By Lara Bussert
In a welcoming community, it is not unlikely to attract the attention of new-comers. On a crisp October day in 2015, a small calico cat wandered into a Romney neighborhood and into the hearts of its community members.
“When we first saw Patches, she was frail and malnourished, easily thinner than she is now,” Denny Thorne, one of the neighborhood members, reminisced. “She started visiting our homes, so we began setting out food for her.”
This became a pattern between the community members and Patches. They would feed her, and in return, she would shadow and dote on members of the community, especially the men.
The three men have made many decisions regarding Patches’ welfare, including having her spayed. “Me, Byron, and Larry all chipped in.” Thorne explained. “We also received a donation from an animal shelter.”
It is nice to know that since Patches has arrived to the community, she is being cared for. What may be even nicer knowing is that she is not the only one benefiting from her arrival. According to WebMd, owning and/or caring for a pet can help reduce stress, improve moods, and can ultimately increase an owner’s longevity.
Patches also brings a lot of entertainment to the community. She can often be found exploring outdoors, jumping on higher perches, and practicing her skills as a hunter. She also follows people around and acts as their shadow, and she loves being stroked (excluding her stomach). She comes visiting the homes of her friends often, three to four times a week, and the neighborhood says she is always a delight to see.
While a cat finding a home may seem like a small victory to some, according to the ASPCA, it is estimated that there are about 3.2 million shelter cats in the United States of America alone. Although taking care of a cat does take time and work, cats can make great companions, and they can leave lasting impacts on people and communities.
It seems that Patches has managed to leave a lasting impact on Bennett and Thorne, because both agree that things have been better since her arrival. “She makes the days more interesting,” Thorne said. “All and all, she is nice to have around.”