Happy Tail: Casper

Because Casper had lived on the street, Lyla expected that helping her acclimatize to her new home might be more work than a cat with an easier history. But Casper, four years old at the time and patiently fostered by Mira, proved her wrong.

Her most photogenic moment

She wasn’t exactly social that first day but she did allow Lyla to pat her on the head. They have now been together for 16 months, and Casper has gradually grown more comfortable with different kinds of pets. These days, she doesn’t even mind the occasional belly rub.

“I was looking to get a cat because I had just moved into my first apartment where none of my roommates were allergic and I was very excited,” recalls Lyla, who has had cats throughout her life.

Infamous lying on back pose

“I saw a picture of her where she was lying on her back with her belly in the air and her face was a little bit squished up because she’s a bit chubby. I thought it was the sweetest thing I’d ever seen,” she says. “I knew she was the one when I saw her little belly.”

In fact, Casper has learned that if she assumes this belly-up position, Lyla is completely powerless to resist her.

“She knows that if she does that, no matter what I’m doing, I have to go over and rub her belly.”

Casper lives with Gus now

For Lyla, one of the most heartwarming aspects of adopting a rescue cat is witnessing the animal’s transformation. Casper has gone from being a skittish cat, who was not really willing to socialize, to climbing into bed with Lyla at night and sleeping on her chest.

Casper  on the bed

Similarly, Casper — who goes by many nicknames including Caspie and Little Chicken, because when she tucks her legs beneath her, she resembles a hen — has been transformative for Lyla as well. She’s helped her feel more comfortable with living on her own.

“She’s a really nice presence in my life that I didn’t have before,” Lyla reflects. “I think we make each other happy.”

— Leslie Sinclair

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