The First Save of Christmas
Henry finds himself, and a home with a little help from his friends
Finding Henry. Henry may be what is called a compact brindle tuxedo Maine Coon mix, but he certainly isn’t compact! He arrived at the shelter weighing a gigantic 23 pounds! You can see from his photographs what a magnificent creature Henry is. How does a cat like this end up in a noisy, crowded shelter? In this case we know: Henry and his sister Fluffy had been the beloved pets of an elderly couple who’d been forced to move to a full-time care facility with no pets allowed.
At the shelter, Henry’s chances for adoption were slim since, despite his large size, no one was likely to find him. Depressed as he was, he wasn’t about to strut around so as to be noticed by potential adopters; instead, in a group cat room, he found the smallest carrier and stuffed himself into it. His sister sat in front of the open carrier door, hiding Henry from view, and in the busy shelter, no one noticed him. But his sister had other plans for Henry. She was his first Christmas angel.
When a Purebred Plus volunteer came into the group room, Fluffy stood up and, said hello. When the volunteer bent over to pet Fluffy, she realized there was a cat, maybe even a couple of cats, stuffed inside that carrier; all she could see was a mass of fur and one beautiful golden-green eye. Then she, Henry’s second Christmas angel, slowly extracted Henry from the carrier. First came his cute front paws with dainty white toe socks, then his large Maine Coon head, then his big muscular shoulders and body, followed by his fuzzy back feet, and finally his shaved tail. He was maybe a little too big for his frame, completely terrified, but absolutely gorgeous. No worries, he and his sister Fluffy were taken out of the shelter into rescue.
Henry finds himself. In foster care, Fluffy was the perfect female Maine Coon mix and was quickly snapped up. But Henry was still shy, hiding and completely off-kilter. The only clue to his wonderful personality was that even when you couldn’t see him, you always could tell his hiding place by the HUGE PURR coming from behind the chair, from under the bed, or from wherever he happened to be. He was so big and so scared there always was a flicker of uncertainty about what he might do in fear, but one day, Henry pulled himself together, took the big chance, and “did a HENRY” for the first time: rather than shrink away when the volunteer reached out, he rolled over onto his back and waved his paws in the air! Given his size, girth and the seriousness of his expression, the volunteer burst into laughter. He looked so silly, and Henry the Huge – the clown–was born. In the next few weeks, Henry perfected his transformation from a tubby cat with a funny haircut to a powerful Maine Coon with a lion cut with the heart of a lamb. His loving, sweet personality surfaced, and he expanded his repertoire of cheerful silliness to include playing, eating, and even sleeping. Henry was always good for smile and a laugh.
Henry Goes Virial. Henry the Huge was posted on the Purebred Plus website, and applications poured in. His size, his funny haircut, and the fact that a diet was in order did not deter anyone. Many people wanted the happiness of Henry in their lives. It was very difficult to choose among them.
Henry Goes Home. But the choice finally was made, and Henry the Huge went to his purrfect forever home in the Sacramento area. His new family welcomed this xx-large, silly, loving Maine Coon boy into their hearts.
In his new home, Henry is everything his adopters expected and much, much more. He conducted his transformation to family cat with aplomb and élan. He truly is a one size fits all, universal kitty with a great attitude and zest for life.
Henry Gives Back. Henry needed an angel or two to see him on his way, but looking back, those of us who knew him recognize that he became our Christmas angel, overcoming his own great loss to remind us, with every belly flop and wave of his paws, that sometimes a bit of silliness is all it takes to make people feel better. Thank you, Henry.