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While I have often been referred to as “catty,” I was never really a “cat person” until I was introduced to SAFE Haven for Cats. It was Christmas of 1994 and my lovely wife, Joyce, had been hinting of her wish for a cat to join our family that already included a sweet rescue dog, Bandit. I cannot remember how I learned of SAFE Haven, but I did some research and made a call to speak with Pam for more information. I learned about Pam’s love of cats and her commitment to rescue, rehabilitate and place abandoned, abused and neglected cats in homes where they could find love, security and happiness.

I made a visit to SAFE Haven to meet Pam and some of the current residents, at that time, cared for in her garage/shelter. I was impressed and touched by what I saw and the felines I met that day. I left with a gift certificate Pam was willing to prepare with the intention of surprising Joyce on Christmas Day. I wrapped the certificate and put it under the tree with other gifts. When Joyce opened the box and saw the certificate, it took a few moments for her to realize what she was reading. Once reality set in, Joyce let out a yelp and wanted to go straight to SAFE Haven, however, since it was Christmas Day, we had to delay that trip. When we arrived at SAFE Haven a few days later Joyce was in a state of cat euphoria. I wondered if we had enough carriers and litter boxes to adopt all the cats Joyce fell in love with that day, but eventually, we selected a sweet, gentle black and white tuxedo kitten named Skipper (our Mallory).

Our family fell in love with Mallory and that love expanded and led to the adoption of four additional SAFE Haven cats over the years: Madison (formerly Honey), McKenzie (formerly Jigsaw), and this year Dorothy (formerly Princess), and Zuzu (formerly Vanna White). These precious SAFE Haven rescues have given us affection, smiles, entertainment, warmth and, mostly, love. They have converted a catty guy to a cat one. Joyce found delight and personal reward as a volunteer adoption counselor and foster mom for SAFE Haven. Thanks, Pam!

The Story of ZuZu