When his owner fell ill and was unable to care for him, Thomas was surrendered to a shelter. When he arrived at Baltimore County Animal Services, the staff immediately began seeking for a rescue organization to take him in. They thought that Thomas was a bit too much for them – he was 26 years old.
Senior cats between the ages of 10 and 13 already had a difficult time finding homes, but at 26, the shelter realized Thomas’ chances were limited. Knowing the medical issues that cats of that age frequently encounter, not many people are willing to take on a cat of that age. The shelter realized it would be difficult to find a rescue that would accept him, but they began posting about him nevertheless — and before long, the right woman discovered him and knew she could help.
Laura Cassiday, webmail administrator and Animal Allies Rescue Foundation (AARF) foster parent, noticed a post about Thomas and was instantly attracted, especially because he was approximately her age. She knew the super senior would have a hard time finding anyone willing to take him, and knew right away what she had to do.
“I was going through my news feed when I saw ’26’ and it stopped me in my tracks,” Cassiday explained to The Dodo. “I’d never heard of a cat that old.” It was a spur-of-the-moment decision; I said they could stop looking and I’d take him, and we phoned the shelter to say AARF would pick him up. The next morning, I took him.”
Cassiday, however, chose to keep Thomas instead of placing him for adoption via AARF. She didn’t want him to have to wait for a home when he might not have much time left, so she decided to be his “fospice” mom, which means she will care for him for the remainder of his life.
“Basically, we took him on knowing that he’d never get adopted for the sole purpose of saving his life,” Cassiday said.
Thomas was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and severe dental disease after being examined by a veterinarian, and he was placed on medicine for both. Aside from that, Thomas is in excellent health for a cat his age, much to the surprise and happiness of his new family.
Thomas has been in his new home for over a week and is still adjusting to everything. It’s probable he’d spent his whole life in his former house, and at 26 years old, leaving the only home you’ve ever known is a big issue. Cassiday, on the other hand, is overjoyed to have him and has already fallen in love with his charming, old guy nature. She owns four cats and two other foster cats, all much younger than Thomas, obviously, and he definitely brings a calm energy to the already bustling household.
Cassiday explained, “Young cats are a lot of work.” “They get into trouble. Juniper unrolls all of the toilet paper at least once a week, thus I waste a lot of money on it. Thomas sleeps calmly in his bed all day and doesn’t bother anyone. He’s the perfect pet. I’m not saying that everyone should go out and adopt a 26-year-old cat, but maybe give that 12- or 13-year-old a second look if you’re seeking to adopt. They need you far more than a cat.”
Cassiday has received a lot of attention as a result of her adoption of Thomas, and she and her family have been affected by the outpouring of love they’ve received for taking in the adorable senior cat. They’ve gotten several comments, letters, and donations from people all wanting to support Thomas during his golden years, and they’re completely overwhelmed by all of the kindness — though Thomas himself is completely unfazed by it all.
“He’s a crotchety old man,” Cassiday observed. “He despises stardom and fame and wishes to be alone.” I can’t say I blame him. His one and only genuine love is food. I’m giving him as much food as he wants since he’s 26 and deserves it. He enjoys being petted and will occasionally play with toys, but this old man spends much of his time napping and eating.”
Cassiday has no clue how much time she’ll have with Thomas — whether it’s a month or a couple of years — but she’s glad for the time they’ll spend together and grateful that she and AARF were able to save his life.
“I feel like a regular person caught up in an exceptional situation,” Cassiday explained. “In my opinion, I did what any other person should have done.” I saw an animal in need of help and knew I could help, so I did.”