Happy Tail: Lukas and Larry (formerly Louie and Lars)

Lukas and Larry (formerly Louie and Lars) were between five- and seven-years-old when they were rescued from a Kensington Market colony in the Atkinson Co-op area.

Happy Tail: Lukas and Larry
Kensington Market, where Larry and Lukas were living.

With their makeshift home turning into a construction zone in the fall of 2016, the kitties were brought into ACR’s care by volunteer trappers Sasha and James in winter 2017. “All of their comforts had been taken away. The only sanctuary left was one fenced-in backyard which served as a feeding spot,” Sasha recalls. “They needed a safer environment.”

Happy Tail: Lukas and Larry
The fenced-in backyard that served as Larry and Lukas’ feeding spot.

Larry was rescued fairly quickly using a trap, while Lukas required more monitoring in the winter cold. Eventually, with a trap placed strategically near a fence in the construction zone that Lukas would walk along, he went right in. “We were so happy that they did not have to live among the bulldozers anymore,” says James. As a bonded pair, Larry and Lukas went to Ioulia and Vernon, who generously offered to provide their living space as an ACR assessment home.

Happy Tail: Lukas and Larry
Larry, outdoors.

With five other pets, Ioulia and Vernon certainly had their hands full, but they willingly became Lukas and Larry’s fosters over the next year-and-a-half. Ioulia remembers first introducing Larry into her home. “He was so scared when he came out of his carrier — he hunched up and hid behind boxes.” A week later, Lukas was trapped and joined his bonded brother. “Lukas was more open to us, but he would still shake when touched,” Ioulia recalls.

A few months into the assessment and fostering stage, Larry was diagnosed with a heart condition requiring daily medication and regular check-ups. To this day, Ioulia is grateful she can provide the medical support Larry needs. “It can be costly, but we want him to have the best outcome and the best life,” she says.

Ioulia and Vernon’s caring patience allowed the cats to grow comfortable in a safe and stable home. “Lukas and Larry were both very timid cats,” recalls Ioulia. “I remember Larry would jump off our couch even if a blanket touched him! They were gentle cats from the start.” Ioulia saw many aspects of the cats’ personalities gradually emerge. “They grew more comfortable moving around the home and getting closer to us,” she says. “Larry would groom Lukas. It was the sweetest thing.”

Happy Tail: Lukas and Larry

Ioulia remembers a special memory during the cats’ first few months at home. “I was petting Larry and he suddenly let out the loudest purr. I don’t think I’d ever heard him purr before,” she says. “I cried, it was a turning point, and I knew he finally trusted me.”

Seeing the difference in the cats’ comfort motivated Ioulia and Vernon to transition from fosters to adopters. “Lukas and Larry were with us for so long, and we got attached to them! I knew it would be too traumatic for them to move again, and I worried people may give up on them,” says Ioulia. “It took them so long to learn to trust.”

Happy Tail: Lukas and Larry

It’s been a little over three years since Lukas and Larry found their forever home, and in that time, they’ve moved twice with Ioulia and Vernon. Both cats have adapted well to new living spaces with their loving owners. “We are their constant,” says Ioulia.

On a typical day at home, Lukas can be found resting by the fireplace, while Larry likes to relax on the couch. “Larry will come and press his body right up against our legs.” says Ioulia. “Lukas will run up to us and meow for attention.”

Happy Tail: Lukas and Larry

When asked what adopting Lukas and Larry means to her and Vernon, Ioulia points out the special relationship they built with their kitties. “We’re bonded to them, and they’re bonded to us,” says Ioulia. “Animal adoption is an amazing thing when you are patient and open-minded — especially when it is facilitated by an organization like ACR.”

-Amy Ellen Soden

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