This Photo Captures The Tender Moment A 102-Year-Old Woman Fell In Love With A Shelter Cat

Tender Photo Captures Moment 102-Year-Old Woman Fell In Love With A Shelter Cat

Barbara Bates, the adoption coordinator for a Texas animal shelter, was there with her camera when 102-year-old Iona L. and 2-year-old Edward discovered each other.

"It just filled my heart," Bates says about the scene in the shelter lobby. "The kitty just snuggled right up to her. Matched her outfit she had on.

"I said, 'Iona, do you mind if I take your picture?' And she said, 'Honey, I sure hope I don't break your camera.'"

She didn't. Far from it:

woman with catPhoto credit: Barbara Bates/Montgomery County Animal Shelter

Iona's cat had recently died, so last week, she and her son took a trip to the Montgomery County Animal Shelter in Conroe, Texas.

"I'd had him for 10 years," says Iona, who asked The Huffington Post not to use her full name, citing safety concerns. "I needed a companion."

Edward won her over right away.

"The way he cuddled upon my shoulder reminded me of the cat I'd just lost," she says.

Iona's had cats her whole life. In fact, she says one of her favorite pictures is of herself as a teenager with a cat on the family farm. She'd been milking cows, but a bucket tipped over, and the photo captured a lucky kitten reaping the delicious spillage.

Now it's Edward's turn to be spoiled rotten in what might be his first indoor home.

"Oh my, he's very happy," Iona says.

For her part, Bates says she had "no hesitancy" about Iona adopting Edward. To start, Iona's son promised that should anything happen to his mother, Edward would remain in the family. But also, Bates believes that Edward is good for Iona, and she for him.

"My photo tells me Edward immediately sensed that Iona had lots of love and security to offer him," she says.

And that love is priceless.

"To me, an animal gives you life, that a person can't, or material things can't," Bates says. "You come home from a stressful day, and they want to kiss on you. It just makes everything bad go away. So it just touched my heart. And I'm just glad that what I felt came out in the photo."

Check out other wonderful adoption photos on the Montgomery County Animal Shelter Facebook page.

Get in touch at arin.greenwood@huffingtonpost,com if you have an animal story to share!

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