A Wisconsin woman named Alana Hadley was looking for a new feline companion after her tabby cat passed away. But finding a new member of her family didn’t turn out to be as easy as she thought it might be. Although she found the kitten she wanted to adopt right away, he wanted to stay with his sister and was willing to do anything he could to make that happen.
Missing Her Cat, Alana Thought Of Adopting
As many animal lovers know, it can be hard to cope with the passing of a beloved pet. The home feels too quiet, it’s difficult to break your routine of caring for your pet, and you just plain miss them.
No pet can be replaced, but when the timing is right, many animal lovers look to find a new cat or dog to bring home. After her tabby cat passed away, Alana Hadley looked for a new cat companion in mid-January.
She Went To Her Local Shelter
Living in Wisconsin, Hadley visited her local animal shelter at the Door County Campus to see what cats were available for adoption. She felt that she was ready to bring a new pet home, but knew she had to find the right cat for her.
Walking down the row of cats, she came across two kittens. When she saw the tabby kitten, her eyes lit up. He reminded Hadley of her beloved cat.
The Two Kittens Were Strays
Hadley told Love Meow, “He looks exactly like my cat that passed away.” After speaking with the humane society volunteers, Hadley learned that the kittens had been brought to the shelter just before New Year’s Eve.
Someone had found the two stray kittens, and not being able to care for them, turned them over to the shelter so that they could find a good home. After a health check and being spayed and neutered, the sister and brother were ready to find their forever homes.
Should She Adopt Them Both?
Although she only came into the shelter expecting to adopt one cat, if any, after seeing the two kittens together, Hadley considered adopting them both.
She checked with the Wisconsin Humane Society on their adoption status and found out that the brown cat, Aphrodite, was already pending adoption. Luckily, the tabby was still available. It didn’t take long for Hadley to decide she wanted to bring Ares home with her.
One Kitten Was Already Pending Adoption
Hadley considered bringing both cats home, but it didn’t work out. The Wisconsin Human Society told LoveMeow, “Her family was also very interested in adopting Aphrodite as well. However, she had another application pending her adoption.”
After completing the paperwork, Hadley was able to take Ares the tabby kitten home to his new family. Excited to welcome their new family member, Hadley did everything she could to make Ares feel at home.
Ares Wouldn’t Stop Meowing
That night, Hadley and her family tended to Ares needs. He had a comfortable bed, water and food, but he was restless. Hadley said he continued to meow for hours.
Finally, exhausted, he fell asleep in Alan’s arms. But that didn’t last. Hadley told LoveMeow, “He was almost non-stop meowing until he went to sleep. And then meowed again when he was awake.” Was he sick? What could the kitten be trying to tell them?
What Was Wrong?
Knowing Ares had just been through a health check, and had everything he needed, the family wondered what could be wrong.
While animals usually display signs of stress when in a new environment, many become happy and relaxed once they realize they are out of the cold shelter and welcomed into a warm, loving home. Hadley and her family did everything to make the kitten comfortable, but he continued to be restless on his first night.
Did He Miss His Sister?
With no other explanation, Hadley started to get the feeling that Ares must be missing his sister, Aphrodite. She said, “We thought he missed her and was grieving being taken away from her.”
After all, the two kittens had been through a lot, wandering together as strays before being rescued. Although Ares was likely grateful to have a family, he was devastated to be separated from his sister who he had been with since birth.
They Tried To Comfort Him
Realizing that he was probably missing his sister, Hadley and her family tried to comfort Ares by giving him stuffed animals. But, they knew it wasn’t going to do the trick. The kitten desperately wanted to be reunited with his sister.
Hadley made plans to call the shelter and see what they could do. Although she wanted to welcome Ares into her family, they knew the kitten’s happiness was the most important, even if that meant going to another home.
Hadley Called The Shelter
Disappointed, the following day, Hadley called the Wisconsin Humane Society to let them know what was happening with their newly-adopted kitten, Ares. She told them he wouldn’t stop meowing until he tired out. And when he woke up again, he would start meowing.
