Sarah Ford | April 7, 2015

Repeat Rescuer and Family Saved by Kitten

This story is written by PetSmart Charities Roving Reporter Bart Butler.

“Hey, you got a kitten!”

That was the surprised reaction Neptune, New Jersey, resident Wayne Johnson got from his family when he returned from the PetSmart Charities® National Adoption Weekend carrying a charcoal gray kitten with green eyes.

They were surprised because Wayne had gone to the event looking only forinformation, not a new kitten.

The family — Wayne’s wife, Amanda, his 12-year-old daughter, Queyana, and his mother, Lillie — had just lost their male cat of 10 years, Bushin. Wayne hoped the event would help him learn the latest on how to adopt a new one — when the family was ready.

Event reawakens Wayne’s inner cat rescuer

“The environment was pretty cool,” Wayne said, “with all the kids and families and pets around. There were cats and dogs everywhere, and at some point you start to think, ‘I’ve got to save a pet today.’”

Wayne has loved cats from the time his mom got him one when he was in sixth grade.

And he’s had a passion for rescuing them ever since.

“Even when I was in college, my friends and I had cats,” he said. “We found a kitten on campus. We rescued it. That’s always been my mission.”

New kitten helps family move on

Wayne said losing their adult cat left his family sad and feeling empty. But he knew a new pet would help them move on and refocus more positively on life. “It’s something specific to pets,” he said. “It’s what they do.”

Wayne opted for a dramatic change. “I just wanted to start fresh,” he said. “We had a boy cat, let’s get a girl. And I definitely wanted a kitten.”

Special kitten fits right in with new family

Wayne knew this gray kitten was special. “She impressed me from the start,” he said. 

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