Happy Tail: Bobby Dash

Julia D Happy Tails

Shannon and Tom Arne already had Castiel (Cas) the cat at home and were looking to adopt another one. Shannon heard about the Last Hope Facebook page from a friend and became familiar with our organization.

They knew they wanted a cat younger than Cas and Shannon had a soft spot for black cats, having been human to a few “house panthers” in the past. She also saw it as a sign that the birthday of a black cat at Last Hope had an estimated birthdate one day off from Cas’ birthday. His name was Dash (now Bobby Dash).

Considering it was during the pandemic and Bobby Dash had been in a hoarding situation, the adoption process went fairly smoothly. But the “coming home” part was unique. Shannon and Tom Arne had an entire room set up just for Bobby Dash, complete with everything he would need to stay there while he got used to the new surroundings. Although he had the whole room to himself, he stayed in one small area and found a bag of plastic bags in which to hide. Thinking the bags might be unsafe, Shannon got a cardboard box and cut a hole in it. She draped one of her shirts over it and Bobby Dash decided it was a good place to hide.

They would visit him in the room and talk to him, trying to get him used to them but things weren’t going very well. They began to wonder if the situation was any good for Bobby Dash. But then they decided, since he was from an unusual situation to try something unusual. They opened the door to his room and let Cas come in and allowed Bobby Dash to come out. They brought in Cas’ favorite toy and played with him to show Bobby Dash that it was okay to play and eventually, he joined in a little bit. The fourth day after the door was opened, he ventured out a little bit. By day six, he went a few rooms beyond his room. And by day ten, the house was his!

Progress felt very slow to Shannon and Tom Arne while this all took place and they posted updates on Facebook so their friends could follow along. With the help of Cas and a favorite toy, Bobby Dash got more comfortable. The more he played, the more he seemed to understand that it was his house, his family, he was safe. Within three weeks he wasn’t the same Bobby Dash. He was a completely changed cat, cuddly and wanting lovies.

Since he got comfortable in his new home, Bobby Dash has learned more language skills and so has his older brother. They both love to play with toys and race through the house (referred to by Shannon and Tom Arne as the “cat-tona 500”).

We say it often but it bears repeating after hearing the story of Bobby Dash; adopting a pet can take time. Please be prepared to give them time and space to get acclimated to a brand-new world and schedule. Try different things to help them during the adjustment period if the standard attempts don’t seem to be working. Above all, be PATIENT and show them love. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.

Tom Arne and Shannon exercised patience and ingenuity when Bobby Dash came to live with them and they now have a beloved cat who has blossomed into his best self. The rewards made everything worth it. We’re so glad he was able to adopt such a great family that was willing to help him on his terms.