Working with animals requires patience and compassion, but if Tulip—a sassy black-and-white cat—could talk, she might say the same is true for people. This four-year-old feline originally arrived at our shelter in January 2006 and got to know ASPCA staff members very well when she was fostered in an office on the fifth floor of the ASPCA’s headquarters in Manhattan.
As much as the fifth floor crew loved their finicky mascot, they desperately wanted to find her a real home. Staff members talked up Tulip to whoever would listen, and one such effort online proved golden. Patrick O’Keefe, Vice President of the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, posted a status update about Tulip on Facebook, which linked to a video of the cat in her habitat. Patrick’s friend, Stacy Butler of Warwick, NY, saw the video and was smitten.
“There was something about her that just seemed so right,” says Stacy. “I’d been considering adopting kittens, but I didn’t have the time to take off from work to get them acclimated. When I saw Tulip, it dawned on me that an older cat would be perfect.”
Stacy drove two hours to the ASPCA Adoption Center, where she met the tentative Tulip. “She sat in the chair next to me in the waiting area of her office, but she didn’t really want to be touched,” Stacy recalls. “She kept edging closer to me, and I thought with time she’d be okay. When we got home, she stretched out right next to me on the sofa.”
Months later, Tulip is happy as a clam in her new digs. Never one to conceal her emotions, she continues to express herself with a tap of the tail or a swat of the paw. “Tulip's tail is like a separate being—it moves even when she’s sound asleep,” says Stacy. “I think she uses it as a form of communication—I’ve even seen her tap along with music!”
Perhaps a bit nostalgic for office life and the workaday world, Tulip likes to play “queen of the desk chair,” and according to Stacy, will race you for it if she thinks you’re about to sit down. “She also likes to help make the bed by sitting on each new layer of bedding,” says Stacy. “While Tulip’s participation in routine daily tasks can make them more challenging, it also makes them more fun.”
Stacy adds: “Tulip’s a reminder that good things come in unexpected packages. Even though she’s a tough cookie, she’s really a mushball deep down inside—and I just love her.”