An adoption that was ‘meant to be,’ two years later a cat and his human still happy together

Almost two years ago a cat with a head tilt and looking a little worse for wear lived in the lobby of the Georgian Triangle Humane Society greeting visitors and hoping to find a permanent home. 

At the same time, Allison Earle was an empty nester just leaving a long-term relationship, and on the hunt for a four-legged friend. 

“Being lonely I just showed up at the centre (Georgian Triangle Humane Society) one morning as soon as they opened.… I walked into the lobby and running towards me was this cat with a head tilt and looking really rough and he just ran up to the door and greeted me.

“I went: ‘Oh my God, who is this little guy?’ and they said: ‘This is Bobby.’”

Earle had scrolled through the cat offerings on the Collingwood animal shelter’s website and had her eye on other cats. But she didn’t even consider them after Bobby’s enthusiastic greeting.

Bobby, she was told, has Feline Immunodeficiency Virus – an infectious disease which can be transferred to other cats through blood – and was therefore separated from the other cats, living in a large cage in the lobby. But he often just roamed through the office, sometimes nestling on the odd keyboard.

He also had a history. He was found in Flesherton near death and with an upper respiratory infection. When he first greeted Earle he was scarred, had deformed ears, was hairless in places and sported a permanent head tilt. Some of his teeth were extracted and he has some facial paralysis. He’s also deaf in one ear.

His condition didn’t worry Earle and she knew right away it would be a good match. She was in her uniform and on her way to work so she tried to make arrangements to pick him up later. But the shelter’s policy is that all pets that are at the animal centre are up for adoption until the time that they’re taken to their new home.

But when she returned to pick him up, Bobby was no longer there.

“I felt this connection and they said he’s gone,” said Earle, adding that she cried over the lost opportunity.

Later back at home she turned, once again, to the centre’s website and there was Bobby. She figured it was a mistake but back to Collingwood she went.

“I got there 10 minutes before they opened on a Sunday and I got him,” she said.

She learned Bobby didn’t get along with another pet in his new home so he was returned.

“What are the odds of that,” says a thrilled Earle. “It was meant to be.”

The Georgian Triangle Humane Society receives about 1,500 homeless animals every year and manages the adoptions of 1,300 cats and dogs.

The centre has the capacity for 100 cats and 13 dogs, but marketing manager Kristin Holmes says there’s an ongoing demand for shelter.

“Our wait list for dogs is quite large. We’re seeing a great demand for our service,” she explains.

The charitable organization offers a range of “innovated” programs, including financially accessible veterinary services where about 3,000 surgeries are provided every year. It operates with the help of a volunteer force of 380 people.

Bobby became Frankenstein at Earle’s home in Wasaga Beach and he’s doubled his weight from seven to 15 pounds in the nearly two years since the two have been together. Earle thought he looked a little pieced together from his operations, and then there’s that distinctive head tilt during the early days.

“His coat has completely changed… and he’s nice chubby old man now,” she says.

And he still greets people when they come to the door and offers them a welcoming purr.

And he looks great, landing on the cover of the humane society’s 2024 calendar, through an online vote that served as one of the fundraisers for the Georgian Triangle Humane Society.


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