Adopted Cat and Adopter Find their Differences Make Them the Perfect Match

Together, Lilly and Dylan are free to be themselves.

Dylan + Lilly

Dylan’s experience with Asperger’s Syndrome helped him appreciate Lilly the cat for who she is.

"Lilly only cares about how I treat her. That is such a generous gift when you’ve spent your life labeled as different."

Ash the cat

Lilly wasn’t even on the list of cats that Anjellicle Cats Rescue hoped I would foster. She was at a level they called “experienced,” and I was anything but. I had been doing some cat sitting and loved it, and I realized I wanted that kind of steady, easy companionship in my life. The rescue was clear, however, that steady and easy did not describe Lilly. They suggested that she may not be what I had in mind. Yet after fostering her for a month, I would learn that Lilly was the only cat for me.

The more we talked, the clearer it became that the rescue was nervous about placing a cat with “issues” with someone with Asperger’s Syndrome. I could imagine the headline: “Rescue Dupes Disabled to Take Difficult Cat.” Anjellicle Cats warned me repeatedly about nipping, and that everything had to be on Lilly’s terms. Apparently she was too high energy, too unpredictable, just too much. But her demands seemed totally reasonable to me. She prefers touching on her terms. Perfectly sane in my book. Lilly likes things a certain way and is independent. I like things a certain way and get tired of people, too. Why shouldn’t she?

Ash the cat

So I resolved to give Lilly a clean slate if she would do the same for me. Think about how freeing that is. No preconceptions, no thoughts that “something seems off” about this guy. Lilly only cares about how I treat her. That is such a generous gift when you’ve spent your life labeled as different.

My friends always joke that all I do is worry. With Lilly, I have something good to worry about. She is the only roommate I’ve ever liked and we have great conversations. Lilly can say more with a flick of her tail than most people say all day. When friends come over she claims her central spot on the coffee table, eager to be included and encouraging the same from me. I swear she can sense when I’m ready for people to leave, however, and my little monster knows how to clear out a room. Lilly is definitely the boss, but she looks out for both of us.

Ash the cat

On days when all I want to do is throw myself a pity party, I can almost hear her say (as she finds that perfect spot on my bladder): Fine if you want to go back to bed, but first feed me and clean my litter box. And before you know it, I’ve showered, shaved and put on my snow boots because Lilly is out of her favorite treats and I’m out of a few things as well.

Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Dylan won Anjellicle Cats Rescue, Inc., in New York a 2018 Holiday Wishes award.

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