Senior Cat Starts a New Chapter by Adopting a Parent

Fang waited for the perfect cat mom: one who wasn’t afraid to take a chance.

Nicole + Fang

Nicole was at a crossroads in her life. Then a senior cat named Ms. Fang taught her that everyone deserves a chance at happiness, at any age.

"She listens to me as I think aloud, tries to sing with me, and slips her paw into my hand when we sleep. She reminds me daily that my story is just beginning."

Adopted Cat Fang

Ms. Fang and I met the way all romantic comedies start. I was mourning the loss of my two cats, and she was newly single with a bad attitude that involved flirting unabashedly with anyone who gave her attention. We met next to a cash register where she was batting eyelashes at some employees, so I asked about her backstory. She was 11 years old, missing most of her teeth, and lost her home during a divorce.

I learned that Fang had flirted with hundreds of people, but her age was a conversation stopper. To me, her age really only meant she knew what she wanted, which is to be a queen and she was unwilling to compromise. I was immediately drawn to her.

I knew she was confused about the upheaval in her life and coping with it the best way she could; that I was in the midst of my own crisis and looking for inspiration, and that we were both lonely. So, Fang came home with me.

Adopted Cat Fang

For many years, I had an ache inside. I always wanted to work with animals but woke up one day with the realization that I was years out of school, pursuing a career I never wanted, and unsure how this had all happened so quickly. I was spiraling into a life that didn’t match my dreams. That is, until I met Fang.

Fang was a senior when I met her. She waited her whole life for me — a broken marriage, the loss of her home, a few months of being overlooked for younger cats. Through all of that, she walked into my life as if her real story started that day. She was willing to let go of her past for a new future and with her confidence, I began to realize that there was no excuse not to act on my dream.

She gave me the superpower to change. Three years ago, I went back to school. While juggling my full-time work schedule, I spent my free time taking the prerequisite classes to become a Veterinary Technician. Last year I quit my job, traded in my fast-paced Brooklyn lifestyle for a new adventure in South Carolina, and enrolled in a veterinary technology program. I know that one day, I will help endangered wildlife in rescue centers and sanctuaries.

As I prepare for my new future, Fang continues to inspire me. She is a testament that for some, the best things come later. I had been afraid to disrupt my life for an unknown, but she gave me the confidence that we can do this and that she will always support me. She listens to me as I think aloud, tries to sing with me, and slips her paw into my hand when we sleep. She reminds me daily that my story is just beginning.

Adopted Cat Fang

Four years ago, we met at a café. Our rom-com ends with two best friends enjoying their happily ever after.

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 Nicole won Meow Parlour Cats, Inc. in New York, New York a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.