There are many reasons a pet may have to be rehomed, so it's a good idea not to judge when we hear of it happening. In fact, an incredible story from Oregon animal hunger charity The Pongo Fund is bringing home the fact that rehoming a beloved animal can sometimes truly be what's best for everyone involved.
The Pongo Fund shared the tale of two cats—Penny and Lucy—and the two women who love them on its Facebook page. It's not exactly a happy story, but it's not a sad one either. It's a story of life, love and loss, and of strangers connecting in mysterious ways.
And it's genuinely bringing people to tears, so grab a tissue and read on.
The Pongo Fund shared:
"She asked us to rehome her cats ASAP. Both of them 12 years old, she’d had them 10 years. Said she needed to travel and do some things she hadn’t been able to do for the past ten years, not being able to travel and take care of her cats at the same time. Hard as it was, it was time to let them go.
She didn’t want to go anywhere exotic. No summer in France or finding herself in Kathmandu. Not Belize or Cancun or even Vegas or Palm Desert. She just wanted to see her Mom again. Old friends and family too. Back to where she came from. That was her calling. And anything else she could do this next year or two.
Giving up her cats wasn’t part of the plan. Neither was cancer. And one year, maybe two; that’s what her oncologist told her. If there were things she wanted to do, this was the time.
She adopted Penny and Lucy from The Pongo Fund a decade ago when a wonderful woman had her world turned upside down. She lost her home, her marriage. Everything stopped all at once. She loved her cats so much that she asked us to find them a new Mom. And we did.
Now, the wonderful woman who welcomed those kitty friends ten years ago needed us to return the favor so someone else could welcome them.
This woman, she didn’t want to let them go. But it was for their own good, not hers. Same thing the first woman said. Imagine loving someone that much, that you need to let them go.
Penny and Lucy. Pure love, those two.
She told us if possible, she’d like to meet the person we chose for the adoption. She just wanted them to know that Penny and Lucy were the best ever. She wanted them to go with all of their toys and beds and food and treats. And she wanted the new person to know that sometimes Lucy got an upset tummy and how Mom would put her on her lap and lay her on her back and rub it while she sang to her.
Maybe she’ll never get an upset tummy again, but if she does, at least Lucy’s new family would know what to do. Her only request was that they stay together, these two sweet older girls who each had their own bed but most often ended up in the same one.
She wanted to make sure we didn’t think poorly of her for what she was doing. She just knew that at some point soon, they were going to have a new family whether she liked it or not. If she could do it now and meet those people, she would feel better about it.
We knew how hard this was for her, because she was the one who was there ten years ago when Penny and Lucy had nowhere else to go. She said yes back then, and now, she was asking someone else to say yes.
Finding a new home for two cats is not easy. For two senior cats, even harder. But we had one card to play, and we played it then.
We called a woman who used to live in the Portland area but moved away several years ago. She used to have two cats but needed to give them up when her life turned upside down. She bounced back in a new place a few states away. New job. New life.
But always following The Pongo Fund on Facebook and cheering us on with love and kind words.
We thought maybe she would welcome two senior cats.
Because ten years ago, she was the one who needed to let them go, Penny and Lucy.
Over the years she had told us, if there was ever a cat needing a safe place to go, to please let her know. Because she knew how it felt to have someone let you go. Someone let her go. She let her cats go. So that’s where we left it. To please keep her in mind, and she would be there.
None of us knew it would be for the same cats she was forced to let go ten years ago. The cats she loved so much that she gave them up for their own good. For what was best for them. Every now and then we gave her an update, to let her know how they were doing. She didn’t want too much information, that was too hard, she said. But just to know they were safe and happy and most of all, that they were loved.
Yes, we told her, they were loved. She loved knowing that.
We called her. Told her we had a cat in need of a home. Two of them, actually. A bonded pair. We shared a bit more information. She didn’t have a clue. All at once she stopped talking and started sobbing. That’s when she knew.
Sometimes life is like a rubber band. What goes around, comes around. For this woman who loved her cats so much that she let them go ten years ago.
And now, she was there to welcome them home.
A few days later she was in Portland. These two special women hugged over their shared love for the same two cats. For both of them, the loves of their lives. One of them is back home now, with the cats she never thought she’d see again. And the other one is telling her Mom she doesn’t have much time left.
Both of them, with love as their guide.
Sometimes life is like a rubber band.
And this is why we Pongo."
Hope you heeded the tissue warning, because judging from the comments on the story, it was needed.
"I haven't even been up for an hour and I'm sobbing like A BABY," wrote one commenter.
"I don't get very emotional but this made me cry," wrote another. "I am so happy for both the cats and the women involved."
"Bloody hell, made me cry!!" shared another. "So much love and huge hugs to these two wonderful women, and of course their sweet little babies xx."
One person shared, "This is why every person who gives up a pet should be treated with dignity and grace."
Indeed. We never know what people's stories may be. Hopefully, this one will serve as a reminder that love can mean letting go, and that sometimes things work out far better than we expect, even when they don't go as planned.