Adoption Gave Bernadette the Cat a Chance to Be One of the Girls

Sharing blankets and bedtimes, Bernadette the cat becomes two sisters’ best feline friend.

Jessica + Bernadette

Bernadette the cat snuggles her way into her two-legged sisters’ hearts, one sleepover at a time.

"At night, I can hear my daughters mumbling to Bernadette in their funny cat voices as they drift off to sleep."

Bernadette the cat

When I began volunteering for Tabby’s Place, I knew it would be hopeless to resist adopting one of their cats. There was an empty space in our house since my dear tortie Keebler had passed away suddenly the year before. But with two young daughters, a big dog, and an elderly cat in our home, I knew I’d have to be careful about choosing the right match for our full household. The biggest requirement for us was that the cat needed to be tolerant of our two young girls. My girls are pretty gentle but they are young and rambunctious, and not every cat’s cup of tea.

Bernadette the cat

When we adopted Bernadette—a gorgeous, silky, green-eyed orange female tabby from Tabby’s Place—we knew she was friendly and tolerant. But what we didn’t expect was how much she would bond with my daughters. Perhaps it was because we introduced Bernadette into the household by starting her off in my daughters’ room that she grew so attached. Whatever the reason, she became the joint occupant/ruler of the girls’ room, and spends most of her days and nights snuggled in my daughters’ blankets.

Bernadette the cat

At night, I can hear my daughters mumbling to Bernadette in their funny cat voices as they drift off to sleep. In the morning when I come in to wake them for school, Bernadette is lying by their side, ready for a morning cuddle and head scratch. Bernadette has been very affectionate with the whole human family (the elderly cat and dog are another story—let’s just say they peacefully coexist), but I could have never imagined she would form such a close bond with my daughters.

Bernadette the cat

That bond has become even closer as Bernadette ages and has gone through her share of struggles. Last year, we discovered that Bernadette had a malignant tumor in her hind leg. Ultimately our vet determined that the best treatment was amputation, and Bernadette is now thriving as a tripod cat. In order to ensure that she still has access to my daughters’ beds, we purchased pet stairs that enable her to climb up and down at will. She is still queen of my daughters’ beds, and just as snuggly and sweet as ever.

Thank you, Tabby’s Place, for giving my daughters the amazing gift of feline friendship. I am sure this bond will foster a love of animals throughout their lives.

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 Jessica won Tabby’s Place in New Jersey a 2018 Holiday Wishes award.

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