La Crosse woman saves a Brooklyn cat from death
It's a love story that could be straight from a movie. Nothing could keep them apart. Not 1,072 miles. Or different backgrounds. Not even death row. Meet Angel. She's a 5-year-old long haired orange tabby that was set to be euthanized at a shelte...
It's a love story that could be straight from a movie.
Nothing could keep them apart. Not 1,072 miles. Or different backgrounds. Not even death row.
Meet Angel. She's a 5-year-old long haired orange tabby that was set to be euthanized at a shelter in New York.
Meet Andrea Zenith. She's a 31-year-old La Crosse resident with a cat named Hunni, which she's owned for 13 years.
Hunni and Angel look exactly alike. Call them doppelgangers, even.
So when Zenith saw Angel's photo last month on a Facebook group called Cats on Death Row, tears instantly started falling.
"She looked so much like Hunni, I couldn't let her die," Zenith said. "It would be like letting my Hunni die."
Enter Anjellicle Cats Rescue.
The New York cat rescue and adoption organization works to pair cats with owners. Rarely are the inquiring owners from the Midwest, though, said director Kathryn Willis. And never from La Crosse.
Normally, Anjellicle Cats Rescue doesn't do long-distance adoptions. It's tricky and often falls through. But Zenith made it easy.
"She let us know how much she wanted (Angel)," Willis said. "She just really wanted to save Angel's life, and she did."
Willis found a foster home to hold Angel until Zenith could pick her up.
"It was love at first sight," Zenith said.
Cats on Death Row is one of two Facebook groups that publishes daily lists of New York cats scheduled to be euthanized.
The list of names and photos gets sent out every day at 5 p.m. to local shelters by The New York Animal Care and Control, where the cats are held. It's one last effort to get the animals adopted. It's not meant to be published online, but somehow, Willis said, it gets sent to two Facebook groups dedicated to finding homes for the cats before the 6 a.m. deadline the next morning.
If an application looks good, Willis calls the ACC to put a hold on the cat, preventing the animal from being euthanized so the new owners can pick it up.
Emails come in every night from across the state of New York -- and, sometimes, even farther.
"It's puzzling," Willis said. "Wherever these people are living, there are animals in their own towns that need rescuing and are about to be euthanized."
But sometimes pictures grip the hearts of these people. That's what happened to Zenith.
Even her fiance, Eric Hopp, thought he was looking at a picture of Hunni.
A week ago, when Zenith made the trip to New York to pick up her new friend, she was nervous. Not all cats and people get along.
But just like the ending to that movie love story, this one is working out perfectly.
The pair touched noses, and Zenith knew they were the perfect match.
Angel even has a Brooklyn meow, Zenith said.
That moment made everything worth it. The near $600 dollars in travel and fees. The hours spent on the phone trying to save Angel's life from states away. Taking a few days out of her normal life to fly to Brooklyn.
"It's not something you take lightly," Willis said. "That cat will be cherished for rest of its life."
(c)2012 the La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, Wis.)
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