Senior Cat, Braveheart, Wins Adopters Heart


We can all agree kittens and puppies are very cute, but the young animals can often require a lot of attention, and some adopters are looking for a calmer furry friend, maybe one who is more mature. Xuanzi J. knew she wasn’t prepared for the responsibility of caring for a young cat, so visited the ASPCA Adoption Center looking for a confident, adult kitty. Little did she know a much more mature lady would win her heart—a lady named Braveheart. 

Southern Belle Braveheart

Braveheart arrived at the Adoption Center in April 2019 after being transferred from a rescue partner in South Carolina, that thought she would have a better chance at finding a loving home in New York City. Sadly, at 12 years old, senior Braveheart was in competition with more youthful kitties no matter where she went. 

After her arrival, our veterinarians conducted routine examinations alongside her travel companions from the South. However, it was discovered that Braveheart had multiple medical issues that, alongside her age, could deter potential adopters.

“Braveheart is a sweet older gal with a common medical condition of the aging feline,” Dr Felicia Magnaterra, ASPCA Adoption Center Veterinarian, tells us honestly. “She was diagnosed in the earliest stage of chronic kidney disease. Braveheart’s quality of life was still very good in our care at the ASPCA Adoption Center and she was not showing any evidence of decline clinically. Because of this, the medical team discussed and decided to move forward with adoption.”


More Hurdles 

In her golden years and with a multitude of special requirements, Braveheart seemed like she would be difficult to find the right match for. Braveheart needed to find a special adopter who could see past her age. With full disclosure to potential adopters of her ailments, Braveheart was moved to the adoption floor ready to meet that special match.

After only a week, she found a kind-hearted adopter who welcomed her into their family, but unfortunately, Braveheart and the other pets in the home could not see eye-to-eye. The family spent nearly two months attempting to form friendships between Braveheart and the resident pets without any success, so Braveheart was brought back to the Adoption Center. 

Adoption Center staff now had the important knowledge that Braveheart should be the only cat in the home—they were hoping this added information could help them narrow down a home and an adopter who would really click with the senior lady.


Meeting Braveheart at Last

Xuanzi had always wanted to adopt a cat but had never found the “right” time. After a change in her life, she decided that there was never going to be the perfect time to adopt, so one Saturday in July was as good as any other day to visit the ASPCA Adoption Center! 

“You could tell how much folks loved the animals there and how mindful they were about matching animals with the right adopters, as well as assessing fit,” Xuanzi tells us. 

She was open minded about her new family member and was shown around to meet all the adoptable animals. This was where she was introduced to Braveheart.

“I knew a kitten was too much but didn’t know I wanted a senior cat,” Xuanzi says. “I read her description which just broke my heart, but what really sealed the deal for me was when her bio said she was the ‘queen of the castle.’ I had a feeling that she was sassy and absolutely loved that!”

Xuanzi acknowledged and accepted that Braveheart had special requirements and they may not have many years together.

“She was very standoffish and really didn’t care for attention,” Xuanzi recalls. “I thought we could keep each other company, even if it was at a distance. [Braveheart] could live the rest of her life in peace. She would be the perfect companion.”


Comfortable in her Castle

Xuanzi made the adoption official on July 13, 2019. She was thrilled to bring her new family member home but was worried about how Braveheart would adjust to her new surroundings.

“When she was moved into her carrier at the ASPCA, she wasn’t having any of it,” Xuanzi says. “She meowed and seems very upset. I was afraid she wouldn’t like me or my home.”

To Xuanzi’s surprise and delight Braveheart settled in quickly and a much more outgoing personality began to shine!

“Within hours she was sitting next to me, letting me pet her, incessantly asking for attention, and being absolutely loving and lovable!” says Xuanzi. 

Xuanzi adores Braveheart and is so happy that she gave this sweet senior a chance.

At 12 years old, Braveheart has had numerous life experiences that we will never know the full extent of. But we do know that today, she has the love and companionship any pet, at any age, deserves.


November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. On behalf of Braveheart, and other senior pets waiting for their loving homes, we encourage you to keep an open mind, and open heart, when considering adding a new furry companion to your family. Spread awareness this month and throughout the year that no matter their age, all animals deserve a safe and loving home.

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