When the stars align and dedicated humans make bringing joy to other souls a priority, beautiful things happen. For one shy cat on the streets of Florida, his entire world was turned around. It wasn’t just one person that made a difference to this deserving cat. Not his rescuer who pulled him from his homeless existence. It wasn’t the shelter taking the time to place animals with the perfect family.
It was because of a loving girl named Kiley and the bond that instantly formed when the two souls met.
You see, Kiley skillfully maneuvers through life in her motorized wheelchair. Which sadly, can be quite a terrifying noise to delicate feline ears. Skittish in nature usually anyways, finding the perfect companion cat for her was proving very difficult.
They had visited numerous shelters, but the cats and kittens scattered upon their arrival. How do you comfort your child that has taken on the challenges of the world with her head held high? When all she wants is to share her heart with a peace bringing feline.
Her mother, Lori Griggs, vowed to find that cat and had explained her troubles during one of their visits. This time it was at the Suncoast Animal League (SAL) in Palm Harbor, Florida. After their visit, the rescue promised to keep an ear and eye out for any cats or kittens that may be a good match.
Little did they know that during this time, two other souls were bonding across the county, but that soon their paths would cross.
Chris Poole, a.k.a. Cat Man Chris, was busy going about his days taking care and trapping the stray and feral cats in Hillsborough County. Each morning, he visits numerous locations where he feeds and cares for feral cat colonies. He works on TNVR (Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Return) programs to ensure that they are all fixed and healthy.
This also allows Chris to monitor the colony for any newcomers. Of which recently, there had been an addition to his large clowder.
New kid on the block… well I've seen him for over a month now, but for the past week or so he's been showing up daily…
Once Chris earned the ivory cats trust, it was time to trap him and have him fixed. Hopefully with his personality and seemingly lack of feral cat aggression, ideally he would be adopted out. With the help of his social media friends, they named the cat “Silver Sinatra Poole”, or Sinatra for the time being.
“Then an even bigger breakthrough came when I introduced him to catnip and silver vine,” Chris also shared with Love Meow. “He would roll around and let me pet his belly and generally have a good time.”
But while Chris will trap all the cats he can, he does not have a rescue to adopt them though directly. Luckily, he has formed partnerships with many local organizations…one of them being Suncoast Animal League.
The volunteers and staff at the rescue suddenly KNEW in their hearts he had been brought to them for a reason.
They immediately reached out to Lori and told her they may have an adoption option for the family. Trying to remain realistic, they wasted no time in setting up a visit.
And when they opened the door, Sinatra fearlessly strolled up to Kiley and her wheelchair. Without a second thought, the white cat simply jumped up onto her lap and chose his human. Yes, tears welled up and full body chills hit me writing that sentence.
Kiley had found her soul mate. And those souls will never be apart again.
It’s been over a year, and not much is different for the bonded duo, mom Lori tells us. Except for Sinatra’s name, which has been changed to Richey.
My daughter called him “Richey” because we live in the town of New Port Richey. My husband calls him “Richey Rich” because he hit the jackpot. I call him “Richey” because his first few nights here he meowed 🎼 All Night Long 🎤 as Lionel Richie sang.
He pretty much let’s us do anything with him. Lays calmly while I clip his claws, wipe out his eyes, clean his nose and even scrap his teeth!
He has developed one crazy little quirk that has them laughing at the carefree boy now.
Richey has taken on the responsibility of caring for the whole family though now. And they couldn’t be more pleased with it.
He is not afraid of Kiley’s wheelchair at all. Actually a nickname of his is “speed bump” because he doesn’t even move. Kiley is home-schooled so he is always with her while she works. If she is out of her wheelchair he guards it for her.
He never tries to get outside, even as we need to leave the door wide open for her to drive through. I think he really loves the air conditioning. The only thing he is scared of is thunder. If he runs and hides under the bed we check the radar to see how big the storm is.
Kiley has even taught him tricks too! He sits up, shakes paws and jumps from chair to chair. Apparently, the only thing that is still eluding the handsome chap is glass doors. But they don’t have those on the streets, so I suppose it makes sense (wink, wink). You’ll conquer those doors buddy!
Richey is still trying to figure out sliding glass doors and walks or runs into them often.
Be sure to watch the full video below!
Photos and Video property of Chris Poole / Lori Griggs
REMEMBER: SPAY/NEUTER, FOSTER, VOLUNTEER, TNR & AS ALWAYS, ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!