One cold December morning, Debbie Gray was at her veterinarian’s office when she overheard a man talking about having his cat put down.
Curious, Gray, who works with the McPherson County Humane Society in McPherson, Kansas, decided to investigate.
The cat appeared healthy and I couldn’t imagine why he would want to do this, she said.
It turned out that the 9-year-old sable Burmese, who had been born in California and moved with his family to Kansas, was in good shape and his family loved him. Unfortunately, they could no longer afford to take care of him.
I approached the man and asked if he would be willing to surrender Oliver to the humane society and give us a chance to find Oliver a new home. The man was very nice and said he hadn’t even thought about asking the humane society for help.
And so it was that Oliver moved in with the shelters other cats in December 2010 and waited for a new home.
Finding the right home for an animal is the most important job the Humane Society does, said Gray. We know that most of the animals that end up at our shelter have a sad story of abuse or abandonment.Every animal deserves a second chance.
The humane society listed Oliver on its Petfinder page, where a California man named Jeff saw him and fell in love.
So enamored was Jeff by the beautiful Burmese that he flew to Kansas to meet Oliver at the shelter. The two had an immediate bond, and it looked like Jeff and Oliver would be a great match. He even said he would be willing to fly Oliver to California if the adoption went through.
Gray said that despite Jeff’s desire to go to these lengths to adopt the cat, the staff had their doubts that someone would be willing to pay to fly a cat halfway across the country.
Nonetheless, the staff took their time to check Jeff’s references and make arrangements to get Oliver securely from point A to point B.
Jeff was approved for adoption and the final plans were made. On Tuesday, shelter volunteer Mary Steffes drove Oliver to Kansas City, where he boarded a plane bound for his new home and his new family.
The trip, coined Operation Oliver, was one Steffes was happy to make: it means one more happy, safe cat and one more happy cat owner.
Oliver is a special guy and we will miss him dearly, but we couldnt be happier, Gray said.
And once again, the technology of the internet and the love of a devoted cat person have brought a shelter cat to a safe, loving “forever home.”
[Source: McPherson Sentinel]