5 min read

Family Was Planning To Adopt A Kitten — Until They Saw This Sad-Faced Cat

"Big chose us and we will always choose him" ❤️❤️❤️

Stacey Arrieta and her family arrived at the Lake County Animal Shelter in Tavares, Florida, three years ago with the intention of adopting a kitten. They were waiting in the meet and greet room for the kittens to be brought out when Arrieta’s son, Ari, suddenly noticed a very scared older cat hiding under one of the benches. 

“He was covered in wounds and had a scowl that broke my heart,” Arrieta wrote in a post on Facebook. “He looked sad and scared. After a few moments he laid down next to my son’s feet.”

The family learned that the cat’s name was Big, and he’d ended up in the meet and greet room by accident. Despite being scared, Big immediately took a liking to Ari and began nuzzling up against him. He wasn’t the kitten they’d come to the shelter to adopt, but it didn’t take long for Ari to fall completely in love. 

The volunteers finally brought in the kittens the family had come there to see, but Ari wouldn’t even look at them. He had already chosen the cat he wanted. 

shelter cat
Stacey Arrieta

“He was now holding this scary-looking gray cat that crept out of the shadows and into his heart,” Arrieta wrote. “One of the volunteers came to return Big not knowing how he was even in this room to begin with. My son stopped her and insisted he was the cat he wanted.” 

Ari looked right past the tiny, adorable kittens and chose Big instead. He knew this was the cat who was meant to be his best friend. 

shelter cat
Stacey Arrieta

The family officially adopted Big and brought him home. He was still so scared. They knew it was going to take some time for Big to warm up to his new home — but everyone was up for the challenge. 

shelter cat
Stacey Arrieta

“When we first brought Big home he slept,” Arrieta told The Dodo. “For days. I honestly questioned if he was OK. My gut told me he just needed rest.”

shelter cat
Stacey Arrieta

It took some time, but slowly, Big began to explore his new home and get to know his new family. He and Ari had a special bond from the very beginning, and today they’re closer than ever. 

“Right now we are doing the virtual school program and both Big and Ari love it,” Arrieta said. “They get to spend all day together and I often find him taking naps on the table while Ari schools.” 

shelter cat
Stacey Arrieta

Big is also best friends with his rescue dog brother, Jaxson, who was adopted from the same shelter. Big loves his life and his family so much now, and they couldn’t be happier that he somehow snuck his way into the meet and greet room that day. 

“He wasn’t supposed to be in the room that day,” Arrieta wrote. “We wanted a kitten. But Big chose us and we will always choose him.”