby to bring with her and we weren’t surprised she hid during the first few weeks after the move. Our Cat Team continued to be patient, kind, and respectful when in Chevelle’s room to help her understand she was safe and loved. After a couple of weeks, staff started to notice she was coming out of her regular hiding spots, but would still be perched up high on the cat shelves. As time went on, the team started to notice Chevelle’s interest with the other cats outside of her room. Knowing she did live amongst cats in her community cat colony, they decided to try observing her with our other feline guests and slowly introduced Chevelle to the rest of her fellow feline roommates.

What happened was a magical friendship forming right before our eyes! Ren and Chevelle developed a connection almost immediately. Staff and volunteers would often find Ren in Chevelle’s room, cuddling each other by the window bed. With her friend Ren by her side, Chevelle became much more comfortable with people coming close to say hello. She gained more confidence and seemed more curious about the comings and goings in the cottage. We also soon discovered she actually wasn’t deaf at all! We think she was in such a “shut down” state that she just wasn’t responding to anything around her, but now that she felt more safe and comfortable, she started to become more curious and excited about her environment and her friends!

As life at the Sanctuary continued on, Ren and Chevelle’s bond strengthened. It was so beautiful to see how each cat seemed to bring the best out of each other. Chevelle was more confident and social, while Ren became more relaxed and cuddly. Chevelle even accepted some pets from a close staff member, which was a huge achievement! Eventually, a couple applied for a different cat, but were also interested in learning more about Ren. As they learned more about Ren, and of course his girlfriend Chevelle too, they seemed very open to adopting the pair together. The couple came for a meet and greet at our Sanctuary and to everyone’s surprise, Chevelle was more interested in the couple than even Ren was! Ren did eventually make a pit stop on one of their laps to say hello! After the meeting, the couple confirmed their decision- they wanted to adopt Ren and Chevelle together!

We knew Chevelle would experience some setbacks moving to another environment, but we’re grateful she had her buddy Ren to be there with her during this next chapter. Ren was happy as a clam to have more space to explore, play, and get the zoomies! We stayed in close contact with the adopters and it was such a joyous time reading about Chevelle slowly becoming more comfortable with her new family. They provided us lots of photos and videos of her progress, but the best one was when she started to be affectionate! We knew Chevelle would be such a love bug, giving head butts and purring! They shared with us this six week update,

“Just wanted to share this cute video with you. Chevelle has really come out of her shell, and while she’s still very jumpy and skittish around strangers, she loves to receive affection during her meal times. She is such a sweetheart!”

After about six months, they shared with us this update, “I can’t believe it’s already been six months! Ren and Chevelle have been wonderful. We’ve quickly learned that Ren may be lazy at playtime, but his paws are fast as lightning around the dinner table . Chevelle has realized she loves Churu wet treats, and even though she’s still easily startled by strangers and loud noises, loves to come up for full body pets when it’s calm and quiet in the house. She’s also very talkative compared to Ren’s occasional chirping.” She continued to say, “Funny story – my sister was visiting over the holidays and Ren hopped in her lap so she was excited to take a photo with him. Before I had a chance to warn her about Ren’s appetite, he ran off with the top half of her sandwich!”

After over year since they’ve been home, their family shared this wonderful last update after the couple returned home from vacation, “I guess they must’ve missed us because Chevelle decided she wanted to cuddle and sit in my lap!! She now does it almost every day for some quiet bonding time. I’m so proud of her! And of course Ren is still able to fall asleep no matter what position he’s in!”

It’s been so beautiful seeing both cats become the best versions of themselves, even Chevelle now stealing laps! We’re so grateful these two not only found a home, but they were able to share this home and life together as one big happy family!