Adopted Kitten Heals During Unexpected Change

Tesla was there to make her family feel whole again.

Michael + Tesla

Amidst an unexpected divorce, the help of an adopted kitten named Tesla, helped Michael and his family get a dose of unconditional love.

"Tesla has in many instances turned my depression into happiness, been there for me when I felt lonely, and cuddled me when I didn't have my human babies to hug."

Adopted Cat Tesla

On March 16, 2018, my life changed forever. My wife, whom I had been with for 18 years, asked me for a divorce that I wasn’t expecting. I crashed. I hit rock bottom. I hurt. I was lonely. I have two amazing kids that kept me going during the most challenging time of my life. The part that hurt the most was that my time with the kids was cut in half. Thankfully, I still get to see my kids almost every day, but it’s the days I don’t get to see my kids where Tesla, my adopted cat, comforts me. This is not a sad story, this is actually quite the opposite.

Adopted Cat Tesla

After about six months of being on my own, my little sister wanted me to get out of the house. It was adoption day at Petco, with HALO there to assist with the adoption process. Now, in all honesty, I wanted a cat — but this trip to Petco was intended to be a casual stroll to visit the kittens. But then I saw her. She was sleeping. I just had to wake her up. She didn’t give me any attitude for waking her, she gave me love. She purred. She cuddled. She climbed on my shoulders. She made me feel wanted. I adopted her.

Since the first day of bringing her home, she has been my baby kitty. Tesla has in many instances turned my depression into happiness, been there for me when I felt lonely and cuddled me when I didn’t have my human babies to hug. I can’t begin to explain to anyone that has not been on the receiving end of a divorce what it feels like, but it’s awful. My kids and Tesla made me find happiness again. They have saved my life.

Adopted Cat Tesla

Every day I head home from work, and whether I have my kids or not, I know Tesla will be there to greet me. She hears the door unlocking and runs to see me with a meow and some kitty snuggles. When my kids are there, she doesn’t run away; she snuggles them, too. My kids love Tesla. They always play with her when they’re home with me and they talk about Tesla all the time when they’re away. Divorce is hard on kids too, and Tesla makes it easier. And for that, I am so grateful.

Adopted Cat Tesla

If you would have asked me two years ago if I would be where I am now: divorced, not seeing my kids half the time, a cat owner… I would have laughed. The thing is, this is where I’m at in my life and I’ve come to learn that you need to find happiness in what you’ve got. You know what I have? I have two amazing kids. I have one sweet kitten. I have a purr-fect family.

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 Michael won HALO/Helping Animals Live On, Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.