From Hisses to Kisses: How Bronx Found His Perfect Home
As summer is in full swing here at the shelter, our dedicated staff and volunteers are busy as ever taking care of cats and kittens in need. Most cats in our care find amazing adopters quickly, often staying no more than a few days. But sometimes, there’s a cat who has a harder time finding a home, usually due to age, a medical condition or a behavioral consideration. One recent cat was up against all three.
Bronx came to us in the fall of 2021 when his owner brought him in because of his temperament, noting that he tried various methods to combat his “acting out.” We believed that Bronx would be happier in a new environment, but he was challenging for our staff to handle. He was swiftly moved to a safe room in our clinic to adjust at his own pace. But when we needed to perform medical checks, Bronx resisted touch and appeared to have trust issues. To keep both Bronx and our veterinary team safe, he had to be sedated simply to be examined and receive vaccines.
Once in the shelter with the other cats, Bronx didn’t want much to do with anyone or anything. We moved him into our on-site store, Meow Mart, so he could receive space away from other cats and noise. Once there, he mellowed considerably. As he became more comfortable, he went from refusing pets and treats to rubbing against legs to request them. We were both shocked and elated that he seemed happier.
Several months later, we felt that Bronx had spent enough time in Meow Mart and was comfortable enough to rejoin the hallway cats to be seen by potential adopters. Our hopes were high. But this unfortunately wasn’t Bronx’s happy ending — yet.
By summer 2022, our team noticed that Bronx was limping around the shelter. Our veterinary team performed a full-body exam and diagnosed him with arthritis and joint disease. Finally, when he was no longer able to mask his pain, we discovered the reason Bronx was so unhappy. We quickly realized that all of his behavior could be attributed to the physical condition his body was in.
Bronx was quickly put on a regimen of medication and supplements to treat his medical issues and relieve his discomfort. We watched his progress closely, and saw him slowly beginning to show a playful side. He loved time in the enclosed patio! Bronx grew to tolerate the other cats, but still wanted space. After living in a few different rooms at the shelter, we placed Bronx in a foster home.
Life dramatically changed for Bronx once he received the individualized attention he needed and was in a home environment. His foster reported that Bronx was doing well and was even enjoying her company, though he still had a small threshold for touch.
It was around this time that our team realized we needed a new approach to help Bronx find the right adopter. We gave Bronx a new persona fitting of his personality. And so, the Italian mob king was born! His name was already perfect, but with a clever new adoption bio, he was on track to find his new roost to rule.
As it turns out, a potential adopter had been eyeing Bronx, growing more interested the longer he was on our website. Then, she stepped forward and made an inquiry to our foster team.
It was love at first sight for Cara and Bronx. Cara knew she wanted a cat who had been overlooked. Having been through tough cases before, she was not afraid to take on a challenge, and fell for the sassy look in Bronx’s eyes.
Cara practiced patience when she brought Bronx home. Knowing that he needed space to transition, she was hands off — despite wanting to smother him with the love she felt for him. By that night, he walked around like he owned the place and slept at the foot of her bed. He claimed a little bed that Cara bought for him, and could be found in it nearly at all times. He even started offering her kisses and snuggling into her arms.
Today, Cara says that Bronx is an “absolute love muffin.” His playful side has continued to emerge, too. In fact, he flops so hard while trying to catch the feather wand that he shakes the whole house. And true to his character, he adores catnip cigars.
The cat who rejected almost every human for years and was cautioned to keep away from children now loves visitors. He even was a gentleman when Cara’s friend brought her daughters over to say hello.
His arthritis is doing well, too, thanks to the help of supplements. Bronx has been caught having the zoomies and received a thumbs-up from the vet.
Cara said that what she loves most about Bronx is that he was a cat who just needed a chance. Despite his history, she earned his trust. When he looks for attention, it feels special, she told us. “He’s been through it, but knowing I’m his human, and that was something he didn’t have to give. I still laugh when I see his spicy videos and look down at him on my lap purring — he’s come a long way!”
Bronx is proof that with patience, supportive care and the right home, a cat’s real personality can shine. And the cat who people were scared of can turn out to surprise you in the very best way. This is why we do what we do.
Shelters can be stressful places for a cat, especially when they have underlying medical issues. That’s why our ultimate goal for every cat is adoption. We believe that each cat deserves his or her chance at a loving, supportive and safe home so they can thrive.
When a cat is with us for too long, we become attached and never stop rooting for them. And when we received an update that Bronx was thriving in his new home, our entire team was overjoyed.
We can’t continue helping cats like Bronx without the financial help of donors like you. Please consider sending a gift to help fulfill our mission of providing an enriching place for all cats on their journey to a loving home. It’s easy to donate online or on your mobile phone. Or, stop into the shelter to see which kitties are still looking for homes today!
We sincerely thank each of you who has opened your hearts to help us serve the cats in our community. Your contributions help even more cats like Bronx find a place where they can flourish.
I will never stop crying reading my sweet little guy’s back story. As I look at him sleeping on my lap it blows my mind that all he needed was some medication and a group of people willing to give him a chance to become such a snuggly fella again.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for getting him ready for me!