By Candice Albert
In late August of 2017, I took a trip to Cat Town. I had planned on grabbing a latte and playing with the cats, but all of that changed when I met Clayton Purrshaw (FKA Guy). Once I saw him I immediately thought "that's my cat". He was playfully chasing a string toy and sliding all over the floor. When I followed him into the quiet room, he placed his head into my palm and let me scratch his ears until he fell asleep. That moment is what sealed the deal for me. By mid-morning he was on his way home with me to begin our new life together.
Clayton has a strong, regal presence that can be felt wherever he goes. He brings balance into my busy life. I know I can count on him to strut out of my room when I get home to say hello then demand chin scratches. Every night he can be found guarding my door or the foot of my bed making sure that both of us are safe and sound. It's mind boggling to think this cat was considerd "unadoptable" at the shelter.
In March of 2017, when Clayton was still new at the Oakland shelter, he was considered highly fractious, and possibly even feral. He was angry, hissing, growling, and spitting—not what shelters and rescues usually see in adoptable cats. But, six weeks later, a miracle happened. Dawn, an employee of Cat Town, heard Clayton exchanging conversational meows with his shelter mate. Feeling hopeful and determined, Dawn and staff worked with Clayton in hopes of rehabilitating him. During his shelter stay, he began to show signs that a companion cat was hiding in there somewhere. After a working cat garden placement fell through, Dawn decided to bring Clayton to Cat Town. In his own private studio, staff and volunteers got to know his personality and he learned how to interact with humans without getting stressed or overwhelmed.
After a few months, he'd gained so much confidence he moved into the free-roaming space in the adoption center where he quickly became a staff, volunteer, and visitor favorite. It wasn't long after that he and I became a family.
I am so thankful for everyone who helped Clayton turn his life around. He continues to make progress now that he has found his forever home. I don't know what I would do without him and I look forward to so many more years with him. Clayton's story inspires me. He is a daily reminder that with just a little effort a life can be changed, whether it be my own, someone else’s or the life of a formerly feral cat. With a little love and understanding, we can grow and thrive into our true selves.
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