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Happy Tail: Howard

Rescued from an unmanaged colony living outside a factory in North York, Howard was found by a kind feeder who trapped him and reached out to ACR. Around this time, Lisa had started searching for a medium-to-long-haired cat, which brought her to Howard.

“Meeting Howard at his foster parents’ house, I felt a little nervous,” recalls Lisa, who lives in Muskoka and, while hopeful, was anticipating a long drive home with a kitty in tow. Seeing a likeness in Howard to her first cat, Charlie, eased Lisa’s nerves.

Charlie and Lisa had spent over a loving decade together, including a year alone in a new town with each other. In the latter portion of his life, Charlie had gotten a feline sister, Christmas. Having lost their sweet companion, Lisa felt it important to find another kitty, and thus Howard entered the picture.

Before Christmas would let him cuddle her, Lisa had to find a substitute for him to nuzzle. This is Howard and his teddy-cat.
Howard and Christmas on a rocking chair
Howard’s sister, Christmas, sharing her favourite rocking chair with him.

“I had seen a few videos of Howard, and his quirky behaviour was so eerily familiar that I had to see if I could adopt him,” recalls Lisa. To her, his big green eyes screamed: “I have so much love to give!” Howard’s cuddly nature with his foster siblings was something both Lisa and bereft Christmas could benefit from.

Upon joining his new family, Howard sneakily gained access to the house from his safety room, provoking a three-day search! With patience, Lisa waited for Howard to come out of his hiding spot in a nook of the basement ceiling, letting him choose to accept things on his terms. Once out of hiding, Howard went for his vet check and received a clean bill of health.

“He did come around to his new life, and the difference between then and now is 180 degrees — he never leaves us alone and we love it,” says Lisa. Demonstrating his unique meowing call and a love of petting, Howard embraced his new life in a matter of days. “He is a nibbler, and once we saw how much he enjoyed his hobby of ‘architecture,’ we began saving cardboard boxes and purchasing chew toys, along with a 6-foot cat tower for two,” says Lisa.

A special moment Lisa and Howard shared took place during a routine nap, when Lisa saw Christmas accept her brother for the first time. “She saw him laying against my side and cautiously crawled up onto the small of my back. Howard popped his head up, saw her, reached out a gentle paw and started aggressively purring.” Christmas returned the purr, and for Lisa, it felt like the loss of her Charlie was a wound starting to heal with this new family member.

“Howard came in with a full medical kit of love and patience. He fixed something I thought was impossible to fix,” says Lisa. Now affectionately known as ‘Dr. Meoward,’ Howard is living the good life. Lisa feels gratitude for ACR’s efforts to find forever homes for cats in need like Howard, and in many cases helping people whose hearts heal in the process of adoption.

“I don’t think we could’ve found a better ‘doctor’ to repair our family,” states Lisa. “Howard’s forever home became an actual home again, thanks to him.”

-Amy Ellen Soden

Lisa keeps bird feeders on the other side of this window, turning the view into a sort of “Cat Media Room.”