When A Senior Cat Loses The Only Family He Has Ever Known He Needs The Best Home Possible
Before lately, when his mother first lost her job and subsequently her house, Nino had lived with the same family his whole childhood. She searched high and low for someone who would take 16-year-old Nino in but was unsuccessful.
She was heartbroken to have to give him up to Chicago Animal Care and Control because none of her relatives, friends, or even acquaintances were in a position to accept him (CACC).
Jennifer Burke, an avid foster mom, was volunteering at CACC when Nino’s mom brought him in. She could see the pain in the woman’s eyes as she said goodbye to her best friend, and it broke Burke’s heart.
“I saw how truly sad she was to have to give up her furry companion of 16 years,” Burke told The Dodo. “She was crying and you could tell this was an incredibly difficult decision for her. It was heartbreaking to watch. I have two 16-year-old cats myself, whom I have had since they were kittens. I was devastated for both Nino and his owner.
When life gets especially challenging, we need our pets the most for support and companionship. To have to split up at this time in their lives, was just unfair for them both.”
Everyone at the shelter was aware that they needed to find Nino a foster home as soon as they could because of his age, which makes him far more prone to contracting an illness and being sick in a shelter setting. However, by the end of the day, Nino was still in the shelter.
They began networking him furiously, contacting every single rescue and foster they could think of. Burke returned home that evening feeling rather dejected, and as she lay in bed, she kept thinking about poor Nino.
Burke says, “I just couldn’t get rid of the image of Nino, sleeping for the first time in his life, alone, in a little cage in a tense shelter and without knowing his fate.”
For months, Burke and her family had had a steady stream of foster kittens staying in their home, but only four days before Nino was surrendered, they had returned the final litter to the rescue they came from to be put up for adoption. Suddenly, she realized that she and her family were meant to be Nino’s foster family.
“Our fosters always stay apart from our resident animals in the bedroom of my 8-year-old daughter. Returning foster children to the shelter always makes me sad because I fall in love with them and they become a part of my family. We genuinely enjoy foster care, and it makes our family very happy. just for Noa, my kid.
After we sent the foster kittens back, Noa spent the first several nights crying herself to sleep and whining about being alone. As I lay in bed, I understood that Nino might be fostered.
That night, Burke sent a text to the executive director of Heartland Animal Shelter, where her family fosters through, and told her she and her family would foster Nino. The next day, a volunteer picked Nino up from the shelter and brought him to Burke’s home, where he officially became their newest foster.
Nino’s family has been surprised by how well he’s adapted to his new living environment when he first moved into his foster home.
Since he has spent his entire life in the same house, one might think that all the change would be distressing for him. However, he is adapting to the change with grace, and all he truly needs is someone’s love and attention.
“I cannot imagine how confusing and sad this is for him, but he is a total rock star,” Burke said. “He isn’t fearful or angry. It’s amazing. Nino is such a gentle soul.”
Nino is loving spending him with his new foster family, and follows them around to get as many cuddles as possible. That’s exactly what Nino is looking for in his forever home, too. He really just wants a quiet home where he can enjoy his twilight years with people who love him. For Nino, that is enough.
Burke stated, “A more serene home setting would fit his manner. “Somewhere he may enjoy the finer things in life without being loved rotten. He only wants affection and contact with others.