I love reading Gordon’s story and finding out more about his adoption! He was always hiding when I visited him at the shelter so I only was able to pet him just a little whenever I saw him. I am so glad he is doing better and feeling more comfortable and loved!
Happily Homed: Gordon
A year is a long time for anyone to be without a home, but that was the case for a gorgeous long-haired tabby named Gordon. Gordon came to Cat Care Society along with another cat named Mister in July 2022 (Mister was adopted in February) when the person who found them as strays was no longer able to keep them.
Gordon was positive for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and was so scared of new people that we were unable to get his weight due to the panic he exhibited in his exam. Our fluffy escape artist wanted nothing to do with a scale and wasn’t a fan of being handled, either.
We let Gordon and Mister into our FIV room to adjust to the shelter, while our adoptions team slowly worked with him on accepting affection. Gordon tolerated being pet but didn’t seem to love it at first, but after two months, did offer some slow blinks in return to our valiant efforts. For his subsequent medical checks, he still fought getting on the scale, but eventually put up a more hesitant complaint. We took it as progress!
After a brief bout with tape worms and an altercation with another cat, Gordon’s progress had regressed, and he bit a medical team member during — you guessed it — a weight check.
We also started to wonder if Gordon was partially deaf, as he seemed to be less responsive to audible stimulus. His foster echoed our concerns after noticing that he startled easily when not noticing that someone had entered the room.
Like so many cats struggling in the busy shelter environment, we decided to see how Gordon would do in a foster volunteer’s home. Unfortunately, he continued to display fearful behavior and spent most of his time hiding. But a month in to his time in foster, he finally started showing progress again. Gordon solicited attention all on his own and explored the home at night, even eating treats from their hands and enjoying being brushed. He would meow with fervor; we think he may have been extra vocal because he didn’t realize how loud he could be.
After a couple months, Gordon was transferred to a different foster as the previous home had construction nearby and they didn’t want to upset him with all the noise. In his new foster’s home, he went back to doing what he did best: hiding. Over the six weeks he was in this home, he mostly hid, only coming out to eat, drink and use the litter box. Eventually Irma and her daughter Tatiana were able to pet him, and realized how much he loved being pet under his chin and on his face. They would reach in often to show him love and coaxed him into their basement, where they spent time watching TV with him nearby.
Irma and Tatiana were about to go on vacation and planned to bring Gordon back to the shelter the next day for a week while they were gone. Wouldn’t you know, this was the day Gordon picked to fully come out of his shell. They were shocked to find him coming out all on his own, soliciting attention, rubbing on their legs, laying on their laps and wanting as much love as possible. “It was like he did a 180,” Irma said. “He didn’t want to stop getting love. Our hearts just melted!”
When Gordon came back to CCS, we realized he was likely much older than we originally thought. His intake paperwork put him at 4, but his teeth and hearing deficit told another story.
Gordon received a needed dental surgery, which is when we also discovered he had a gallop beat, which is an extra, abnormal heart beat that can indicate underlying heart disease, fluid overload, metabolic disease, or happens after sedation administration. We shared this info in his profile so his future adopter could monitor the concern with their vet.
Irma and Tatiana describe Gordon as reserved and unsure, yet so sweet. When they came back from vacation, he was adopted. “I was really sad but happy that he was adopted,” Irma said. “He just wanted to fit in, but was scared, probably because of his deafness. I definitely could have kept him. Your heart just went out to him.”
Gordon was in our care for a whole year, overlooked due to his shyness and FIV+ diagnosis before someone came along and was willing to put in the work to earn his trust and love.
Sophia proved to be that person, as he is doing much better in her home. “He picked his spot under our bed and stayed there for the first three weeks after adoption, but with cuddles and slow introductions, we got him out,” she said. “He now claimed under our desk as his preferred spot where he sleeps probably 20 hours a day — and he loves his sleep.”
She kept his name but added the nickname of Gordon Ramsey. Sophia calls Gordon introverted but the sweetest cuddle bug when he wants attention.
It was one of those triumphant days at the shelter when we all heard that Gordon had found a home. With all the time we spend with our longer-staying cats, it’s hard to not get attached, but also that much more special when we get a say a happy goodbye.
Have you adopted from CCS in the past? We’d love to hear how it’s going! Send us your adoption success stories (and photos!) to be featured in our #adoptionupdate series on social media or on our website.
Feel compelled by our work and want to help more cats in need find loving homes? Please send us a financial gift to provide life-saving medical care and adoption services to cats like Gordon. Donations can be made online HERE (and all funds received from Nov. 1 to Dec. 5, 2023, count for our Colorado Gives Day fundraising goal, with extra opportunities for matching incentive funds. We appreciate your support!