101-Year-Old Woman Adopts Oldest Cat in Shelter: 'Match Made in Heaven'

The adoption of the oldest cat in a North Carolina animal shelter has been described as a "match made in heaven" after a 101-year-old woman took him in.

Gus, 19 years old, was taken to the Humane Society of Catawba County (HSCC) in North Carolina in the middle of September, after his previous owner could no longer keep him due to unforeseen work commitments. "His owner was heartbroken," Jane Bower, Humane Society of Catawba County's executive director told Newsweek.

The HSCC is a nonprofit that aims to fight overpopulation, cruelty and inhumane treatment of animals in the area, as well as endeavour to make sure that "no adoptable animal will be euthanized."

The organization features the Pat Anderson Center for Animal Adoption and Humane Education, a state-of-the-art no-kill companion animal shelter and low-cost spay/neuter clinic and education center

"We took Gus in and proceeded to do a health check and found that for 19 years young, Gus was in exceptional health," she added.

"Obviously we would take good care of Gus, but living in a shelter is not ideal, especially at his age."

Gus the cat
Gus the cat. The Humane Society of Catawba County

Luckily for Gus, it was around the same time 101-year-old Penny's family was on the hunt for an elderly kitten, and came to the center to find one.

"The adopter's family contacted us asking to adopt a senior cat for their mother," explained Bower. "She had recently lost her cat and although they had given her a stuffed cat, she wasn't happy because it didn't purr."

"We were cautious because of the age of all parties but the family said they were willing to care for the cat on behalf of their mother."

Any hesitations have since been eased, as Bower described the adoption as a "match made in heaven," with Gus settling into his new home with Penny. "[He has] made himself at home and eating like a horse," she said.

Penny and Gus at home
Penny and Gus after his adoption. The Humane Society of Catawba County

The shelter shared the good news in a Facebook post on September 30, writing: "Our [hearts] are full with this beautiful adoption. Our 19-year-old (133 in human years) great-grandPAW, has found the loving arms of his new mamma who is the ripe young age of 101. Congratulations Gus-Gus. Wishing you the best days ahead watching squirrels and sharing your love and purrs."

The story of Gus and Penny is a story of hope for the center, which unlike some other places, refused to give up on the feline despite his senior age.

"As an animal shelter in the South of the USA, we are constantly full of companion animals. Gus' age was exceptional but we do regularly see older pets. We still advocate for these animals and work to find them a new home, regardless of their age," said Bower.

Gus watching a squirrel through the door
Gus watching a squirrel at his new home. The Humane Society of Catawba County