Then aged 14, Bear had been awaiting a new home at the charity’s Mitcham Homing Centre for some time, being passed over in favour of younger felines.
When Lis Parham came across Bear’s description and photo online it was love at first sight. She and her husband decided to drop into the centre to see if they could meet her. On arrival, however, they learned that she had recently been transferred to the North London Adoption Centre, to allow a new group of potential adopters to see her.
Lis explains: “I had been ‘browsing’ adoption sites since my dear cat Maddie had departed the previous year, aged 18. Bear looked a little glum in her photo and it just pulled at my heart-strings.
“While we were at Mitcham we did have a look at the other cats, but I think I had already set my heart on Bear from her photo and description.
“We were driving north to see my daughter at university the next day and I somehow convinced my husband to make a ‘small’ detour via the North London Adoption Centre in Archway, in case Bear was still there.
“As luck would have it, she was! We were able to meet her and she was such a sweet little thing, if a little nervous at first. But she allowed me to scoop her up quite happily and I just knew we had found ‘our cat’. We brought her home a few days later.”
Two years on, Bear brings an incredible amount of love and fun to the household and her owners can’t imagine life without her. She still enjoys playing with toys in short bursts and will proclaim with an authoritative meow when it’s time for bed.
Lis adds: “While Bear can be a little jumpy from time to time, her confidence has increased so much and she’s such a wonderful companion. It took a year for her to sit on my lap but the joy that that moment brought me was priceless.
“The house just isn’t the same without a cat and I can’t recommend adopting an older cat highly enough. They are generally calmer, and you can see straight away what their character is like. I hate to think of older cats being left on the shelf longer than the younger ones, when they still have so much to offer.”
Cats Protection has found that over the past five years cats who were over 11 years of age took three times longer to home than kittens. It has created Mature Moggies Day (16 June) to celebrate and highlight the benefits of adopting older cats.
This year players of People’s Postcode Lottery are kindly supporting the costs of looking after cats awaiting homes at Cats Protection’s centres across England, Scotland and Wales, helping give cats like Bear a second chance at a happy home.
If you are looking to adopt a cat, find the details of your nearest Cats Protection branch or centre.