Joy, a young mama who came from an outdoor cat colony.

Ben, Joy’s friendly son, was ready for adoption.

“Ben was becoming a very social kitten, but his mom remained an aloof barn cat,” explains Kelli Smith, Animal Team Lead for the Lycoming County SPCA. “We wanted them to be adopted together, but the chances of them finding the same home were slim.”

Ben and his mama, Joy, were part of one of our TNR (trap, neuter, release) initiatives. They came together from the same outdoor colony in December. Thanks to our partnership with Beckoning Cat Project in Williamsport, both cats were spayed and neutered and given their vaccines. Often in TNR programs, cats are then returned to their colony. In Joy and Ben’s case, however, their colony’s owner was seeking to downsize, so the friendlier cats like Ben and Joy were kept at the shelter in hopes of getting adopted. To get them used to humans and an indoor environment, staff members spent hours interacting with Ben and Joy. Their pen was placed in staff members’ offices and a close eye was kept on the two to learn their personalities.  As the weeks went by, baby Ben thrived and grew friendlier and friendlier, but Joy continued to prefer her outdoor ways. She was pleasant, but remained aloof and hid when humans came around.

One month after their arrival, Ben was ready for adoption. The pair loved each other, but were faced with a difficult dilemma. Joy clearly wanted a barn home and Ben wanted to be inside. Could a new forever home offer them both? “Barn cat homes are hard to find. We knew that Ben would find a home quickly, but Joy would be more challenging. We did not want to add an additional obstacle to either Ben or Joy’s adoption by requiring that they go together,” Kelli says. Still, staff decided to try. A post about Joy and Ben was placed on the SPCA’s Barn Cat Facebook page and regular Facebook page.

To the delight of many, a woman and her daughter quickly responded to the Facebook post.  The family lived on a farm and were interested in adding Joy to their barn cat family. “They came in to look at Joy and met Ben in the process. The daughter fell in love with Ben and they decided to take them both,” says Kelli. Shelter staff rejoiced! Altogether, Joy only spent about one month at the shelter, a great feat for a barn cat, and got to go home with her beloved Ben. Ben will be living it up inside and can go see his mama anytime he wants. A happy ending for all!

Interested in our barn cat program? Check out our Barn Cat Facebook page or stop in to see our Barn Cat book. We have many lovely ladies and handsome gents eager for their new barn home.

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