Dog Lover and North Shore Animal League spokesperson Beth Ostrosky Stern (above, with cat Apple) would not previously have labeled herself a cat lady. She’s wholly devoted to dogs (including her 8-year-old bulldog, Bianca) and has even written a book about dogs. But then she met Apple.

Apple was a special-needs cat and a long-term resident at the North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, NY.

“I asked [NSAL] to give me a really bad case, because I knew I’d be a great mom to a problem animal,” Ostrosky says. “She [Apple] was at the NSAL for a long time, and now she lives with the best dog owners in the world.”

Ostrosky Stern is helping Apple recover from a debilitating skin condition. “She’s bald,” she said. “But she’s on the mend. The hair is growing back.”

Beth writes:

I always love reading all the happy tails from excited adopters on the Animal League web site. Their stories of love and joy always make me smile. Im so thrilled to be writing a happy tail of my own!

You may have heard that I fostered an adorable, special-needs cat. Her name is Apple and shes the sweetest. She was dealing with a few medical issues and needed a place to recover in comfort, and I was more than happy to give that to her. This little sweetheart meowed her way into all of our hearts mine, Howards and Biancas too! On the second day, I couldnt imagine our family without her. We bonded instantly and since then, shes found a permanent spot on my lap.

In January, 2010, I adopted Apple and made her the newest addition to the Stern family. Apple is warm, affectionate and really seems to appreciate all that we do for her. She finds the most comfortable places in our home to take her cat naps with her favorite turtle toy (right); and thanks to this fun and informative article, Do You Speak Cat? You Can! Im learning to read her body language. Shes totally enriched our lives.

The Animal Leagues Foster Care Program gives pets in need an amazing opportunity to recover from an illness or condition in the comfort of a loving home.

There are so many pets waiting to be fostered and adopted. I strongly suggest that you visit your local shelter and open your heart and home to a pet. Whether you foster or adopt, youll feel amazing knowing that youre helping to save lives.

If you cant foster or adopt a pet at this time, dont worry. You can still help countless dogs, cats, puppies and kittens with a generous donation. Youll be sending your love to all the Apples out there who are just waiting to find a loving home.

Im so thankful to North Shore Animal League America and all their passionate supporters. So many pets rely on your kindness, and because of that, our home has never felt more complete. Please help a pet today.

According to PEOPLEPets, it’s Howard Stern himself who seems to have the most love for the family’s new pet:

“Apple sits on his lap while he plays chess online, and she just sits there and watches,” Ostrosky Stern said. “He talks to her.”

And the shock jock isn’t afraid to admit to his softer side. “I love the cat. I’m a cat lover. And I love the idea that we actually saved the cat’s life because no one would’ve adopted this cat,” he told PEOPLE. “She didn’t have the right look, she has allergies. So she was sitting in a cage in the NSAL.” And now? “I told her she won the lottery. She was looking out the beautiful bay window at our home. And I said, ‘Don’t you want to tell those people who abandoned you to go screw themselves?’ ” he joked.

But just because she’s living in the lap of luxury doesn’t mean Apple’s ditched her typical cat ways. “We get her all this non-allergenic food, don’t give her grain, have her on a special diet with special pills,” Stern shared, “and I’m watching her and she ate a fly. And I’m like, ‘What are you eating a fly for? How dare you?’ ” No one ever said changing a cat was easy!

If you have a special special-needs cat, Dr Janet Tobiassen Crosby wants to hear your story. Click here for more info.

[SOURCES: PEOPLEPets.com, Beth O’s NSAL Blog, coolspotters.com]