4 min read

Shelter Cat Hugs The Woman Who Saved Her Life

"I just kind of fell in love. Her little face, and how lonely she looked."

Fat Pat couldn't catch a break.

The zaftig feline landed herself in an Illinois shelter about a year ago. Her previous owner told staff at the McDonough County Animal Shelter (MCAS) that Fat Pat wasn't getting along with the family's dog.

Fat Pat is "a shy, quiet gal," Bonnie Billhymer, assistant animal control officer at MCAS, tells The Dodo, and also "kind of picky," in terms of the people (and animals) she warms up to.

Which means the big girl spent a lot of time hiding in the back of her kennel, giving the kind of unfriendly stare that left potential adopters with the impression she was definitely not interested in going home with them.

One family failed to take the hint, and did adopt Fat Pat - but she was soon brought back to the shelter when the family moved to a place where the cat wasn't permitted.

And so it was that Far Pat became a longtime shelter resident. She allowed staff to "pet her and love on her," Billhymer says, but anyone else - "No thanks."

That is, until Lynda Kruzan came along.

A friend of Kruzan's had been at the shelter looking to adopt a dog. That friend happened upon Fat Pat and, thinking Kruzan might like her, texted her a photo. That was basically that for Fat Pat the cat.

"I just kind of fell in love," Kruzan tells The Dodo. "Her little face, and how lonely she looked."

When Kruzan came in to meet her new beloved, Fat Pat was similarly smitten. Folks from the shelter could see right away that the tragically unlucky cat had finally caught her big break.

"When I picked her up, she just put her arm around me and hugged me," says Kruzan.

"We knew she'd gotten the right one," says Billhymer.

Elsa is still not wild about having her photo taken. | Lynda Kruzan

The adoption went through on December 1, and Fat Pat got a more flattering name, thanks to Kruzan's little girl, who, naturally, decided to call her Elsa, after the main character from the movie "Frozen."

She's staked out Kruzan's bedroom for her own, and is developing an impressive purr, though she still only wants to be pet by Kruzan.

"She growls at everyone else," says Kruzan.

Yes, Elsa is now happily settling into her new home, on her own fussy terms, of course.