The second installment in the “Cats I Have Loved” series is devoted to Salvador, one of our three Willamette Humane Society alumni.

Salvador arrived at WHS on September 11, 2014 while I was still volunteering in the catteries. His previous family found him as a stray kitten and surrendered him 8 years later after they got dogs. The dogs stressed him out to the point that he started pulling out his fur, which had been luscious and luxurious (an inference I make according to the way he looks now in a dog-free home). His vet gave him a steroid injection, which helped for about a week, but he continued to be very stressed and pull out his fur.

Salvador is a gentle, quiet, shy cat whom I always saw at the back of his kennel in the shelter. He has a loud purr, however, which he employed even while retiring to the back of the kennel. You could hear his purr from across the room! I’m sure the frequent barking from the nearby dog kennels didn’t help his confidence any. He was reported to be good with other cats.

I became a WHS employee in October 2014 and often visited Salvador to pet him and talk softly to him. I asked the Intake staff whether he’d had anyone interested in adopting him and was told someone had been interested, but unfortunately, she had a dog.

Time passed, and as December began, Salvador still awaited his forever home. I decided (without telling my husband) that I was going to bring him home so we could foster him. At first Mujeeb wasn’t pleased, but came to love this gentle soul. We kept him in our powder room, away from the other cats, and showered him with love and attention. Before we brought him home he had faced some health issues, including bloody diarrhea and tapeworms. He was placed on a hypoallergenic diet. In foster care, he developed cow pie stools, so I took a stool sample to the shelter, and it showed Coccidia. I had to give him medicine (which he hated) and bathe him three times over several days, then take in another stool sample. He was surprisingly docile for his baths and didn’t seem to mind water very much. Fortunately, the second stool sample was free of parasites. We knew that we wanted him to join our family, and we adopted him on January 17, 2015. I toyed with changing his name and briefly tried calling him “Colin Firth” (my #1 living celebrity boyfriend), but decided just to stick with Salvador because “Colin Firth” felt weird to say.

For quite some time Salvador spent all of his time in our bathroom. He is such a gentle soul that he never fights back when chased or challenged by our other cats. He is definitely a lover, not a fighter. Salvador doesn’t hesitate to let you know when he wants to be left alone – he’s a quick one with a paw! But he loves to sit on our laps when he feels safe from cat attacks. He is now much more confident and hangs out all over the house, but is still wary of being chased by Sunny, Cookie Dough, and now Kennedy. Salvador could easily knock them over with one bat of his large paws, but he chooses flight over fight. He seems friendly with Morrissey, but our cats are not the hanging-out-together types. He follows me around the house and seems happy when he thinks I am going to sit in the office so that he can sit on my lap or stand in front of the computer monitor.

Salvador’s fur has grown back and is silky soft, and he is the most beautiful cat with the most mesmerizing green eyes. People comment how amazing it is what love can do, but it’s his steadfast love which has warmed our hearts. We adore this sweet boy!