There are moments when I tell people that I hope I am reincarnated as a pet in their home. They chuckle, but little do they understand my seriousness.

I know and have met a lot of folks who are just amazing animal-lovers and provide the Life of Riley for their four-legged babies.

Sometimes to the point where I become rather jealous.

One of our adopters sent me a photo of her furry kid recently and I thought, “Man, I am doing something wrong that I am not a cat in her house.”

Let me tell you the tale. Or should I say tail. Heh.

It begins with two cats – Stumpy and Sophie. They didn’t get along. So much so that they had to be kept separate in the home. It seems that Stumpy had a very best feline friend who passed away and he never got over the loss.

When Sophie arrived, Stumpy almost seemed to blame Sophie for the fact that his friend was missing.

Stumpy and Sophie’s human mom and dad were distraught, but refused to give up on either of them and kept them (and their household) separate.

Stumpy was older and eventually, his time had come. When he passed away, mom and dad wanted a friend for Sophie, but were very worried because they didn’t want another situation like they had with Stumpy.

I was asked to put my thinking cap on and my feelers out and see what we might have at CVAS.

I knew Sophie and Stumpy’s mom and dad well. They are absolutely amazing people and cat-lovers. Their home is, quite literally, made for the feline. There are toys and cat beds and cat trees (one even handmade by dad) everywhere.

I’ve told pop that he could sell those cat trees. You should see them – made with REAL tree limbs. Quite a treat for the four-legged feline!

In addition, their entire living room carpet is littered with toys and even brown paper where cats can hide and pounce and play until their hearts are content.

Mom has told me their home is made for the cats. If human company has a problem with it, they’ll just have to deal.

See what I mean about my wish for reincarnation?

Anyway, the day arrived when I thought I had the match for them. Her name at the shelter was Jazz. I called her Jazzy. She is an orange tabby girl who had a litter of kittens, but had an incredibly rough pregnancy. We got her into foster care fairly quickly and her foster mom worked so very hard, but none of her kittens survived.

My heart hurt for Jazzy.

She came back to the shelter alone and spent time in the offices, which is where I got to know her. You could not ask for a sweeter cat. She was so loving and wanted attention, and I gave it to her as often as I could. She liked to snuggle and rub her nose against yours, and every time it would happen, I would think to myself, “You miss your babies, don’t you?”

Jazzy was special.

That’s when I wondered if she would be right for mom, pop and Sophie.

It wasn’t long until Jazzy met all three and mom and pop loved her right away. It took Sophie some time, but now she has Jazzy as a sister (Jazzy’s new name is Izzy) and the family of four is having a great time.

This is where the photo comes in. Out of the blue, Izzy and Sophie’s mom sent me a picture this week – right at a time when I needed it the most. It’s of Izzy in their camper, stretched out on her back, all four paws in the air, barely awake, looking like the cat in the absolute lap of luxury.

Mom and dad take Sophie and Izzy camping with them! How adorable is that?

I can’t tell you what that photo did for me. I know Izzy is happy and so are Sophie (who also came from CVAS) and mom and pop.

You talk about making the right match – and this one was definitely made in heaven.

For the record, I still stand by hoping I’m reincarnated as a sibling for Sophie or Izzy. Just sayin.’



Jennifer Vanderau is the Director of Communications for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter, and can be reached at: The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at: (717) 263-5791, or visit the website: CVAS also operates a thrift store in Chambersburg. Help support the animals at the shelter by donating to or shopping at the store.


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