(With UPDATE) Two 16-Year-Old Birman Cats Relinquished To Shelter With Heartbreaking Note–By Sobbing Owner Entering Nursing Home

Sharing is caring!

When life takes an unexpected turn, we are often faced with difficult decisions. For a woman in Maryland, she was forced to do something that utterly broke her heart–not to mention the hearts of everyone who reads this. The decision had been accepted that she would be moving to a nursing home for her best interests. However, it was her two 16-year-old Birman cats about whose interests she was most worried. She was unable to bring them with her to the nursing home. Even sadder, her family was unable, and unwilling, to take the cats in.

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC

She sobbed as she handed her two fur-kids over to a local shelter to be put up for adoption. 

Workers and volunteers at Anne Arundel County Animal Care & Control, Inc. will do all they can for these special siblings. They saw first hand how emotional the poor woman was. 

The 2 cats had been by her side for years, treated to a pampered, comfy life. But now that all changed as they were ripped from their lifestyles. The gorgeous cats, named Zipper and Missy, had their entire existence altered around them. Not only were they taken from their home, they would no longer have their beloved owner by their sides.

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC


Her family that didn’t want the cats had apparently also attempted another “solution”. Thankfully they failed!!!

A veterinarian refused to euthanize the pair, who appear to be in good health except that their teeth need to be cleaned. If any rescues were contacted by the family — the cats’ vet records indicate that was considered — that alternative wasn’t successful.

I can only imagine how long their owner had wrestled with the decision to turn them over. Especially thinking that this may have caused a rift within the family. She clearly wanted to best for her felines, no matter how much it hurt her to do so. It is clear that her hope are that a loving family takes the two into their homes and hearts. Ideally the siblings are kept together to ease the pain of the transition. Holding on to hope in her heart, she wanted to give them every opportunity to remain deservingly spoiled.

How can we know this to be true? 

The note that accompanied the now homeless duo during their relinquishing, shows just how much she loves them. 

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC

It also breaks our hearts more with every word. The senior woman was sure to provide the details on the cats meals, need-to-knows, her requests and special treats. Making the situation even more heart wrenching, was her sobbing that accompanied the note. 

  • Keep together
  • Never been in water
  • No kids
  • No outside (never been out)
  • Like to look out window
  • Missy skittish, afraid of loud noises

We have no clue how many animals she cared for throughout her life, but clearly Zipper and Missy are deeply loved. With senior cats, they can very often be set in their ways. Their bodies also are accustomed to certain foods and routines.

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC

For whomever adopts these sweethearts, they have a full meal plan and schedule already laid out! 

  • Can’t eat dry food–they eat Fancy Feast–the kind with gravy.
  • Zipper likes his food served in a mound.
  • Zipper only eats Fancy Feast fish and shrimp.
  • [He] gets 1/2 slice of American cheese–crumbled into balls as an A.M. or afternoon snack.
  • Missy likes Friskies beef shredded with ocean whitefish and tuna.
  • Missy also likes Fancy Feast gravy lovers, turkey with gravy lovers, chicken and beef feast.
  • *Chop Missy’s food

And the cherry on top of their daily routine? An adorable treat (although not a very healthy one), that they have each night. 

At night they get to eat Cool Whip off your finger. Zipper gets 5 fingerfulls. Missy gets 4 fingerfulls, if they want.

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC


A bit over 24 hours ago, the Friends of Anne Arundel County Animal Care & Control, Inc. (FAACAC) Facebook page shared the story of the cats.

This group of non-profit volunteers who raise funds for the shelter, knew the best way to get adoption attention. There had to be another caring person who has the purrfect home to offer Zipper and Missy! They just needed to share the devastating turn of events that led to the situation. The post was made on Sunday afternoon and included photos of the gorgeous pair.

Since then, their story has been shared more than 21K times and viewed by more than 1.3 Million people! The shelter has received dozens of adoption interests and offers of assistance from other rescue organizations. Fortunately they are closed on Mondays, which will allow them time to filter through the information and applications.

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC

It’s a very good thing they may find a new home soon. The pair are not doing so well in the shelter environment. 

[They] are housed together in a larger-than-usual cage in the main cat room. We wish we could tell you that they were quickly adjusting, but so far they seem terrified, especially shyer and tinier Missy.

The shelter is reaching out to its rescue partners and to groups that specialize in Birmans, but we’ll be honest: A pair of 16-year-old cats who must stay together is a hard sell. Even if, as senior cats, they are available for free from the shelter. Their best chance for a happy forever? An adopter with an enormous heart, a quiet home, a sunny windowsill — and maybe even a comforting tub of Cool Whip. Please share this post to help us find that person.

