According to her records, Kenzie was born on September 11, 2001. A rather inauspicious start for a homeless cat.
Not much is known about the first decade of Kenzie’s life. But on September 12, 2011, she was transferred from the Salt Lake City No More Homeless Pets rescue and shelter program to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. 10-year old Kenzie and seven other cats arrived together that day.
Kenzie’s time at Best Friends was unremarkable. She was healthy and friendly and got along well with other cats. She has no recorded instances of health or behavior issues.
For over a year, Kenzie lived with other cats all hoping for their forever homes. She saw lots of other cats get their wish. Other cats who were younger than her, more out-going than her, more playful than her and more talkative than her. Despite her shiny tabby coat, athletic frame and sweet disposition, in a room full of wonderful cats, Kenzie just didn’t stand out.
All of that changed in December 2012. At more than eleven-years old and after 16 months at Best Friends, Kenzie was adopted.
Happy ending, right? Right!
But to finally have her forever home, first she was going to have to get there. Get where, you ask? Richmond, Virginia. So, Kenzie had to set out on a long and strange journey.
First, Kenzie had to ride in a carrier in the back of a van with lots of other cats and dogs. Four hours from Best Friends to Las Vegas. An eternity when you’re a cat who can’t tell time!
While all of the other adopted animals had flights heading out on the same day as the long road trip, Kenzie wasn’t so lucky. Her flight wasn’t for another two days. In fact, that’s how she and I met. I convened with the transport drivers from Best Friends at airport cargo in Las Vegas and then drove Kenzie to my house.
She was a wonderful houseguest. Quiet and polite, didn’t eat too much, didn’t make a mess, cleaned up after herself. And she purred almost constantly. She was very curious about this thing called a mirror. And she didn’t seem to understand why there weren’t any other cats in her room. She’d never had a room to herself before… and a litter box to herself… and food and water she didn’t have to share.
She was curious about the other two cats that wandered the rest of the house. She could smell them and hear them but the one time she tried to introduce herself, they hissed and suggested she go back to her guest room.
That was fine because she was very happy in her guest room. There was a warm bed and blankets and her favorite food. There really was no reason to leave, as far as she was concerned.
But Kenzie didn’t realize that this was not her forever home. And on Sunday morning, when it was time to go back to the airport, Kenzie’s mood shifted dramatically. There was no way to explain to her that I wasn’t sending her back to Best Friends. That, in fact, I was going to help her go to the house where they were waiting for her. But, first, she would have to ride in a car to the airport, board a plane to Denver, transfer to another plane to fly to Washington D.C., then get in another car and drive to Virginia. Unfortunately, Kenzie couldn’t understand this. And this was about to be the scariest day of her life. And that day started with me, a human she had chosen to trust, dragging her out from a hiding place, forcing her into a carrier and driving her away from the warm soft bed she had grown so fond of.
But after a long, difficult and stressful day, on the evening of Sunday, December 29, 2012, Kenzie is safe with her new family where she also has a warm soft bed to sleep on. It may have taken 11 years, a lot of caring humans, and a final long, strange journey, but ultimately Kenzie has found her forever home.