Cat Finally Adopted After Spending 13 Long Years At A Shelter

And it's all thanks to a blind Siamese cat, an Instagram post and a heartfelt letter to Santa.

Written by
Archie, a feral cat, arrived at the shelter when he was a kitten. Via  Jennifer Blakeslee/Mother Nature Network
Archie, a feral cat, arrived at the shelter when he was a kitten. Via Jennifer Blakeslee/Mother Nature Network

It took 13 years, but a shelter cat named Archie finally has his forever home.

The feral cat was taken in by Mid Hudson Animal Aid when he was a fresh-faced kitten, more than two presidential elections and 10 iPhone models ago. Although he was friendly with the shelter’s other cats who came and went (and went, and went) he was skittish around humans, which made it difficult for him to be adopted. But it wasn’t until Jennifer Blakeslee, an Animal Aid volunteer, learned about Archie’s story — and discovered that he’d lived his entire life at the shelter — that finding a home for him became a mission of its own, complete with its own hashtag (of course).

In December, Blakeslee adopted a blind and half-deaf Siamese cat named Eddie, leaving Archie without one of his closest friends. When she saw how lonely Archie was without Eddie, she was prompted to act, posting a Dear Santa letter on Instagram with the hashtag #OperationBringArchieHome, pleading with someone to adopt the other cat.

dear santa, i’d like you to meet archie. he was my best friend when i was at @midhudsonanimalaid, the shelter in #beaconny that saved my life. i’m one of the lucky ones; i got adopted and found my forever home. but archie – he’s been at the shelter for THIRTEEN YEARS, ever since he was a kitten. that’s a human’s entire time in school, plus kindergarten. he’s very shy, but he’s also very sweet, and gets along with other cats. and he really, really, really, really wants to find his forever home. so that’s what i want for christmas, santa. you can tell anyone who’s interested to check out @midhudsonanimalaid; the link is on my bio, and they’re on facebook too. they’re even offering a reduced adoption rate due to his age. (get the details from them.) thanks, santa. i’ll leave you a plate of bacon and a glass of tuna juice. love, eddie p.s. PLEASE SHARE THIS – let’s help santa along and see if we can find a home for archie!!! p.p.s. if you dig archie but you live too far away, please consider sharing this post, or even better, make a donation to the shelter to help cover the expenses needed to keep him safe and warm. thank you!! #OperationBringArchieHome

A photo posted by Eddie the Lilac Lion (@eddie_the_lilac_lion) on

The photo was widely shared, touching cat lovers who lived hundreds of miles from Archie’s upstate New York home, including one woman from Chicago, Illinois. 

“I understood that Archie socialized the majority of kitties at the shelter but was never chosen for a home. It broke my heart,” Jennifer Baird told Mother Nature Network. “I saw that he was in New York and waited a day or so for someone to speak up as I live in Chicago.”

Baird told Blakeslee that, yes, she would adopt Archie. It took several weeks of coordination (and a YouCaring fundraising campaign) to figure out how to get Archie to Illinois, but last weekend, the cat left the only home he’d ever had and started a long car journey to his new digs.

Now Archie is beginning to settle in and has started to warm up to Baird’s other cats. 

“My biggest thank you is to Jennifer. She stood up and told Archie’s story. She’s the hero,” Baird told MNN. “Without her, Archie’s life may as well have ended in the shelter where it began.”

Article Categories:


  • This story broke my heart but happy tears came when I learned that Archie had been adopted. Thank you to your new family who I’m sure will have patience while you adjust.
    Sending big kitty huggs to you and your family.

    Sharon in GA.

    Sharon April 8, 2016 3:30 pm Reply
  • I am so happy that had a happy ending. I can’t imagine my precious Kitty 13 years in a shelter. Thanks for giving Archie what he deserves! 🙂

    Betania R. April 8, 2016 3:43 pm Reply
  • I’m glad that he finally has a furever home. No animal should spend 13 years living at an animal shelter waiting to be adopted.

    What I don’t understand is if Eddie and Archie were so close, which they look like they are, why they weren’t adopted together as a bonded pair? I don’t understand why they were separated. Cats that are bonded like this should be adopted together.

    LindaB April 8, 2016 5:35 pm Reply
  • I wish they were adopted out together as well. The most important thing is
    they both have homes. I am so happy after all this time Archie was adopted.
    As it was said previously no animal should have to spend most of their life
    in a cage. At least Archie has a loving home now. Thank you for opening your
    heart and home!!!

    Carol April 8, 2016 7:55 pm Reply
  • This story melts my heart and cant help my tears to fall. Archie is home now!

    Ribbonette April 9, 2016 12:59 am Reply
  • Archie…….you deserve a forever home and forever love….from another kitty lover in abu dhabi

    felix sabiniano April 9, 2016 2:48 am Reply
  • This is an amazing story. We who love cats salute you! You stepped up & made it happen!! Blessings to all of you!!!

    Janice Serritella April 9, 2016 10:53 am Reply
  • So pleased that Archie has his new home, but huge thanks to that shelter who for 13 years gave him sanctuary and a place to live. Shelters may not be the best thing, but they are for sure better than dying on the street.

    nickbishop April 10, 2016 3:54 am Reply
  • Oh my goodness, I am seeing thisniw fir the first time! THANK YOU for sharing Archie’s story! I’m happy to tell you that he is thriving in his new home in Chicago, all thanks to the online cat community who made his adoption possible. Yay!

    Jennifer Blakeslee June 18, 2016 7:48 pm Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *