It took 13 years, but a shelter cat named Archie finally has his forever home.
The feral cat was taken in by Mid Hudson Animal Aid when he was a fresh-faced kitten, more than two presidential elections and 10 iPhone models ago. Although he was friendly with the shelter’s other cats who came and went (and went, and went) he was skittish around humans, which made it difficult for him to be adopted. But it wasn’t until Jennifer Blakeslee, an Animal Aid volunteer, learned about Archie’s story — and discovered that he’d lived his entire life at the shelter — that finding a home for him became a mission of its own, complete with its own hashtag (of course).
In December, Blakeslee adopted a blind and half-deaf Siamese cat named Eddie, leaving Archie without one of his closest friends. When she saw how lonely Archie was without Eddie, she was prompted to act, posting a Dear Santa letter on Instagram with the hashtag #OperationBringArchieHome, pleading with someone to adopt the other cat.
dear santa, i’d like you to meet archie. he was my best friend when i was at @midhudsonanimalaid, the shelter in #beaconny that saved my life. i’m one of the lucky ones; i got adopted and found my forever home. but archie – he’s been at the shelter for THIRTEEN YEARS, ever since he was a kitten. that’s a human’s entire time in school, plus kindergarten. he’s very shy, but he’s also very sweet, and gets along with other cats. and he really, really, really, really wants to find his forever home. so that’s what i want for christmas, santa. you can tell anyone who’s interested to check out @midhudsonanimalaid; the link is on my bio, and they’re on facebook too. they’re even offering a reduced adoption rate due to his age. (get the details from them.) thanks, santa. i’ll leave you a plate of bacon and a glass of tuna juice. love, eddie p.s. PLEASE SHARE THIS – let’s help santa along and see if we can find a home for archie!!! p.p.s. if you dig archie but you live too far away, please consider sharing this post, or even better, make a donation to the shelter to help cover the expenses needed to keep him safe and warm. thank you!! #OperationBringArchieHome
The photo was widely shared, touching cat lovers who lived hundreds of miles from Archie’s upstate New York home, including one woman from Chicago, Illinois.
“I understood that Archie socialized the majority of kitties at the shelter but was never chosen for a home. It broke my heart,” Jennifer Baird told Mother Nature Network. “I saw that he was in New York and waited a day or so for someone to speak up as I live in Chicago.”
Baird told Blakeslee that, yes, she would adopt Archie. It took several weeks of coordination (and a YouCaring fundraising campaign) to figure out how to get Archie to Illinois, but last weekend, the cat left the only home he’d ever had and started a long car journey to his new digs.
Now Archie is beginning to settle in and has started to warm up to Baird’s other cats.
“My biggest thank you is to Jennifer. She stood up and told Archie’s story. She’s the hero,” Baird told MNN. “Without her, Archie’s life may as well have ended in the shelter where it began.”