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC


They will be first looking for a home that is local to avoid any travel trauma if possible. Ideally, they will be the only pets, because Zipper and Missy have likely never been around other animals. Coming from a quiet and calm environment, they will not be looking at homes with young children. The FAACAC know how many people have been touched by the story and promised an update ASAP. (Don’t worry, we’ll post it here too <3)

Because we are volunteers at the shelter, we are not the decision makers, but we certainly will update you when Missy and Zipper leave — together!

While Zipper and Missy’s new home hunt is underway, they want to remind everyone there are MANY other animals in need of homes. 

Meanwhile, we would like to point out that the shelter has many other fine senior felines also looking for new homes. The adoption fees for all cats 9 years and older are being waived right now (the usual adoption requirements still apply). If you are local to AACACC, which is in Millersville, MD, please come meet them.

If you are elsewhere, please visit your nearby animal shelter. There will be many homeless pets there longing to meet you. Thank you again!

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC


The original post and story of Zipper and Missy was shared hundreds of thousands of times. With the power of social media, that translated into a small miracle. But for these two loving cats, it was all they needed. Oddly enough, someone more than 2,600 miles away was behind that miracle. 

“It took only one person, a reader in Oregon, to find them a new home today [Tuesday].”

No, this woman didn’t adopt the cats, but she knew who they’d be perfect for–her parents!

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC ~ The happy family <3

They had sadly lost their beloved senior cat last year. When she saw the post from the AACACC on the needy siblings, she quickly brought it to her parents attention. 

Her parents that, as fate would have it, lived only 5 miles from the shelter in Maryland! 

Like many other people, they contacted us, and we passed along their information to the shelter administrator. They were looking for a local adopter (to avoid the trauma of long-distance transport). Ideally with no other pets right now but a stellar veterinarian reference. This couple fit the requirements perfectly!

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC

When they met the fluffy felines, it didn’t take long for Missy and Zipper to approve of their new parents.

I apologize in advance but I also (like a few comments on the post) believe these two to be the true Santa and Mrs. Clause! What better human duo to grant the wishes of the two cats!? They hoped the cats responded to them well and they would be the purrfect match. I love how it looks like the cats are whispering to each other. Maybe to secretly agree these would be their new humans? 

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC ~ Kitty conversing to approve of their new humans?

Well, it wasn’t long before Zipper, the more outgoing of the two, was enthusiastically licking the woman’s hand — even without any Cool Whip, his favorite treat.

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC

Shy Missy also started to warm up and seemed so much more comfortable than she had been just a couple of days ago.

All four involved soon agreed to the adoption, and this afternoon Missy and Zipper headed out the shelter door to their new forever home.

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC ~ off on a new adventure!

Congratulations to the new family and thank you so much for opening your hearts and home to them! 

That’s only PART of the miracles that occurred at the shelter this week however!

Other people who had seen Zipper and Missy’s story had hoped they would be the new family the cats so needed. But when the duo went home with the Clauses (sorry their names have been kept private), they decided NOT to leave empty handed. 

One adopted two 14-year-old all-white brothers, Ralphie and Alphie. Ralphie, with one blue and one green eye, was adopted with his blue-eyed brother, Alphie. Both are 14; Alphie is in a foster home and will be picked up Thursday by his adopter.

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC

Another adopted a second pair of 14-year-olds, Kitty and Junior. Junior, left, and Kitty, right. Both are 14 (but not related).

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC

A third decided to take home Bitsy Bee, a 6-year-old FIV-positive cat. Bitsy Bee, a 6-year-old charmer, is going to the home of an older relative of this woman to be an only cat.

Photo courtesy of @FAACAC

At least one other potential adopter is coming in later in the week to meet two more older cats too.

The story of Missy and Zipper has not only saved them, but also at least five other harder-to-place cats. That to me is the true miracle for all involved. Thank you so much to everyone that shared, supported, donated and adopted.

The aMEOWzing Cole and Marmalade fans were gracious enough to donate to the shelter to help many more cats too!

Photo property of Cole and Marmalade


Related Story: Senior Cat Finds The Purrfect Retirement Home After Owner Moves Into Assisted Living–In Florida Of Course!

Related Story: Senior Cat Returned 8 Years After Adoption Due To New Baby; He’s Been Waiting Over 225 Days For A New Family!

Sharing is caring!

VIDEO: Cute Kitten Paws Up!

Hairballs 101: What You Should Know About Cats And Hairballs