Back in early 2004, Shannon was determined to find her special feline match at the BC SPCA Victoria Branch. It didn’t happen right away, but Shannon knew the wait would be worthwhile.
Finally, on one of her visits, she met and bonded with not just one but two lovely cats in need of a forever home—Claira and George. Shannon brought them home that very day.
Now, almost 17 years later, Shannon has written to us to share her story:
I had been going regularly to the BC SPCA Victoria Branch to meet the animals there for a few months. I had made many new feline friends during my visits, but I just hadn’t met my forever friend.
One day I entered the kitten room and at the time I was wearing a pink sweater with tassels. A beautiful young girl with gold, strawberry, brown and black tones on a white coat approached me. She began playing with the tassels!
She soon retreated into a cat tower and somehow disappeared each time. She then came darting out to play again. This happened several times until I saw two gorgeous sets of eyes looking out at me. There was a dark paw clearly wrapped around her head.
I immediately made the decision that I couldn’t separate these two friends. I took them both home shortly thereafter.
We had our share of frustrations—Claira was an expert curtain climber, counter climber, curious girl and she always looked for trouble.
George, my grey jungle panther, spent the first three weeks hiding under my bed. I religiously lay on the floor with various offerings to coax him out.
These two became by best friends over the next 12 years, although they weren’t always best friends to each other. George became extremely jealous when I cuddled Claira.
Luckily, Claira made her own special friend in my roommate for several years, Leanne. When Leanne moved on, Claira and I snuck morning cuddles whenever we could. She often hid in my shirt when George wasn’t looking.
George became my shadow and was never far from me. Nearly five years ago, I welcomed a small human addition. I was worried how my feline babies would handle it.
Both accepted her with flying colours, knowing I had enough love in my heart for all three of them. I would often find one or both at different times curled up next to her in her sleep. I often found George right at her head, purring her to sleep.
I have been privileged to be their caregiver for nearly 17 years. I am forever thankful to Claira for introducing me to her friend George all those years ago.
Sadly, we lost Claira in the fall, and George just this past week to kidney failure. I cannot describe the immense hole it has left in my heart. Both were the most amazing, loveable friends ever, each in their own way.
Claira loved being cuddled like a baby, curled on her back, never just in my lap. George was not happy unless sitting squarely on whatever it was I felt was important at that particular moment. If he could not sort that out, my face was the perfect substitute.
In his final months, after Claira passed, I couldn’t bear to leave George home alone in the day, so he joined us wherever we went.
George became happy at his second home in Metchosin, loving to explore the yard on his lead. Happily, this has become their final resting places as well.
I hope to honour their presence in the near future with the gift of a home to one or two new babies in need.
Thank you, Shannon, for choosing adoption as your first option and providing many years of your life to giving Claira and George the best home that they deserved. We are grateful to know that our animals truly live out their lives happily with their forever families. We are sorry to hear of your loss. Please know that the memories of these sweet kitties will always live on.
Have you adopted an animal from the BC SPCA and want to share your joy with others? Submit your adoption story!