Adopted Cat Purrs His Way into his Family’s Hearts

With his long tail and loud purr, Willy made it clear that he was here to stay.

Portsmouth, + Willy

Nancy and her husband intended to adopt a cat as a companion for their other feline, Pumpkin. Little did they know that Willy would fast become a breath of fresh air for the whole family.

"Willy’s like a breath of fresh air for us. He reminds us of the importance of sunshine when he jumps in our laps with his black coat warm from lying in the sun. How important laughter is when he’s playing cat games on the iPad and is trying to get the mice. He likes to keep us physically fit by having us crawl around on the floor, reaching under the furniture, pulling out his favorite toys he’s stuffed under there."

Adopted Cat Willy

Our old cat, Miss Kitty, had died and we and our other adopted cat, Pumpkin, were grieving and lonely. For days, Pumpkin wouldn’t eat or play and slept all the time — in Miss Kitty’s favorite spots. Her grieving was as painful to us as Miss Kitty’s death.

Our granddaughters insisted they accompany us to the shelter, Sierra’s Haven for New and Used Pets, to find the perfect companion for Pumpkin. In the room full of “older kittens,” we all fell in love with Willy. He was a handsome dude that stood out from the others with his black and white coat, a black goatee and a tail that curled over his back and touched the top of his head when he saw you. But it wasn’t his looks that melted our hearts, it was his purr. When you picked him up, he held on with his paws and rubbed his head on our chins and purred — right into our hearts.

Adopted Cat Willy

Willy did his job, and he and Pumpkin became BFF’s very quickly. They run and play and snuggle. You can certainly say the story has a happy ending, but you would never know then how much Willy has affected the lives of the rest of his family.

The granddaughters still come to play with him and get their “Willy fix.” Our legally blind adult son, who proclaimed him “a keeper,” comes to visit him every Sunday. I don’t know who enjoys those visits most: Jeff, Willy, or us watching the two of them together. But it’s my husband and myself, who are senior citizens, that Willy has affected most. Willy’s like a breath of fresh air for us. He reminds us of the importance of sunshine when he jumps in our laps with his black coat warm from lying in the sun. How important laughter is when he’s playing cat games on the iPad and is trying to get the mice. He likes to keep us physically fit by having us crawl around on the floor, reaching under the furniture, pulling out his favorite toys he’s stuffed under there. Oh, and he loves to snuggle close in bed, but if you have “hot flashes” at night like I do, you know someone has to move a little and it’s not Willy!

Adopted Cat Willy

We live by a river, so we bought Willy a kitty halter to take him outside. The halter makes him feel safe (and me happy I can keep him safe). Walking him outside is like watching the delight of your child discover the world. He learned about the birds and the bees (LOL) and the rain and the trees. But the one that still makes me smile the most was when he discovered butterflies on our butterfly bush. Kitty heaven! We like sitting by the river best, enjoying the peace and quiet and the love we share.

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 Nancy won Sierra’s Haven for New and Used Pets in Portsmouth, Ohio a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.