Shawna Solberg was certain she wouldn’t adơрt any animals after touring Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, with her two kids. She was insistent, in fact.
Solberg told The Dodo, “I had previously warned my girls not to ask for any animals to adơрt.” “At home, we already had two cats and a dog.” We took a tour of the farm, and while I felt bad for the other animals, I tried to stick to my choice not to adơрt.”
When they went to the cat building, Solberg noticed Oscar, a 12-year-old cat who had the outside portions of his ears and half of his tail gone.
“I observed Oscar sitting on an upper level of a cat tree via a glass of a door next to me,” Solberg added. “When I first saw him, I thought to myself, ‘Man, he looks rough and cruel.’ I assumed he had harmed his ears as a result of the struggle. Then his eyes were half-closed, and he had the expression of someone who couldn’t be bothered.”
Oscar’s unkempt look was mostly due to his upbringing. Oscar came to the refuge last October after being picked up on the streets near Kanab.
“When he got here, his back was a little scabby and sore,” Best Friends Animal Sanctuary cat caretaker Danielle Barnhart told The Dodo. “He had a massive yeast infection on his ears and back.” His tail was extremely short and stubby, as if it had been ran over or he had been harmed in some way.”
Oscar also developed skin cancеr on his ears, which required the removal of his ear flaps to prevent the diseаsе from spreading.
The operation left Oscar looking a little “scary,” which may have had something to do with his difficulty finding a home — he’d been living at the sanctuary for the last six months. “Some people might not likе the look of him, especially if little kids come in,” Barnhart said.
But in reality, Oscar wasn’t scary at all — he was one of the nicest, most cuddly cats at the sanctuary, according to Barnhart.
“He absolutely loves humans and being handled,” Barnhart added, “more than any cat I’ve ever known.” “He nuzzles his head beneath your neck and wraps his arms around your neck to hug you. He’d happily spend hours doing it.”
“The caregiver picked up Oscar, and I saw how he kept snuggling under her chin and how he was so dang lovable,” Solberg said. “The more I heard of him from the caregiver, the more I kept being drawn to him. I did not hold him or snuggle with him at the time because … I was keeping an eye on my youngest daughter. All I did was give him a pet while she held him.”
But Solberg couldn’t stop thinking about Oscar.
“We left the building, and I told my 19-year-old daughter that I wanted to adơрt him,” Solberg explained. “She gave me a tiny reprimand for not keeping to my commitment not to adơрt any animals, but she was smiling the entire time since she loves all animals and was excited about the prospect of adơрting him.”
Solberg and her daughters visited with the adơрtion coordinator later that day, but they received some heartbreaking news regarding Oscar.
“They had just found out that Oscar had tumors in his lungs and [asked], ‘Would we still be willing to give him a home?’” Solberg said.
“I knew I didn’t mind it because if I could give him a loving home for even a small amount of time, I was willing to deal with the heartbreak that would surely be associated to loving then losing him. But I had to see what my daughters thought.
I didn’t want to sharе the heartache of losing him with them without them accepting the possibility first. Both did not hesitate to agree that we still wanted to bring him home with us.”
That same day, they took Oscar home.
“I filled out the necessary paperwork, and then I finally got to hug and hold him as they prepared a bag of his medication for us to take home,” said Solberg. “When I saw the caregiver with him, he was all I expected him to be.” He purred loudly and curled up beneath my chin.”