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Happy Tail: Simon says life is now happy


Simon, a little black-and-white cat, wasn’t putting his best paw forward. His previous family had given him up, and now he was at the Montclair Township Animal Shelter in New Jersey. His behavior made the staff wonder if anyone would ever step up and adopt him. They posted him on Petfinder and crossed their fingers.

Nicole Brito of Union, N.J., had been promised a cat from the relative of a friend, but the plan fell through. But by then, she had her heart set on adding a feline companion to her family, so she began searching on Petfinder. When she spotted Simon, her heart went out to him, even though the staff was very clear about his problems. They also said he needed someone who could help him regain his faith in people.

Simon Brito

Nicole gave Simon a chance, and he has become a great companion for her.

“I instantly equated him with all of the foster children I worked with as a social worker who weren’t showing their best sides at their foster homes because they were scared and sad,” Nicole says. “I made up my mind right there that Simon was the cat for me.”

The first meeting wasn’t particularly auspicious. “He bit the shelter worker and then jumped back in his cage when I tried to hold him,” she says. “Talk about first impressions!”

But she took a leap of faith, “and now I can’t imagine my life without him. We made it through his litter box issues, and two and a half years later I couldn’t be happier and I hope he feels the same … He is really just a softy at heart,” Nicole says.

She hopes her story encourages others to look beyond the first impression. “Give these animals a chance,” she says. “They are scared and sad and just want someone to love them.” That’s what Simon says, too.

Learn why Petfinder believes all cats should wear collars and tags.

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