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Happy Tail: Tiger Tom finds a home after 5 years


The weekend of Petfinder’s Big Birthday Adopt Event arrived at a busy time for our little Spencer, NY, volunteer-run rescue, Wildrun. As a Petfinder staffer, I planned to spend Sunday supporting our shelter and rescue-group members, but as Wildrun’s founder, I wanted to take advantage of the extra buzz and easy publicity tools for the big adoption event.


The shy Tiger Tom is really a cuddler at heart. Watch his video.

At the last minute, we decided to go for it and hold an adoption event on Saturday. Our local paper squeaked our press release in at the last moment. We printed  the Petfinder-provided flyers and cards, and I posted Petfinder’s ready-made graphics and volunteer appeal on Wildrun’s blog. Friends responded with promises to help out — and we were ready to go!

When adopters arrive at a shelter or rescue, their heart is often snagged by the charming cat who reaches out a friendly
paw to say, “Take me home!” Or visitors may feel drawn to a shy cat with scared eyes who just needs some love and security to bring out her brave side.

But Tiger Tom, a handsome cat abandoned here in 2005, was passed over year after year. He was shy with strangers and could look positively grumpy despite his sweet disposition.


Tiger Tom could look grumpy despite his sweet disposition.

Because he was a familiar-looking brown tiger short hair, he faded into the background compared to flashier-looking cats and cute bouncy kittens. At off-site events, he stubbornly hid under a towel.

Of course, as soon as the strangers left, he would hop down from his cubby, headbutt his fellow cats affectionately and roll over for a belly rub. He looked like a little stuffed cat with his short legs and plush fur.

Tiger Tom was a highly adoptable cat. He just refused to show it to visitors!

When the blog post about our Petfinder Big Birthday Adoption Event went public, longtime reader Georg left the comment: “Jazz and I will be there, with an empty cat carrier.” Georg, along with several friends, regularly crocheted kitty blankets for shelters, including Wildrun. She and Jazz had recently had two beloved pets pass on from old age, and they wanted to adopt a cat who had been homeless a long time.

And Saturday was Tiger Tom’s lucky day: Even though he put on his “grumpy face,” Georg and Jazz chose him! That night I emailed them a video of Tom being cute, so they could see how he would blossom once he settled in. After a pre-adoption check-up and a dental, he went to his new home on Sunday.

Two other adult cats — Tyler, who had been with Wildrun for a year, and Portia, a five-month resident, were also adopted at our birthday event. For a tiny rescue at a short-notice event, three adult-cat adoptions is huge!

Sometimes it takes just a little bit more to find those special adopters who see beyond a grumpy face. Thank you to Petfinder for making it easy to hold our Big Birthday Adoption Event. It was the best party ever for Tiger Tom!

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