Chroma first arrived at the ASPCA in September 2014 after her guardian had to make the difficult decision to surrender her due to his own health. The then three-year-old cat had not yet been spayed or microchipped, and was in need of urgent dental care. The veterinary team at the ASPCA Animal Hospital (AAH) moved quickly to take care of all of Chroma’s needs—including a spay surgery and multiple dental extractions.
Once Chroma fully recovered from her surgeries, she was transferred to the ASPCA Adoption Center, where the Adoptions team soon noticed that she did not like other cats and needed slow introductions to new people. To reduce her stress level, the Adoptions team put a small piece of cardboard in front of her glass enclosure to ensure that Chroma could no longer see her fellow resident cats. Everyone knew that due to Chroma’s anxious nature, she would require just the right adopter for her permanent home—someone patient and willing to give Chroma the time and gentle affection she needed.
Meanwhile, James V. and his wife, Julia, had recently moved from Manhattan to Astoria, Queens. The couple tells us that in this time, they began taking long evening walks around their new neighborhood. “During those walks, we noticed several feral cats roaming the streets near our apartment building, and we began to see just how many cats were in need of adoption,” Julia said.
While neither James nor Julia had ever had a pet as an adult, their experience with feral cats in Astoria convinced them that they should adopt a shelter cat. “We visited several animal shelters across New York City, but the ASPCA really stood out. We were so impressed with the level of care and effort the ASPCA staff put into helping each cat find a home,” James said.
The couple wanted to adopt a cat who may have had a tougher time finding the right pet parent. During their third trip to ASPCA, James and Julia noticed a glass enclosure that was covered by a bit of cardboard and were instantly intrigued by the cat on the other side: Chroma.
“We were told that she’d had some problems with the other cats, and we were warned that she could be unpredictable,” Julia recalled. “When the ASPCA staff removed the cover and opened the enclosure, a small, beautiful gray cat with a shaved tummy (from her spay surgery) and a shaved arm (from her IV), gracefully approached me, gave me a head butt and then asked for a belly rub.” It was love at first sight.
After they officially adopted Chroma, James and Julia took their new furry family member home and renamed her Asina. They felt that Asina, the name of a Nordic Goddess, was perfectly suited to her because of her dense grey coat and aloof, yet cuddly personality. After a few days of hiding and a slow integration into her new home, Asina became a regular, beloved member of the family.
In 2016, James and Julia relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. To their surprise, the once-anxious Asina handled the five hour flight remarkably well, and instantly adapted to her new, spacious surroundings. Julia tells us that Asina’s new favorite pastimes include watching the birds from the windows, sleeping on any piece of clothing she can find and wildly chasing her crinkle ball across the living room.
In the end, the “unpredictable and shy” cat has proven to be extremely affectionate and playful—highlighting the fact that you should never judge a cat by her (cardboard) cover.
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