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When two cats from the same household are made available for adoption, shelter staff usually hope that they’ll find a new home together. But it doesn’t always work out—it’s common for pairs and groups to be separated to increase their chances of adoption.
That’s what happened to Ariel. The calico kitten was one of six cats surrendered to Lollypop Farm in Fairport, N.Y., as a group in August 2011. They had been found abandoned in a town a couple of counties over. In October of that year, Ariel was adopted alone.
Fast forward to April 2015: At 4 years old, Ariel found herself back at the shelter. According to her intake paperwork, someone in her adoptive family had developed an allergy to cats. After treatment for conjunctivitis and a month-long stay in foster care, Ariel was once again made available for adoption, this time right in the middle of kitten season.
At Lollypop Farm, like at many shelters, the summer months are an ideal time for special adoption promotions. On June 23, as part of its celebration of Adopt-a-Cat Month, the organization held one of its extremely popular fee-waived adoption days for cats of all ages. Douglas Dohr and Rachael Bulter were browsing the available cats online when Ariel’s photo caught their attention. Not only was she a beautiful cat with a sweet face, but she looked a bit like their own Lollypop Farm alum, a gray-and-white cat named Niko.
The couple had adopted Niko under a different name, “Sebastian,” in September 2011, and as they checked out Ariel’s profile, they thought her name rang a bell, too. As avid Disney fans (Dohr is a former Disney employee, in fact), they spotted the connection right away: The inspiration for Ariel and Sebastian’s names was the movie The Little Mermaid .
When they got to the shelter, the young couple confirmed that the two fluffy cats were siblings from the group surrendered in 2011. Adopted one month apart, they were now reunited after four years. Today they’re gradually becoming reacquainted.
The cats’ incredible story even made the local news. A couple of days after the adoption event, Dohr and Bulter were interviewed on TV about the feline family reunion. A welcome bonus: The happy ending made for a nice plug for Lollypop Farm, for shelter adoption in general and for the adoption of adult cats.
And here’s even more good news: Lollypop Farm was able to find new homes for every member of that original group of six cats—Ariel, Sebastian, Jasmine, Isabella, Olive and Lily—and on the day Ariel was adopted for the second time, 82 other cats and kittens left the shelter to live their own happy endings.
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