Yelena’s ‘career’ as a Tree House cat began early on. She was rescued at the age of six months in 2007 after spending many days surviving outside and fending for herself. These feral beginnings meant that Yelena came in not knowing how to relate to humans, but our staff and volunteers were up for the challenge. We knew that since Yelena was rescued so young, she had great potential to be a wonderful pet, and that she just needed to be reached. It took time, patience, and lots of creative strategies to build Yelena’s trust in us and to boost her confidence amidst an intimidating shelter experience. Through dedication, Yelena came to associate other beings, especially her other feline friends, with happiness. Over time, Yelena blossomed, petal by petal, just as a spring bud blossoms after winter’s thaw. She began to not only get used to but also enjoy affection and playtime. Yelena became particularly fond of rubbing up against legs, watching bubbles, and playing with a wand toy or the laser toy. Despite these successes, Yelena still lingered on the adoption floor. Unfortunately, blossoming took time and now Yelena found that it wasn’t her shyness but her age that was deterring potential adopters. Yelena continued to wait patiently at our Bucktown Branch for someone to notice her.
Well, a week ago, on February 24, something miraculous happened. After her seven year wait and spending her entire life thus far in the shelter, Yelena was adopted!
Her adopter’s interest was peaked the moment she clicked on her photo online. She was impressed by Yelena’s patch tabby markings and endeared by her crossed eyes and innocent, trusting gaze. The adopter was drawn by her story and saw the potential there that went unnoticed for so long. “Why,” she wondered, “was such a curious and playful girl overlooked for so long?”
After meeting Yelena in person, she could feel the connection even more. She had a yearning to give Yelena that chance at a home that she had waited for for so long and wanted to continue to build upon the trust we worked hard to establish here at Tree House. She was inspired by the opportunity to be allowed into Yelena’s circle of trust. Not one to rush, she visited Yelena several times and told her about the life that could be hers—a comfy home with another female cat around the same age and a patient and dedicated person. When the time was right, she came by to complete the paperwork and scoop her little girl up to bring her home. We sent the two home with an arsenal of goodies and a recipe bound for success. Yelena will have all the treats, baby food, and wand toys she could hope for to keep her feeling positive and reassured in her new home experience!
A few days ago, Yelena’s adopter stopped by and gave us a quick update. She showed us photos of Yelena lounging in a cushy bed with her new pal, a fleece monkey toy. She also showed us a video of Yelena purring, rubbing up against her body and letting her pet her. Yelena has even jumped into her lap—a feat we never witnessed while she was here at Tree House! Yelena also met her new feline roommate and the two are getting along well.
While her absence will take some getting used to, we are so thrilled that Yelena has found a loving family of her own! Let’s send all sorts of well wishes her way! This adoption was truly a triumph for all of Tree House!
Yelena’s story is another reminder of why we do what we do and the true meaning of love—love is patient, love is kind.
— Posted by Elizabeth K., Olga S., and Michelle M.