Walter had a cloudy eye and behavior issues as he sat on death row with his time running out, when a compassionate fosterer looked beyond the surface and saw a cat she needed to save. Walter was rescued again when a young boy knew Walter was the cat for him.
Walter had no champion, today’s social network rescue networks were not in place, and he was about to be killed as an unwanted and unadoptable shelter cat when Joyce Yoho had the fateful encounter with him that saved his life.
Joyce was protective of Walter and did not even think of putting him up for adoption until a very special young boy named Tim came to her house with his parents, who were looking at another pair of foster cats. Joyce’s good judgement and her ability to recognize another kind and calm animal lover caused her to relent and adopt Walter to the boy.
Walter went on the become a wonderful pet who enjoys a good life with a good and loving family, all because a woman who saw his worth happened upon him at the right time.
Walter could be a poster cat for the value of many so-called unadoptable pets who enter shelters but are never given the chance to find homes.
In turn, Joyce and Tim tell their stories about saving Walter and what his rescue has meant to them.
By Joyce Yoho
“When I was a volunteer doing rescue and foster in 2006, I rescued Walter from the shelter.
Some friends of mine who volunteered at the shelter said there was this wonderful black cat with a cloudy eye and the shelter was going to put him down because the shelter said he was mean and that no-one would adopt a black, scraggly Tom cat with a bad eye.
I went directly to the shelter and asked to see him. He was already in the “kill” room and I went in and took him out of the cage and sat on the floor with him.
He seemed scared to me and not mean, so I adopted him. I took him to my vet and got him tested, examined and all of his shots and he got a clean bill of health and then I had him neutered.
I fell in love with him and did not list him for adoption because I wasn’t sure people would consider adopting him and I wanted him to have the best life possible.
A couple who saw two of my other fosters in the newspaper, beautiful orange brothers Copper and Corky, came to the house to look at them. Their young son, Tim, was with them and when he saw Walter he immediately bonded with Walter and Walter responded to him in such a loving manner.
After going home to think about what they would do, they decided to adopt Copper and asked if they could adopt Walter. It was very difficult to let Walter go, but there was something very special about Tim and his gentle nature and that I knew Walter would be truly loved and cared for.
That was 6 years ago and I’ve kept in touch with them. I recently visited the family and Walter is still Tim’s best buddy. Walter would have been killed had he not been saved. Walter was not mean, he was just scared being at the shelter. Thank goodness my friends called me to tell me about Walter and that I was able to rescue him and find him the perfect home.”
Walter and Me
By Tim Wright
Six years ago, when I was eleven, my family and I were looking for two cats to adopt and stumbled upon an advertisement in the newspaper placed by Friends for Felines. In the advertisement we noticed that there were two orange tiger cats name Copper and Corky that we thought we might like to adopt so we set up a time to go and meet them.
When we got there, Joyce, the foster parent for the cats, happily welcomed us in and showed us all the cats that were up for adoption. As we were looking around, I came across a black cat that had a scratched eye and looked like he was missing his two front teeth. I asked Joyce if he was up for adoption. She told us the story of how she saved Walter from being put to sleep, and she felt he was unadoptable due to all he went through. As my parents kept on looking at other cats, I would go back to Walter and somehow feel like he needed to be a part of my life. After our visit we told her we were going home to think about what cats we wanted to adopt then left.
Once we got home, I told my parents that even though Joyce said Walter was unadoptable, I had taken a liking to Walter. They supported that decision so we called Joyce and said that we wanted to adopt Copper and Walter. At first Joyce was hesitant to let Walter go but she told us that I seemed to be a very special child and that due to my calm nature Walter and I would get along very well together. So we headed back to Joyce’s house the next day, my parents excited to adopt Copper and me being excited to bring Walter into my life.
When we adopted the cats and were about to leave, Joyce said Walter had a special place in her heart and to take very good care of him. When we got home, Walter adapted very well to me, our home, and family. He also became popular with my friends, popular enough to the point where we made a Facebook profile for him a year after we got him.
Walter has a lot of unique things that separate him from other cats. Whenever you go up to pet him he make a sound that I would compare to a Wookie (a light grrr sound). Also he always smells amazing if you put your face up to his fur and sniff him. He always greets us when we come home and he likes to smell, and when we take our shoes off he paws at them for some reason.
Walter is a free spirit though. Whenever we open the outside door he sniffs the air and tries to sneak past us and get outside for exploring. That might be because I bought a cat harness and take him on walks. I also put him on the trampoline, which zips up, and let him be outside for a while with me. I am off to college in a year and hope that Walter and I stay as close as we have been for the past 6 years. Thank you Joyce for allowing me to adopt Walter, he means the world to me!
4 thoughts on “Walter’s Story”
Love this story.