They believed it was because he missed his sister, as they had been together through so much. He was worried about her well-being. They were having second thoughts about the adoption.
The Shelter Had Surprising News
Knowing that not all adoptions work out, the Wisconsin Humane Society listened to Hadley’s story of Ares meowing throughout the day and night. He hadn’t behaved that way while residing at the shelter, and the volunteer agreed that it could be because he missed his sister, Aphrodite.
But surprisingly, the shelter volunteer also had some other news. They told Hadley that the pending adoption for Aphrodite fell through. They made plans to bring Ares to the shelter to be united with his sister.
Ares and Aphrodite Were Reunited
After Hadley found out that Aphrodite’s adoption fell through and that shelter was still housing her, she brought Ares back to be reunited. The kittens were elated to be reunited.
Hadley told LoveMeow, “They wouldn’t stop playing.” Not only were the two kittens brother and sister, but they were also best friends. It was heart-warming to see them together. The question then became, would they still be happy if they were together at Hadley’s home?
Hadley Decides To Adopt His Sister, Too
After watching the two kittens play together at the shelter, Hadley decided to fill out the adoption papers for Aphrodite, too. When she initially saw the two kittens together, she thought they should be together.
Her instincts turned out to be right, and now they had a second chance to be together. It was then decided- the two kittens would both come home with Hadley and her family that day.
The Playing Continued!
Once Ares and Aphrodite arrived at Hadley’s home in Wisconsin, the continued running around and playing like best friends. The family was elated to see that the kittens were happy- especially Ares, who was previously unhappy there.
It was clear that the home was a good fit for him, he had just been missing his sister while they were separated. Now they were running around while also entertaining the family.
They’re Happy And Loving Kittens
Hadley is happy to report that the two former stray kittens are still having fun at their new home. Also, they’ve turned out to have very outgoing personalities, and loving too!
She told LoveMeow that the kittens love all of their family members. “They both love to cuddle and purr like crazy when we are holding them. They sleep most of the day and they cuddle each other when they nap.”
3.4 Million Cats Enter U.S. Animal Shelters Each Year
Although it can be hard to move on after a pet passes away, in cases like Hadley’s, adopting another cat (or in this case, two!) can be a great reminder of how much you truly love animals, and how much a cat can brighten your day.
Each year in the U.S. 3.4 million cats are brought into animal shelters. With limited space, sadly, not all of these cats will live to see their forever homes. There is good news, however.
The Rate Of Pets Entering Animal Shelters Is Declining
Although three million is a huge number, the good news is that studies show the number of animals entering U.S. animal shelters is rapidly declining. More Americans are opting to find their new friend at their local animal shelter instead of a breeder.
In 2011, approximately 7.2 million companion animals entered U.S. shelters, according to the ASPCA, and in 2018 that number had dropped to 6.5 million. The ASPCA also reports that an estimated 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year.
46% Of Cat Owners Found Their Companion Through Word Of Mouth
If you’re trying to find the right pet for you, it might be a good idea to talk about it! Telling your friends, coworkers, and family that you’re looking for a long-haired calico might lead you to the right place.
The ASPCA estimates that 46% of cat owners found their feline friend through word of mouth, whether that’s talking to someone at a coffee shop or sharing their desire of adopting on social media.
47% Of Pet Owners Rehome Their Pet If They’re Not A Good Fit
Nearly half of pet owners end up re-homing their pet due to a problem- 47% is a large percentage! According to the ASPCA, pet owners may return or bring their cat to a shelter if they find the cat to be aggressive or have health problems.
Spending more time with the pet before choosing to bring them home can help lower this number. In the case of Hadley and the sibling kittens, her instincts told her the kittens would want to be together, and she was right.
An Estimated 27% Of Shelter Cats Are Strays
Around three-quarters of cats at U.S. animal shelters came from a home, with an estimated 27% of the cats originally found as strays. Sometimes stray cats get a bad rap, but as you read with Aphrodite and Ares, stray cats can be sweet enough to melt your heart, once they warm up to their new home.
The more shelter cats who can find a loving home, the better. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to find two kittens who have a bond like Aphrodite and Ares!