Puppy Goes To Shelter And Chooses Kitten To Take Home

Raven picked out her kitten BFF, Woodhouse, at a Texas shelter.

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BFFs. Via raven_and_woodhouse/Instagram
Cari Jorgensen

Growing up, my family always had at least one cat and one dog. Some were friends; others only tolerated each other’s presence. None got to choose the other. Raven and Woodhouse were a little luckier.

Christina and her fiancé, Vincent, knew they wanted to get a dog together.

“We had heard of the Tamaskan breed a couple years ago, and had always had that in the back of our mind,” Christina told Petcha.com. “We… wanted to make the right decision on breed, as the dog would be in our lives 10+ years and we knew we wanted to start a family eventually. We heard Tamaskans were great family dogs — good around kids and other small pets.”

The Odessa, Texas-based couple, who preferred not to give their last names, found a breeder and several months later a puppy was available. They brought the 8-week-old dog home in mid-July 2015 and named her Raven.

Given that Christina had grown up with cats, and Vincent grew up with dogs, the couple wanted to get a kitten companion for Raven. The decision to look for one came about a week after getting the Tamaskan.

“It had been almost a life goal for myself to have a puppy and kitten that grew up together, since introducing older pets to either cats or dogs doesn’t always go to plan,” said Christina. “I wanted them to grow up and bond together.”

So how did the couple choose the perfect kitten to bond with Raven? They let Raven make the choice.

They went to Petco and PetSmart on adoption days several times, Christina told us, but no kittens were available. This led them to the Lubbock Animal Shelter in Texas. They were told that shelter staff would be picking up kittens later that day and to come back around 3 p.m. to do a meet and greet.

“I mentioned to her that I wanted my puppy to meet the kittens, so I could determine which kitten was the best fit,” Christina said. “She said they normally don’t do cat/dog interactions, but since my puppy was only 10 weeks at this point, she said they could make an exception.”

And what a difference that exception made.

“Woodhouse was actually the first kitten that was brought out,” Christina told Petcha.com. “Raven went and sniffed him and he was really curious about Raven as well — smelling and head-butting each other. The lady at the shelter then brought out the other three kittens, one by one, and none of them really hit it off.

“Raven is a shy dog, and was especially shy as a puppy. None of the other kittens showed any interest, or [the kittens] seemed scared of Raven, and hissed, so that made Raven back away from all of them,” she continued. “We brought Woodhouse out again and Raven immediately walked back up to him. It was love at first sight! We took Woodhouse to the vet sometime in the next couple days, and he estimated that Woodhouse was born sometime mid June 2015 making him only a couple weeks younger than Raven.”

Raven and Woodhouse bonded straightaway. The shelter provided toys to take home, and the puppy and kitten played with them together, Christina said. Woodhouse even tried to nurse from Raven before bed.

“At one point Raven grabbed one of her peanut butter rawhides and held it for Woodhouse to lick,” Christina told us. “It was an instant bond!”

While the two BFFs don’t cuddle as much as they used to when they were younger, they are still very close.

“They always tell each other ‘hi’ in the morning and run up to each other,” Christina said. “Raven likes to greet [Woodhouse] by placing his entire head in her mouth. Their two favorite games to play are wrestling and tag. They take turns chasing each other around the house… When they wrestle, Raven likes to pin Woodhouse down. She knows they can play as long as they want, but as soon as Woodhouse makes a sound (we call it the squished cat sound), she is supposed to get up, walk away and wait for Woodhouse to initiate if he wants to continue playing. Woodhouse does start a lot of their play sessions.”

Raven always has to be the center of attention. She won't let Woodhouse play his game. She just had to butt in… #ravenandwoodhouse

A video posted by Raven and Woodhouse (@raven_and_woodhouse) on

Just one look at their Instagram page and anyone can see that Raven and Woodhouse truly are the best of friends. They’ve even picked up a few of each other’s species’ characteristics.

“Raven acts like a cat. She really does. She is shy around strangers. You really have to work for her affection, but once you’re in, you are in for life and she won’t leave you alone,” Christina said. “She also hates being wet. If she does get wet, she will literally lick herself dry instead of shaking. She sleeps curled up in a ball as well.”

And Woodhouse the cat acts like a confident canine.

“Woodhouse, on the other hand, is not shy at all,” Christina said. “Any stranger can walk up into our house and pet him. He is also leash trained… I can take Woodhouse to somebody else’s home and he will just walk around and chill. He won’t go hide under a bed for days.”

The BFFs even greet Christina and Vincent at the door when they get home. They truly are one big, happy family.

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  • Great looking buddies. Love they are friends.

    wayne freitag August 25, 2016 2:30 am Reply
  • Two beautiful friends. Such a lovely story.

    Estelle Lilliendahl August 25, 2016 3:01 am Reply
  • Wow- best catnap ever, curled up with his fur-sister! What a wonderful pair they make!

    Christine Keating-Ingelse August 25, 2016 3:47 am Reply
  • Wonderful story, but I wish they had adopted a dog from a shelter instead of a breeder.

    Vicki August 25, 2016 3:55 am Reply
  • Aw, what a cute story. Raven and Woodhouse are a purrfect pair!

