Ask anyone who works or volunteers at the Dumb Friends League, and they’ll tell you the job comes with one very specific, universal risk (aka perk): at some point, you’re likely to bring at least one animal friend home with you. It’s difficult to resist when every day you see their beautiful faces, hear their epic stories, and come to know them as individuals. This was certainly the case when one of our amazing volunteers, Linda, met Baby, a 7-year-old cat who came to us in need of tender loving care.  

It was May 2021, and Baby was relinquished to the League, along with five other cats who all came from a home with at least eight more. When Baby got here, he was in very rough shape. Our veterinarians immediately noticed scars and scabbing all over his body, redness and irritation on his front legs, and swelling so bad in his face his eyes could barely open. During his 4½-month stay with us, Baby was diagnosed and treated for a variety of ailments, including arthritis, an upper respiratory infection, ringworm (a fungal infection that impacts an animal’s skin, fur, and nails), and the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). He was also neutered and received a dental – with extractions. 

Over time (and with lots of love), Baby’s condition gradually improved, and he was cleared for adoption. Baby would need to be matched with adopters willing and able to care for his long-term health needs. Given his many hardships, we wanted to do everything we could to find him a loving home. Baby’s story was featured on local radio, and he himself made an appearance on TV to charm and encourage prospective adopters. And charm he did. “I visited with him quite a few times,” said Linda. “And I just totally fell in love with him.” When Linda took a break from volunteering to recuperate from an illness, she told herself, “If Baby is still there when I get back, I’m going to take him home.” 

To Linda’s shock and delight, Baby was right where she left him. And he went home with her the very same day. Since then, Baby has been living his best life with Linda and her other pets. “Baby takes everything in stride … he’s very easygoing. And he’s very affectionate,” said Linda. Among Baby’s favorite activities are sitting in the sunshine, snuggling with Linda on the couch, begging for morsels, and grooming. “Baby LOVES to clean himself [and the other animals],” Linda said. “He has a habit of grooming with one leg straight up in the air!” Mostly, he brings joy to all who know him. According to Linda, “He’s just such a wonderful cat.” 

Baby’s story is just one of the many heartwarming stories in our latest issue of Pet Tales, the League’s triannual publication for animal welfare advocates like you. Do you want happy tales like Baby’s delivered straight to your inbox? Click here to sign up to receive Pet Tales electronically three times a year.