Imagine a cold and wet January day. The wind is whipping across your face, your fingers and toes struggle to keep warm, you move as quickly as possible from one inside location to another. Now imagine all of that, but you are a homeless cat.
It happened in January when a white and orange ball of fur found himself trapped for an entire night and half a day in a frozen pond.
The cat was brought into our Kings SPCA Animal Shelter by our Enforcement team who found him trying to survive by hiding in a runoff pipe. He was hypothermic, his fur was matted and covered in pond debris.
He was barely clinging to life.
Animals brought into the Nova Scotia SPCA get thoroughly checked to make sure they receive the best care possible. Mr. Freeze, as staff at the shelter named him, had to be bundled in warm blankets the moment he came through the doors.
Hopes ran high that he would continue to be a fighter and Mr. Freeze proved worthy of all the gold medals. His temperature went up and he finally got some well-deserved cozy rest and lots of food.
Not ready to meet his perfect adoption match, Mr. Freeze had a couple of weeks of ups and downs, not always feeling his best. Timid and reserved, he was sure to let everyone know when he was ready for pets and, his favourite, neck scratches.
Staff at the Kings SPCA Animal Shelter tried to get his fur back to its beautiful condition by removing the matts. But Mr. Freeze hated the clippers and wasn’t shy to vocalize it with a hiss or two. So, the last solution was to shave the areas with the worst matting, the hips and shoulders. With a new haircut, Mr. Freeze was still a handsome fella slowly getting ready for this big debut in the world.
The good news was that a little after a month he was brought in, Mr. Freeze was ready for adoption.
It was love at first sight with a loving family who took him home, ready to offer him the warmth he was missing in his life. But upon meeting another cat, Mr. Freeze found out that being the only cat in the house was a lifestyle better suited for him.
Thankfully, his story continued to be a hopeful one.
A few days later, Cupid’s arrow hit the shelter because he found his purrfect match on Valentine’s Day.
Amber Miner walked into the Kings SPCA Animal Shelter ready for a new family member. She had cats most of her life and was looking for a new furry best friend who would also be a great fit for her five-year-old son. “The staff at the SPCA told me that he [Mr. Freeze] was great with kids. He reminded me very much of a cat I had previously- he’s a big, long-haired cat with some Maine Coon evident. My last cat that he [Mr. Freeze] reminded me of had a way of acting more like a dog than a cat- more needy than many cats, but also more tolerant. He was just so friendly I figured his temperament would be similar, and it was,” says Amber.
Mr. Freeze met his new family, including Amber’s five-year-old son, who wanted a dog. After some cuddles, he changed his mind about the new addition to the household. He even chose a new name: Bob.
Bob was, understandably, skittish at first, mostly hiding under beds. But it didn’t take too long for him to warm up to his new human fur-parents and sibling. Now he rocks the only cat lifestyle, enjoying the sun, and even joining the fun.
Most of the time, Bob will lie on the floor as kids run and play around him. But his favourite toys include nerf bullets and that’s where you will find Bob in the middle of the action. “He is always attacking them. He will run after nerf bullets when the kids shoot them,” Amber says.
While at the shelter, Bob always let staff know when he was ready for some love. And he isn’t any different with his family. He still loves neck scratches, and sitting on Amber’s lap is part of Bob’s morning routine, when it’s just the two of them before he has to share her with the rest of the world.
“He likes to sit on me, which I like,” Amber says, “he doesn’t wait for me to finish sitting down before he plunks down on me. Most cats fuss around kneading and looking for the right spot, Bob doesn’t at all- it’s like he doesn’t want to waste any time.”
When asked about her favourite memory so far, Amber recalls, “He walked across the street with my son and husband. They were going to visit grandma, and Bob followed them. He waited with them for traffic to clear, walked across the street with them, waited in the bushes in her yard, and then walked back across the street with them an hour later when they came home. My son was thrilled.”
Bob and his human sibling are so close, that when Amber’s son counts family members, no surprise, Bob gets counted first. They love to play together, and Bob has come a long way from his days at the shelter. Now he’s spreading warmth in his family’s life.
Just like Bob, there are a lot of animals in Nova Scotia SPCA shelters looking for their forever home and someone to count them first. You can keep an eye out on the adoption page or visit the shelter near you where staff will make sure finding your perfect match is a smooth process.
“We’ve had a great experience adopting from the SPCA,” Amber says as a final thought on Bob’s journey to become part of her family.
Being adopted on Valentine’s Day was a coincidence, but one thing is for sure, for Bob love is in the air all year round.