Catching Up With Cat Town Alum: Woolsey

For Adopt-a-Senior-Pet month we’re turning the spotlight on Woolsey, a special senior cat whose story shows what a difference compassionate care can make in the life of a cat. His story also demonstrates the importance of Cat Town’s mission to help senior and less fortunate cats find their way out of the shelter and into loving homes.

Senior cat Woolsey came to Cat Town in the early summer of 2016, after enduring a rough few years. He had been surrendered at Oakland Animal Services (OAS) after his previous owner kept him outside in their yard. Woolsey also had some health issues and was losing weight. He was difficult to handle and would only allow a few quick pets while he was eating. Things didn’t look good for Woolsey.

Woolsey enjoying a cat nap at home. Photo courtesy of @woolseythecat.

Woolsey enjoying a cat nap at home. Photo courtesy of @woolseythecat.

Very quickly, he got on Cat Town’s radar. In a partnership with Feral Change, Woolsey went to their space in West Oakland. While initially fearful, it seemed as though he was also interested in being near humans.

“It was heartbreaking to see him look down the walkway for people,” shares Sarah Rogers, the founder of Feral Change. “It seemed like he was saying, ‘Where are my people?’” Eventually Woolsey was put into a larger room with more space so he could have more exposure to both volunteers and other cats. While he loved to eat, he continued to have digestive issues and medication didn’t seem to help. Woolsey was taken to the clinic at the Nine Lives Foundation in Redwood City, where he was diagnosed with stomach cancer.

Woolsey started to blossom in the comfort of his foster home. 

Woolsey started to blossom in the comfort of his foster home. 

While receiving treatment, Woolsey was put into a foster home with a Feral Change volunteer for several months where he continued to open up to people. After over a year with Feral Change, he made his way to Cat Town. “It was the best thing that could have happened to him,” explains Rogers. “He needed the exposure there, he needed to be seen. It’s much better than seeing a photo on Facebook.”

After spending time in our adoption center studios,, he caught the eye of Clara H. and Kevin C. who lived nearby. “We had heard great things about Cat Town, so when the time came to adopt, it was a no brainer where to go,” says Clara. She and Kevin had been talking about adopting a cat for a while, and had decided they would adopt an older cat. They wanted a cat who was more “settled” in their ways and could be as independent as they were, and they knew senior cats also had a more difficult time finding homes.

Woolsey in his studio shortly before being adopted. Photo by Cathy Niland.

Woolsey in his studio shortly before being adopted. Photo by Cathy Niland.

“When we read Woolsey’s profile online and learned more about his temperament from Cat Town, we just knew that he was the cat for us,” says Clara. She and Kevin decided to foster-to-adopt, and after a few short weeks, they made it official in August of 2017 and adopted Woolsey.  

“While we might not have decades with Woolsey, I love knowing we’ve given him his ‘forever home’ and some stability in his old age,” explains Clara. “Woolsey has been such a dream and it feels like he’s been a part of our family for years, rather than months. He’s very easy going, and also affectionate and loving. He fits right in and pretty much rules the house.”

Woolsey and his new family.

Woolsey and his new family.

In his new home, Clara shares that Woolsey loves his scratching post, rubbing his head against her and Kevin’s fists, and perching on top of Kevin to wake up him up at 7:00 a.m. on the dot each morning.

For anyone considering adopting a senior cat from Cat Town, Clara recommends, “I would make sure you’re prepared to handle any health issues that arise and get as much information as you can before adopting. A senior cat might not be up for a lot of activity, so be prepared for a lot of cuddles instead!”

If you’re interested in adopting from Cat Town, check out our current adoptable cats and email info@cattownoakland.org to inquire. We have many senior cats available, and to celebrate Adopt-a-Senior-Pet month, senior cat adoption fees are just $20 for the entire month of November. And don't forget to follow Woolsey's adventures on Instagram @woolseythecat.

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