Nevada Humane Society’s 12 Saves of Christmas was introduced several years ago. It received an overwhelmingly positive response, letters of appreciation, and more, all of which came unexpectedly to us. We see day in and day out the difference we make in the lives of thousands of animals but we didn’t realize we weren’t fully communicating those lifesaving efforts to you – our biggest fans. Thus, the 12 Saves of Christmas was created. Now, every holiday season, we find ourselves receiving messages asking when our 12 Saves of Christmas begins. Without further ado, we present to you the 12 Saves of Christmas of 2016.
12 Saves of Christmas #4: Peanut and Jelly
Imagine being a senior, alone, with nowhere to live, no regular supply of food, and having to find a warm bed day after day. That was the life for Peanut and Jelly. Two 14 year old sisters, beautiful and still full of life, living the life of street cats—though they clearly were not.
We see all walks of life come into our shelter. We see young and old pets, sick and injured pets, happy-go-lucky pets, striped pets, fluffy pets, skinny and fat pets. We see them all. None of them get turned away in Washoe County or Carson City, because we are their voice. We are here for them.
Peanut and Jelly were no exception. They were brought in to Washoe County Regional Animal Services as stray cats, but it was obvious they belonged to someone at some point in time. They were extremely social, loving and affectionate. Nothing got them down.
They sat for five days, the legal hold period for an abandoned pet. When the hold was up, they were transferred to Nevada Humane Society. They visited our veterinary clinic right away—they definitely had signs of old age. They were tiny, around eight pounds each. Their teeth weren’t great, they both had upper respiratory infections and they had ear mites. They were also dirty, the biggest reason we knew they had been on their own for some time.
We spayed both of them, treated their various illnesses and each of them had a dental exam and cleaning. We fed them more than normal—they needed to gain weight. Through it all, they head-butted each other and us, purred and kneaded their paws. We could tell they were so grateful to be here, and appreciative that they found their way to such a loving group of people.
Peanut and Jelly were typical old ladies, the kind you envision playing cards while sipping on White Zinfandel with the Martha Stewart Show on in the background. If there were pink and purple sweaters and matching hats we would have dressed them.
It was easy to see why so many staff and volunteers fell for these two girls. They were quite literally, perfect. Best friends and sisters who shared one heck of a ride and always considered the glass half full.
We made it a requirement that they go home as pair—we were not willing to separate them. People stopped and looked, laughed at the way they spooned each other when they napped, and continued on their way, looking for a younger cat. So we waited.
Peanut and Jelly, no matter how perfect, were overlooked time and time again because of their age. We didn’t get it. Yes, they may be 14, but many cats live well past that, and these two were so darling—why couldn’t anyone see that they needed love too?
Then, almost a month later, a kind woman came in to see them. We knew she was it. Something about her called to Peanut and Jelly, as well as the staff, so we set upon our mission to play matchmaker. Peanut and Jelly charmed her too, as they rolled over and smiled at her, pressed their paws gently to her face, and very simply asked, “Are you our person?” We watched through the window of the visiting room as all of this happened, fingers crossed. When she looked up and caught us spying, she smiled. We knew then that Peanut and Jelly were going home.
These two little, old ladies charmed their way through life, survived the streets (probably making friends along the entire way), and found another family. They showed us real love in everything they did and reminded us to never judge based on age or look or life experience. Today, they’re showing their family the same and we have no doubt that Peanut and Jelly are enjoying the holiday the way one should—surrounded by those you love.