Shelter Posts Hilariously Honest Description Of 'Crabby Old' Rescue Cat
"Willard laughs at your ignorance. Willard is beholden to no man."
Usually, a shelter cat's naturally sweet and loving personality is more than enough to inspire a family to adopt him into their hearts and home. But when it came to this particular cat, admittedly lacking in those qualities, shelter staff in Florida felt obliged to take a different approach.
A brutally honest one.
"Are you looking for an affectionate and loving new friend to snuggle with? It’s probably NOT this guy. This is Willard. Willard is old. He’s a grouch," Santa Rosa County Animal Services wrote in a post online.
Willard was brought into the shelter as a stray last September. It didn't take long for Willard's rescuers to understand that he plays by his own grumpy rules.
"He likes to be petted. But only sometimes. Head rubs? Allowed until they are not — then you are firmly reprimanded," the shelter wrote. "Did you want to tell him where to sleep? Willard laughs at your ignorance. Willard is beholden to no man. Or woman."
The shelter's description of Willard, aimed at finding him an adopter, doesn't hold back on the unflattering caveats. In fact, it almost reads like a warning.
"Basically, Willard wants things done his way. If you are willing to be owned by a crabby old ginger who may or may not ever show his thanks, please let us introduce you," the shelter wrote. "Willard has the final say though. Good luck!"
Now, the shelter staff's hold-nothing-back approach to finding Willard a home might seem unconventional. But, in the end, it was more effective than they could have ever imagined.
The post went viral — reaching countless people online. And included among them was someone Willard already knew well: his original owner.
She'd lost him a year ago, and thought she'd never see him again. But yet, there he was.
Willard's owner, named Ashleigh, was ecstatic. She contacted the shelter with photos to confirm that the grumpy cat was the one she'd been missing for so long.
When Ashleigh came to the shelter to see Willard, his reaction left no doubt that he was truly hers. Turns out, Willard isn't naturally grouchy after all — he'd just had a broken heart. In an instant, it healed.
"[Ashleigh] was extremely happy and surprised to see him again," a shelter spokesperson told The Dodo. "Willard lit up. He was more playful and excited than we have ever seen him."
As it so happens, in the end, Willard (whose real name is Jay) was indeed a sweet and loving cat — and now, at home again with Ashleigh, he can be himself again.
In other words, from a grouchy beginning arose a very happy ending all around.
"We’re so excited for him," the shelter said.