There are so many animals in shelters, and they want nothing more than to find their forever homes. And sometimes, the key to getting adopted is just getting their names and faces out there.
And a lucky few shelter pets capture the public’s attention and become viral stars. That was the story for a cat named “Fishtopher,” who won hearts with his sad looks and his search for a forever home.
Now, this “depressed” cat has a smile on his face after getting adopted!
On Thanksgiving weekend, Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center, a shelter in New Jersey, promoted several of their cats who were looking for a home for the holidays. But it was one cat in particular who quickly became a breakout star.
The cat was 5-year-old Fishtopher, who soon went viral both for his adorably unusual name and his uniquely sad-looking appearance.
Fishtopher was discovered as a stray, and the rescue says he has been “out of sorts at the shelter,” and perhaps is “missing his family.”
“He is very sad and depressed and will only eat when he has company,” the shelter wrote in the cat’s bio. “Fishtopher loves being pet and is an affectionate boy… Please come rescue our big loveable boy!”
Fishtopher went viral on Twitter after his bio was tweeted by Molly Clarke, encouraging her followers to “go get Fishtopher” and also offering to cover the adoption fees.
Thankfully, it wasn’t long before this sad cat got some good news.
On November 26, Homeward Bound announced that Fishtopher had been adopted, thanks to his viral fame.
“His new parents came all the way from Baltimore to adopt him,” they wrote.
Even better, several other cats from the shelter also found new homes, thanks to the attention towards Fishtopher.
From the photo, it looked like Fishtopher’s spirits were already raised:
Fishtopher’s new owners learned of him through his viral social media post. According to the Washington Post, it was 22-year-old Laura Folts who saw the tweet and sent it to her partner, Tanner Callahan.
“We had been talking of Tanner adopting a cat or dog since he moved into his new (bigger) place, and had a trend of me sending cute animals as a joke,” Laura told the Post.
After Tanner sent in an application, the couple drove all the way from Baltimore to New Jersey, and found they weren’t the only ones interested in taking this sad-faced cat home.
“I think a lot of people came in wanting to see him,” Laura told Insider, saying they left early to be first in line. “And of the group of the first 10 people that were there at open, about eight or nine of them were there to see Fishtopher. And so they all got to pet him. But we were the lucky ones to take him home.”
According to Insider, Fishtopher tested positive for feline immunodeficiency virus. But despite that health setback, the cat has been settling in well into his new home.
The couple set up an Instagram and Twitter account to keep Fishtopher’s fans updated on his future adventures. They are keeping his unique name, but say he also goes by nicknames like “Fishy” and “Mister Fishter.”
And while Fishtopher was once called “sad and depressed,” it’s clear that he’s now much happier in his new home!
We’re so glad Fishtopher found a home — we know he’s in good hands and will be much happier for now on.
It’s a sweet story that is a reminder to consider adopting pets from shelters: there are many cats just like Fishtopher whose lives could be changed with a loving family.
Please share this inspiring news!