Since November is Adopt-A-Senior-Pet month, we’re highlighting older pets, and Ponch is another example of an older pet who needed a home — although for a cat, age 8 is not so senior.
Nevertheless, his age weighed against his being adopted. He had been at the shelter for six months. He had
lost his former home when his elderly pet parents went to live in a
Their daughter consigned Ponch, then called Honcho, to
the outdoors. A neighbor felt sorry for him and took him to the Baltimore
Humane Society, where staff posted him on Petfinder.
But Joelyne King of Laurel, Md., didn’t practice age
discrimination. “The moment I saw his face, I knew he was the one,”
she says. “There was just something very special
about him. My husband fell in love with him, too.”
Not that Ponch was perfect. “He was missing half of his tail, and
he had borderline kidney failure,” she says. “The shelter staff made
sure I knew what this could mean for me in the long run. I didn’t care; I
knew I wanted him. Today, Ponch is actively diagnosed with renal
failure, and I give him sub-q fluids every other day at home, along with
a special diet. Ponch has turned out to be an amazing cat. He is
incredibly loving and affectionate, more than my husband and I could
ever ask for.”
When the Kings adopted Ponch, humane society staff encouraged them to adopt
another long-termer at the shelter, but Joelyne thought it would be too
much, considering they already had other pets at home. Nevertheless,
she continued to watch Petfinder to see if the cat found a home. Eight
months passed, and Alex, as he was called, was still listed. He had
spent more than half his life in the shelter.
Joelyne could stand it
no longer. She and her husband adopted Alex, now named Baker, to go
along with Ponch, named after CHiPs television show characters Jon
Baker and Francis Poncherello. Memorializing CHiPs seems appropriate, because the Kings really came through for two cats when the
chips were down.
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