This is Jasper’s story, as told by his former foster mom, AWLFC volunteer Ann Virts.
It was early December and I had stopped by Frederick County Animal Control to see if there were adult cats in need of rescue. I found a handsome boy that had been abandoned in Jefferson. He looked like a purebred Maine Coon. A sweet boy, the minute I picked him up, he melted into my arms and made biscuits. You know the ones that steal your heart in an instant… well, this was one of those cats! I knew he was meant to be my foster. Little did I know that this was the start of a series of events that would reunite a young couple with their cat.
Jasper’s story starts 6 months earlier when a young couple, Emily and Tom, were advised by their pediatrician to re-home their two 5-year old Maine Coon cats because the cats may pose harm to their premature baby, Zoe. After posting an ad at their veterinarian’s office, they were contacted by a family and after multiple conversations and a home visit, they decided to re-home them. Now I know some people will say that they could have kept their cats. But imagine having a baby 2 months early and having the doctors tell you that the cats could pose a health risk to your infant. And, rather than dumping the cats at a shelter, this couple did all of the work to find what they thought was a good home.
Six weeks passed and Emily and Tom received a call from Animal Control – one of the two cats turned up at the shelter as a stray! Luckily for everyone, he was micro-chipped. But when the couple called the new owners, they were told that they were divorcing and moving and that they did not want the cat back but that they were keeping Jasper, the other cat! They refused to return calls and the situation became very bizarre.
From time to time, Emily and Tom, now with their healthy baby and the returned cat, would check petfinder.com looking for Jasper and then, one day, they saw the cat I had named Thor! They emailed me and told me his story. After several emails with pictures and phone calls, I knew this was their cat! When I saw the look on their faces when they saw Jasper, I knew I had made the right decision to return their cat.
While this story has a happy ending, far too many animals are taken to shelters or re-homed because of antiquated information given to new parents by doctors. As a humane education organization, we must continually educate people about how they can keep their animals as part of their family, even when circumstances change.