Zoey was an 18 year old cat surrendered to the Associated Humane Societies of New Jersey in Tinton Falls in 2013 (along with her 20 year old "brofur") after her human had passed away. She had clearly been very well taken care of and deeply loved, but with no one else in the family able to care for her, she was surrendered. I couldn't imagine a cat living to 18 since my first two cats passed away so young (Maci at 11 years old due to unknown causes after conquering mammary cancer, and Jerry at 12 years old due to heart disease). Knowing what I would have given for Maci and Jerry to have lived this long, my heart demanded that I "get" Zoey from the shelter, not even once imagining how important this decision would be for me.
Already having 3 cats, I didn't "need" Zoey, but a Facebook post that I saw about her kept tugging at my heartstrings. A call to the shelter revealed that her "brofur" had already passed away, and the response to my query about whether or not they had any interest or calls to adopt them was a resounding "No...nobody wants to adopt a senior cat". I was torn, but in the end I decided to follow my heart and adopt her, and that precious little girl wound up changing my life.
Through Zoey, I learned how grateful senior cats are for another chance at love. They are calm and loving...just looking for a spot on the couch or your lap while you watch television or read. And in that quiet time together, the most amazing bond is formed, and it can change your perspective forever. Zoey also brought me an unexpected kindred spirit and friend in our Director, Michelle Injety. Michelle had seen the same Facebook post (all the way in Oregon) and reached out to me after I adopted Zoey. I'm blessed to have Michelle by my side as we improve the lives of aged felines through Senior Cat Action Network.
Zoey lived to be almost 22 years old, allowing us almost 4 years together. She developed chronic kidney disease, but had a beautiful life (though she hated getting her fluids!). She exuded love in every way and is still dearly missed. But her memory has lived on through the other seniors that I have adopted and loved since then. She was the catalyst that I had been searching for in my life.
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