After 14 months at the San Martin Animal Shelter, the one-eyed
cat once known as Pearl finds a home
Gilroy – When Nichole Boudreau found Pearl at the San Martin Animal Shelter, her heart melted.
“I have just always taken in strays and always had a soft spot for animals that have something wrong with them,” Boudreau said. “I knew that no one was going to take her because she was older.”
Pearl, whom Boudreau renamed Lily, is at least three years old and missing her left eye, the result of an infection she suffered earlier this year. Lily lived at the shelter for 14 months. Sue Padgett, who works at the shelter, said that isn’t a record, but it’s close. Lily didn’t lose her eye until April, but she was tough to adopt out because of her age and her fair-fur, which requires her to live indoors all the time.
Padgett said her eye trouble might have actually helped Lily find a home.
“In an odd way, the more disadvantaged an animal is, the more heartrending they are to potential adopters,” she said. “Initially she was just one of many adult cats, but now she was someone who’d been through the ringer. The right person came in and overlooked it. It was never a problem for Pearl. She got along just the same as she always had.”
Padgett said that Pearl may look like an average ordinary domestic long-hair, but she has the bearing of a princess.
“She is just a very charming, quiet, somewhat regal cat. That goes with her all-white coat and long, flowing hair,” Padgett said. “She’s very friendly and sweet and stoic. And when her eye was a mess she was just a trooper.”
And Boudreau said that Lily has adjusted fine to her new name and is taking over a house already filled with three other cats – Monkey, Spike and Cody.
“Pearl didn’t fit her. It sounds like an old lady’s name,” Boudreau said. “She just gorgeous. She already the princess of the house and thinks she owns the entire place. She’s become the matriarch.”
Boudreau didn’t plan on taking home a new friend the day she found Lily. She was only tagging along with a friend who planned on adopting a new kitten that day. For those in the market for a cat, this is the time to get one. Shelter workers call the spring and summer “kitten season,” the time of year when they take in as many as 20 new cats every day.
“Hands down, it’s kitten season,” Padgett said. “I’m happy if I can adopt three in a day.”
As long as animals are healthy and what staff consider to be adoptable, they won’t be euthanized at the San Martin Animal Shelter. Padgett said they haven’t put down a healthy cat in five years. But right now, the shelter is busting at the seams with kittens. They have about 75 at the shelter and 50 more in foster homes. Padgett expects another 100 soon.
When the cats start getting older, they get adopted as shelter cats, like Lily, lifers holding out hope they’ll have a new home someday.