Even before she discovered that Matches maintained a robust Instagram account to chronicle his adventures, Aliana knew her newly adopted cat was very, very special.
OK, so maybe Matches’ Instagram posts are abetted by Aliana. But the roughly six-year-old orange-and-white male does assist by lolling fetchingly atop the duvet, keenly watching as the CN Tower elevators go up and down and occasionally, climbing atop Aliana’s refrigerator for added visual impact.
“He’s pretty chill and very independent as cats are,” Aliana says of Matches, who she jokingly describes as her “cat husband” and whose odd name references an in-joke between Aliana and her BFF who lives in the same condo building downtown.
Aliana continues: “Matches is quite funny; I think he has a sense of humour. He’s not just about laying around and having food. He’s a bit of a rascal which is what endeared him to me. He just seemed like a cat I’d like. He’s very entertaining.”
Add to that list of traits “ambitious” with a keen desire to be homed. As the story goes, in and around autumn of 2015, Matches – then known as Thistle – was captured by ACR at his north Toronto colony and taken to be neutered and vetted.
As foster mom Catherine explains, when the very affectionate cat’s caretaker went to return him to his colony, he actually hopped back up into the car.
“There was no availability to keep him at that moment but of course it was pretty endearing,” says Catherine, who cared for Thistle/Matches from January to July of this year prior to Aliana’s recent adoption.
“As soon as there was space for Matches, he was brought in,” adds Catherine, a long-time ACR foster caregiver.
As for Aliana, Matches was the latest in a long line of successful rescues, both canine and feline. “I am a firm believer of rescues over breeders,” she says, noting that she has adopted from ACR previously. Aliana saw Matches on the ACR website and “I knew I had to meet him right away.”
Both Catherine and Aliana agree Matches, though a smidge quirky, is a superstar and may well have once been owned given his demonstrative nature which includes head-butts and lots of purrs. His snoring during naptime is another matter…
“The bed is his favourite place which is funny because Catherine had said he wasn’t really a bed cat. I can’t get him off,” Aliana howls. “I think he loves the squishiness of the duvet. We’re still getting to know each other but every day he is more and more cuddly.”
Adds Catherine, “Fostering is awesome. I’ve done it for about five or six years. It gets harder each time to let the cats go even though it’s rewarding to see them go to a home where they are loved.
“I was sad to see Thistle go, but within a week Aliana had the Instagram account active and was posting and it was pretty clear how happy the cat was. It’s great to be able to follow along with his story.”
— Kim Hughes