“Last fall, we lost two of our cats within 6 weeks of each other,” Melissa explains. “One was 13 and the other was 15. Our hearts were broken over these losses. Thankfully, we still had our 15-year-old cat, Maryann. We weren’t sure if we wanted to get another one so soon, but felt we should to help us heal and to be a companion for Maryann.
“Because our two cats had passed away so recently, we didn’t want one who looked like them – that would have been too painful a reminder. I first saw Walter (then named Vader) on the Furry Friends web site, and his story got my attention immediately. He was a feral cat found living outside an apartment complex. Several of the cats he was running with weren’t as lucky, and they had been put down. His foster mom told me that it had taken him awhile to get used to such household noises as the dryer and vacuum cleaner.
“Our recently deceased 13-year-old Morris had had a similar story. We had found him wandering our neighborhood and knew we had to adopt him. Morris was the sweetest guy, so I had a good feeling that Walter would turn out to be just like him.
“A volunteer at Furry Friends said he was at PetSmart in Hazel Dell if we wanted to see him. I rushed over that same evening! He was very quiet and reserved when I first met him. He seemed so sad, and I was still so sad over losing our kitties that I knew we needed each other.
“To our delight, Walter adjusted quickly to living with us. The first night we left him in his own room to adjust, but after that, we let him have full access to the house. Our 15-year-old cat, Maryann, is a bit of grouch, but she surprised us by warming up to him right away. For his part, Walter adores his older sister and loves following her around. Many times, I’ve found them sleeping together on a bed. He’s not as sure about Peter, our Shih tzu, but he’s slowly getting more comfortable with him. “Walter is easygoing, and loves to lounge and to eat. He also loves to lie on his scratching post and to play with his various ball toys. He’s quite the soccer player! One of his favorite pastimes is looking out the windows at the birds that come to our outside feeder. In the evenings, he loves to snuggle with me when I’m reading a book and likes to sleep under the bed or in the cubbyhole of his cat tree.
“Walter has truly helped our family to heal, and is such a sweet guy. He’s brought new life and spunk into our lives and into Maryann’s. I look forward to seeing him after a long day at work. He brightens my day. I can’t help but smile whenever I think about him.”