Although Jordan and Fish had never met, the two senior cats had a lot in common. Both had been adopted and returned multiple times, both had behavioral issues and both were eager to find loving forever homes. As luck would have it, these sweet kitties did end up finding the perfect home—with each other! After years in the making, here is Jordan and Fish’s Happy Tail.
Our story begins with Fish, a six-year-old black cat who came to the ASPCA from a local city shelter in June 2013. We were thrilled to see him adopted just one month later, but were disappointed when he was returned the following March. The adopter stated that Fish was food-obsessed, that he played rough and that he had a tendency to bite and scratch. It was clear that Fish had not yet found his ideal match.
Meanwhile, we hadn’t heard from eight-year-old Jordan in nearly six years. The black-and-white cat had been found as a stray and adopted in 2008, but last July, his guardian returned him due to familial issues. He, too, found a new home quickly, but was returned again in November 2014 because of house-soiling and litter box problems. Although they were unrelated, finicky Jordan and rambunctious Fish seemed to be kindred kitty spirits.
In March, both cats wound up together in the same room at the ASPCA Adoption Center. As luck would have it, that was precisely when Mary O. of Inwood, NYC, also wound up at the ASPCA. She says, “Two days after my previous cat passed, I found myself lying awake in bed realizing that it had been more than 30 years since I was without a living creature with me in my home.” She missed the warmth and companionship of a cat, and decided that the timing was perfect to bring home two feline friends at once.
Mary and her partner, Andrea, headed to the ASPCA in search of young female cats. They met a number of adoptable felines before visiting the habitat where Jordan and Fish were living. “As Andrea and I sat on the floor scratching any chin that was presented, Fish came right over and stuck his head into my hand,” Mary recalls. “Then I noticed Jordan. Jordan was just sort of hanging out, watching the others, and then got up and ambled about. He and I made eye contact, and I got a slow blink.” The volunteer pointed out that neither cat was a young female, like Mary had requested, but by then she was sold. “These are the cats for me,” she said.
Because both Jordan and Fish had presented behavioral issues in the past, we made sure to fill Mary in on their history and advised her to ease them into their new home slowly. But upon arrival at Mary’s apartment—and much to everyone’s surprise—the new brothers had settled in by the end of their first day. “As soon as Fish started to inspect the living room, Jordan took it as a sign that the coast was clear and came right out to join him. They looked so happy,” Mary says. “When I fed them dinner, they ate right next to each other, and by the time I was ready for bed, they were on the bed with me.”
Over the following months, Jordan and Fish continued to delight in their happy new life. Mary bought them cat beds and toys, but she says, “the real big hits have been Snapple lids and Trader Joe’s paper bags!” Fish loves climbing his six-foot-high cat condo while Jordan has decided that the computer is where he wants to be—“I have come home a couple of times to find gibberish on the screen from where he has been ‘typing!’” Mary laughs. She says the two of them sleep, eat and hang out right next to each other all day long.
“I’m really happy to have my Big Moosh (Jordan is 14 pounds) and my Little Moosh (Fish is 11) to cuddle with, and I am looking forward to years of good times with them,” says Mary. “The next purchase will be a pet cam so I can Skype with them during the day!”
It’s almost hard to believe that these are the same two cats who experienced so much difficulty in the past. Their story is proof that with love, patience, and the right family (both feline and human), any animal can flourish.
To help provide more Happy Tails for animals like Fish and Jordan, please consider making a donation to the ASPCA today.