After 13 Years Of Helping Other Cats, This Shelter Kitty Finally Finds Forever Home


Archie, a small tabby kitten, first came to Mid Hudson Animal Aid, a no-kill shelter in Beacon, New York, 13 years ago. During these years, he grew up within the shelter’s walls and never found a permanent home. Instead, he dedicated himself to aiding other cats in finding their forever homes.

He became friends with numerous shelter cats and played a role in socializing various litters of kittens, witnessing them get adopted one by one.

However, Archie’s life took a turn when volunteer Jennifer Blakeslee realized he had spent his entire life at the shelter. She posted his story on Instagram, expressing her shock:

“I had no idea. See, he’s very feral. He does fine with other cats, but is terrified of people, which vastly reduces the likelihood of him getting adopted.”

Blakeslee had previously adopted Eddie, a Siamese cat from the shelter who was deaf, toothless, and half-blind. Eddie’s departure left Archie lonely and visibly sad.

Seeing Archie’s despondency, Blakeslee was compelled to help him find a home. With Christmas approaching, she helped Eddie pen a letter to Santa Claus, which she shared online. The letter quickly went viral:

“Dear Santa, I’d like you to meet Archie. He was my best friend when I was at the shelter that saved my life… 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 wants to find his forever home. And that’s what I want for Christmas, Santa.”

This heartfelt message, shared widely, reached Jennifer Baird in Chicago, who was touched by Archie’s story:

“Archie socialized the majority of kitties at the shelter but was never chosen for a home. It broke my heart. I saw that he was in New York and waited a day or so for someone to speak up as I live in Chicago.”

When the interest in Archie grew thanks to the viral post, Baird decided to act:

“That’s when I responded to Jennifer and said I’ll take him. I’m in Chicago. I need help in getting him here to me.”

As a seasoned rescuer of abandoned cats, Baird was unbothered by Archie’s feral nature:

“I have had feral cats and have a great understanding of their needs and embrace that.”

The shelter swiftly arranged for Archie’s transfer to Chicago, but the cost of transportation posed a challenge. To address this, Blakeslee launched a YouCaring campaign with a goal of raising $750, promoting it on Instagram under the hashtag #OperationBringArchieHome. She recounted:

“It got shared like mad, and we met our goal in less than an hour. In fact, people kept donating, and as a result, we’ll be able to donate $250 to the shelter.”

Blakeslee continued to update her followers on Archie’s journey until he safely arrived at his new residence. A few days after settling in, Baird observed noticeable improvements in Archie’s demeanor as he began to adapt to her and the other rescue cats. She shared:

“I see that he wants to be friends with his new sisters and brother so badly, and I know this will happen over time. Everyone is getting adjusted, and right now we have time on our side.”

As Archie became more comfortable, his personality blossomed; he was no longer shy or depressed, taking great pleasure in his new cozy cat bed. Baird noted:

“Archie is like my other feral. They want their love and affection to come from their siblings — not humans. He has to develop trust, and I want him to know that this relationship is about his safety and creature comforts — not about me having an affectionate kitty.”

Baird expressed immense gratitude for the successful transition, praising the generosity of those who funded Archie’s journey and Blakeslee’s role in sharing his story. She stated:

“She’s the hero. Without her, Archie’s life may as well have ended in the shelter where it began.”

This heartwarming tale of Archie’s new beginning aims to inspire more people to consider adopting shelter cats, particularly those that are often overlooked.

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