    Janet R. August 25, 2016 4:03 am Reply
  • Sweet story.. But you lost me when I read the pup was purchased from a breeder…:-( Too bad the couple didn’t save a shelter dog like they did the cat…

    Cyndi Palmer August 25, 2016 4:15 am Reply
  • Oh God, how I love this!

    Nancy August 25, 2016 4:45 am Reply
  • OMG… Absolutely adorable

    Diana August 25, 2016 5:08 am Reply
  • This brought a big smile to my face! TYVM! So adore the story and especially, the video! 🙂

    Kim August 25, 2016 5:44 am Reply
  • Wow beautiful. Look at that perfect “M” on the kittens head. Stands for Maine Coon cat. Lucky you.

    Ruth August 25, 2016 6:11 am Reply
    • Love it! Didn’t even see the “M” until you mentioned it! Prrrrrrr!

      Fuzzydustbunnies August 25, 2016 10:43 am Reply
  • Most likely could have found this breed dog in a shelter if they’d taken the time to have looked. Even the exotic breeds are dumped. But at least a shelter cat was ok for them.

    EK Wilkins August 25, 2016 6:12 am Reply
  • What a wonderful story and what a wonderful family!

    J. C. August 25, 2016 6:17 am Reply
  • At least a kitten got adopted. Would have been even nicer if they’d saved a puppy as well.

    Janet August 25, 2016 7:07 am Reply
  • Yes, if they would have adopted from a shelter would have made this dear story better. Breeders are in for the money…don’t fool yourself! Please adopt…please adopt!!

    Nini August 25, 2016 9:03 am Reply
  • Sweet story, I wish humans from different “species” would get along as well together!

    Tabbies usually have an “M” on their forehead, that has nothing to do with breed, does not mean a cat is a Maine Coon.

    What would happen to these awesome breeds of dogs and cats and horses and other domestic pets, if there were no breeders?? Do you hate friendly Labrador Retrievers and cute Persian kitties because they’re not mixed breed? I have no problem with responsible – key word RESPONSIBLE – breeders who are raising beautiful Collies and Labs and Maine Coons and Siamese and dogs like Raven. Blame the horrible pet mills and careless people who don’t bother to spay or neuter, not the breeders who want to preserve a breed. Spay and neuter your pets, be careful where you adopt them from, but don’t vilify people who wish to responsibly keep a wonderful breed available in the world.

    AJO August 25, 2016 9:08 am Reply
    • Agreed.

      Fuzzydustbunnies August 25, 2016 10:44 am Reply
    • Could not agree more. My daughter keeps saying to adopt, and I agree adoption is great, but it does not always work out. If I were to get a dog or cat, I want to be sure of its heritage, especially concerning disease, which a breeder can tell. My budget is very tight. Health is always a risk with any living creature, including us humans, but certain breeds are prone to some problems, (collies and blindness, for example) and if possible, I’d like to be sure that is not lurking genetically. I also want certain physical characteristics. It might be possible to get the latter from a shelter, but maybe not. And without responsible (!) breeders, you are right. We might lose some breeds.

      Andrea Becker August 25, 2016 10:42 pm Reply
  • I’m pretty sure Woodhouse is a Maine Coon – we have our third Maine Coon cat – we have always referred to them as “dogs in cat’s bodies”. You really lucked out finding a Main Coon kitten at a shelter!! Have fun with them together!

    Tina August 25, 2016 9:23 am Reply
  • Both of these pets are so photogenic!

    Kimberlydawn August 25, 2016 11:36 am Reply
  • Woodhouse definitely looks like a Maine Coon. They are very intelligent and quirky cats. My Maine Coon was obsessed with water from the sink and bathtub. He would sit in the tub and stare at the drain after the water ran out as if to say “where did it go?”. He and my two westies got along fine. The cat annoyed my dogs because he would constantly head bump them and try to snuggle with them. He was almost as big as they were…sadly, Maine Coons have a gene that makes them very susceptible to renal failure, so please be aware of any changes in his weight, appetite, energy levels, etc. I lost my Maine Coon when he was just 9 years old to kidney disease.

    Denise August 25, 2016 1:00 pm Reply
  • When I was little my grandmother would always tell us the Christmas story about the animals in the manger. A tabby cat got in the manger with baby Jesus and kept him warm throughout the night. In gratitude, Mary blessed the cat and put her fingers on its forehead. The letter M is on all tabby’s as a sign of Mary’s blessing for the cat’s selfless act.

    Melissa August 25, 2016 2:32 pm Reply
  • I disagree, if someone wants a certain Breed they have every right to buy, I adopt from shelters that’s my choice, Raven and Woodhouse are adorable, where they came from is irrelevant, all non human animals deserve loving homes.

    Romola Newport August 25, 2016 3:36 pm Reply
  • I LOVE stories like this! It shows what we’ve known all along – cats and dogs can get along, and be besties <3 You can tell Rave and Woodhouse are loved – it comes right back out.

    The pictures are just adorable – especially the one where Raven and Woodhouse – definitely a Maine Coon – are cuddled in a nap <3

    I'll go take my insulin shot now 🙂

    KatWrangler August 25, 2016 3:39 pm Reply
  • Every time an animal is bought from a breeder or pet store, an animal at a shelter goes without a home. And many shelter animals are put to death. Adopt don’t buy!!!

    Joyce August 25, 2016 10:37 pm Reply

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