Archie deserved better than to spend his whole life at the shelter. He’s a senior cat and even though he is feral, he deserves to know what it’s like to know what ‘home’ means. But his story has a happy ending thanks to two women who saw more in him than meets the eye. And thanks to them, Archie will spend his senior years in a warm, loving place.
He lived for 13 years in Mid-Hudson Animal Aid in Beacon, New York. He arrived there since he was a kitten but he was never socialized. He was great with other cats and he even socialized litters of kittens over the years, but he was always terrified of humans. That’s why his chances of getting adopted were really low.
On December 2015, the shelter run a sponsor-cat-campaign and posted a picture of Archie. Jennifer Blakeslee, a volunteer at the shelter who had recently adopted Eddie –a special needs cat who was very close to Archie– saw his picture and the post that said that Archie had lived there all of his life. She said:
“Special needs cats deserve love and attention and forever homes, but senior cats and feral cats can be just as difficult to adopt out, if not more so. And 13 years knowing nothing but a shelter …. It just seemed like a story that needed telling.”
READ MORE: THIS 21-YEAR OLD CAT GOT A SECOND CHANCE AND IS NOW FULFILLING A BUCKET LIST TO ENJOY THE TIME HE HAS LEFT
Jennifer Blakeslee was determined to help Archie find the living home he deserved. She posted a picture of Eddie and Archie together and a “Letter to Santa” that said:
“Dear Santa, I’d like you to meet Archie. He was my best friend when i was at the shelter that saved my life …He’s been at the shelter for THIRTEEN YEARS, ever since he was a kitten. That’s a human’s entire time in school, plus kindergarten. He’s very shy, but he’s also very sweet and gets along with other cats. And he really, really, really, really wants to find his forever home. And that’s what I want for Christmas, Santa.”
The post went viral and that’s when Jennifer Braid, Chicago resident, saw it. She got frustrated with all the comments of people saying they would love to take him but couldn’t. So she decided to take Archie herself.
As she needed help covering the transport to take Archie from New York to Chicago, Blakeslee organized a funding campaign –#OperationBringArchieHome– to cover the expenses. In less than an hour they reached their goal and had $250 left which they donated to the shelter.
Archie left New York on April 3 and two days later, he was at home. Jennifer Baird has rescued several cats over the years, including feral ones, which means she is very well aware of their needs.
He’s been there for already a month and he’s already friends with some of the other cats in the house. He just needs time but at least he’s safe and he will spend the last years of his life in a loving home. Blair says about him:
“Archie is like my other feral. They want their love and affection to come from their siblings — not humans. He has to develop trust, and I want him to know that this relationship is about his safety and creature comforts — not about me having an affectionate kitty.”
It seems to me he found the perfect home. Hopefully this story will spread the word about the importance of giving every cat a chance of happiness, no matter if they are senior, feral or with special needs. Every cat in their own unique way can teach so much, so let’s give them a chance.
If you want to see more pictures of Archie, you can follow Jennifer Blair on Instagram.