26-Year-Old Cat Had Nowhere To Go — Until Woman Saw His Facebook Post
"His one true love is food. I'm feeding him as much as he wants because I feel like he's 26 and he deserves it."
Thomas was surrendered to a shelter when his owner became sick and could no longer care for him. As soon as he arrived at Baltimore County Animal Services, the staff there immediately began looking for a rescue to take him in. They decided that Thomas was a little more than they could handle — because he was 26 years old.
Senior cats around 10 to 13 years old already have a hard time getting adopted, but, at 26, the shelter knew that Thomas’ chances of getting adopted were very, very slim. Not many people are willing to take on a cat that old, knowing all the medical challenges they often face. The shelter knew it would be a hard sell to try and find a rescue to take him as well, but they began posting about him anyway — and before long, the right woman noticed him, and knew she could help.
Laura Cassiday, webmail administrator and avid foster mom with Animal Allies Rescue Foundation (AARF), saw a post about Thomas and was immediately intrigued, especially since he was around the same age as her. She knew the super senior would have a hard time finding anyone willing to take him, and knew right away what she had to do.
“I was scrolling through my news feed and read ‘26’ and stopped in my tracks,” Cassiday told The Dodo. “I had never even heard of a cat that old. It was a snap decision; I commented that they could stop looking and I'd take him, and we called the shelter to say AARF would pull him. I picked him up the next morning.”
Rather than put him up for adoption through AARF, though, Cassiday took Thomas home with her instead. She didn’t want him to have to wait for a home when he already might not have a lot of time left, so she decided to be his “fospice” mom — meaning she will take care of him for the rest of his life.
“We basically took him on knowing that he'd never get adopted for the sole purpose of saving his life,” Cassiday said.
After being checked over by a vet, it was determined that Thomas has hyperthyroidism and severe dental disease, and he was put on medication for both. Other than that, though, Thomas is actually in very good health for a cat of his age, much to the shock and delight of his new family.
Thomas has been in his new home for around a week now, and he’s still getting used to everything. It’s possible he’d been in his previous home his entire life, and at 26 years old, leaving the only home you’ve ever known is a lot to deal with. Cassiday is so happy to have him, though, and has already fallen in love with his sweet, old man personality. She has four cats of her own and two other foster cats, all much younger than Thomas, obviously, and he definitely brings a calm energy to the already bustling household.
“Young cats are a lot of work,” Cassiday said. “They get into stuff. I waste so much money on toilet paper because Juniper unrolls it all at least once a week. Thomas lays in his bed quietly all day and doesn't bother anyone. He is the ideal pet. I'm not saying everyone has to go out and adopt a 26-year-old cat, but when you're looking to adopt, maybe give that 12- or 13-year-old a second glance. They need you way more than a kitten does.”
Cassiday has gotten a lot of attention for adopting Thomas, and she and her family have been touched by the outpouring of support they’ve gotten for taking in the sweet senior cat. They’ve received countless comments, messages and donations from people all wanting to support Thomas during his golden years, and they’re completely overwhelmed by all of the kindness — though Thomas himself is completely unfazed by it all.
“He is definitely a crotchety old man,” Cassiday said. “He hates the stardom and fame and wants to be left alone. I kind of don't blame him. His one true love is food. I'm feeding him as much as he wants because I feel like he's 26 and he deserves it. He does enjoy being petted and will play with toys a tiny bit, but it's mostly sleeping and eating for this old dude.”
Cassiday has absolutely no idea how much time she’ll have with Thomas — but whether it’s a month or a couple of years, she’s so grateful for the time they’ll get, and is just happy to know that she and AARF were able to save his life.
“I feel like an ordinary person caught in an extraordinary moment,” Cassiday said. “In my mind, I did what anyone else should have done. I saw an animal who needed help and knew I had the capacity to help, so I did.”
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