Animal shelter staff in Ohio threw a birthday party for a 19-year-old cat in their care, and it helped get him the ultimate birthday present: a new home.
When employees at Cincinnati Animal CARE realized that Sammy, a sweet senior cat, would be turning 19 while at the shelter, they decided to make the occasion as special as possible.
“Happy birthday to this beautiful fella who would love a nice, quiet home to live out his golden years!” read a Facebook post on Tuesday from the shelter, showing Sammy at a celebration with his human friends at the shelter, a heaping helping of cat food and a special hat and bow. “The only rule for adopting Sammy though? You have to throw him a 20th birthday party on 6/15/22!”
The adorable publicity seems to have worked. The shelter said on Facebook the very next day that Sammy had been adopted.
While not all cats may have appreciated such a birthday bash, Sammy enjoyed the spotlight, Cincinnati Animal CARE spokesperson Ray Anderson told HuffPost in an email.
“Sammy is just amazingly sweet,” Anderson said. “Likes to cuddle, likes to be held, likes to rest his head on you and was definitely soaking up all the attention today. He’s a very agreeable cat, as I’m sure you can tell with his spectacular hat he got to wear today. He’s very observant and likes to just sit and watch what’s going on.”
He added that Sammy also loves napping in people’s laps and overall is a “sweet, carefree guy.”
Sammy wound up at the shelter through especially sad circumstances, Anderson said. The cat was “in a loving home for many, many years,” but his owner had to go into assisted living and wasn’t able to bring their beloved pet along.
“It’s how we knew his birthday was today, they told us when he was surrendered into our care,” said Anderson.
Despite his advanced age, Sammy is in “pretty good shape” health-wise.
“He does have a heart murmur and a small mass under his ear, but our medical team doesn’t believe they require any special treatment,” he said, adding that any pet should be examined by a veterinarian soon after adoption.
As Sammy has already found a new home, Anderson urged the many people interested in him or moved by his story to consider adopting or fostering a pet in their own communities.
“We’d encourage anyone whose heart is warmed by Sammy’s birthday party to adopt from their local animal shelter - they all need you right now,” he said.
This post was updated after Sammy was adopted.