From an Airbnb in Georgia to a Forever Home in New Jersey: A Team MUTTS Rescue Story | MUTTS

From an Airbnb in Georgia to a Forever Home in New Jersey: A Team MUTTS Rescue Story

Animals People

By Nikki Tramontana

At the beginning of November 2019 my mother and I were invited to attend the wedding of a close family friend in Georgia, a state we had never visited before. On the day of the rehearsal dinner, we flew down from New Jersey, got a rental car, and quickly settled in to our cute little rental house before attending the dinner.

After a wonderful get-together with lots of laughs and catching up, we headed back to our temporary home. As we pulled up to the house, our headlights illuminated the figure of a tiny cat sitting under another parked car in the driveway.

Of course, I knew I had to try and make friends with the little guy. It only took a “hi kitty” or two before the cat was coming right up to say hello. He was so sweet, and I quickly fell in love. Without asking, he followed my mother and me right into the house and cozied up by our side. He was young, around eight months old, and a little too skinny — but he was a purring machine.

We hung out with him for the rest of the evening and put him back outside right before bed, since weren’t sure if he already had a home. The next day when we opened the door to get breakfast, he was sitting on the stairs waiting for us. I decided to stay with my new friend while my mother went our to grab breakfast (for us and the cat, too — lots of cans!).

He inhaled the food and begged for more. Soon we were spending most of our time with Pryor (which is the name we gave him, after the street we found him on). He would fall asleep on my chest and lick my face with his sandpaper tongue. He was just the best and I knew he was special.

Lots of love and kisses!

As our trip came to an end I was torn about what to do. I wanted to make sure Pryor was going to be okay, and I wondered if he had a family. (He was also unaltered, which did not help anyone with him being outside.)

On our second-to-last day in Georgia, I saw a woman outside and asked about the cat. She said she knew of him, and that he belonged to the neighbor in the unit attached to our rental. Right away I had mixed feelings, partly relieved that he had a guardian but also sad because I knew he was truly one of a kind and craved more love than he was likely receiving.

On our last day I decided to leave a note for the neighbor. I knew in my heart that if I didn’t, I would regret it. In the note I expressed how wonderful it was to meet this cat, and how he reminded me of my cat who had passed away a few years ago. I mentioned to the neighbor that if he ever needed help with food or medical care, or for some reason wanted to rehome Pryor, I would love to help. I left my name and phone number and a few extra cans of cat food.

When my mother and I arrived back at home, I showed my friends and family all the photos and videos I took of Pryor. We laughed about how of course a cat would find me and know I would take care of him.

Five days later, I received a text message from an unknown number. It was a photo of the note I had left and a message that read: I have this note from you, you really would like to have this cat? 🐱

I was shocked, and answered right away. Through texts, I learned that Pryor’s guardian was a single dad of three who was overwhelmed with the young cat’s energy, food and litter costs, and veterinary care. He said he knew his family did not have the time required for their pet, but they wanted him to have a loving home. I expressed to him that totally understood and would happily rehome him.

We made plans for me to travel back down to Georgia.

In the meantime, I started gathering everything I would need for my new fur baby. Yummy food? Check. Cat tree? Check. Toys galore? Check! I scheduled a vet appointment in Georgia so he could receive a check-up and vaccines, as well as a health certificate to travel. Then, I scheduled another appointment for when we got back to New Jersey, so that he could get microchipped and neutered.

Soon, my mom and I were heading south again for our rescue adventure. We were so excited to see Pryor. When we arrived, we met with his previous guardian, and he handed Pryor over to me. I was filled with such happiness and love. I had known since the moment I met him on the street that this cat was truly special, and I was happy knowing he would be safe and loved as part of my family.

I think Pryor knew he was on his way to his forever home because, on the journey back, he was an angel! He sat calmly in his carrier during the ride to airport, through security, and under my seat as we flew home. He only meowed once.

Back in New Jersey, Pryor made himself right at home. I gently introduced him to his fur brother Moose (a corgi and Jack Russell mix), giving them both time to adjust and get to know each other. Pryor also became fast friends with his new fur dad Kyle, who enjoys carrying him around like a baby.

Pryor and Moose — new brothers and cuddle buddies.

He has been with us for a few months now, and I’m happy to report that he is spoiled rotten with multiple beds, a basket full of toys, and a plush cat tree. He’s now an indoor-only cat, and has not once tried to sneak outside. I think he is perfectly content watching the birds from the windowsill, or keeping me company in my home office. He is a part of our family, fitting in seamlessly as if he has always been here.

Pryor meets Earl and Mooch!

I am so grateful for the wedding in Georgia that allowed me to meet and rescue my little guy (who is getting pretty big now). I am also honored that his previous guardian trusted me with Pryor; I know it can be hard to admit when an animal needs more attention and resources than you are able to provide.

The stars truly aligned on the night I saw Pryor sitting under that parked car — and I am so glad they did!

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64 thoughts on “From an Airbnb in Georgia to a Forever Home in New Jersey: A Team MUTTS Rescue Story

  1. That is one special cat and one special human!

  2. Guest Writer,
    Beautiful story. I agree kudos to you for tracking down the guardian and to him for following up. Might you consider a gift to the single dad — perhaps on Father’s Day — in thanks for the joy Pryor has brought you and knowing what this single dad is dealing with. A gift card for him and maybe some books for his kids (to keep them occupied!!). Just a thought.

  3. I believe our pets choose us.They have a need, show us love, we return our love to them, & we receive their loyalty & love for their lifetime.Our lives are so enriched. I cannot imagine being without one. Or two.❤️

  4. Awwwww! Absolutely LOVE your story! Hugs and lots of love to you and Pryor. Thank you for saving him and giving him the home he deserves. All the best!

  5. Such a wondeful story! I enjoyed your experience! The stars indeed aligned that night.
    Pryor is so handsome!
    By the way, Moose is adorable! You have a beautiful heart. God bless you and all people who care of animals.
    (Sorry my English)

  6. Nikki, what a heart-warming account of Pryor’s rescue. I can tell he’s a special boy just from the little bit you’ve shared here. WAY TO GO, both of you! And Moose, you are so fortunate to have a good friend and companion in Pryor.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with all of us Mutts fans!

  7. Thank you for letting those of us who know of God’s so intense Love for us, that with all His other gifts, He also gave us His/our most beloved friends.

  8. What a heartwarming story!

  9. I think your story is great the cat I have for almost 17 yrs found me and we been through a lot together. I am glad I have her.

  10. This story just melted my heart. Thank you for rescuing him.

  11. Sweet story. I’m glad you had time together to better each other’s lives.

  12. I became friends with a sweet little black and white kitty who lived a few blocks from my house. I took late night walks and this little guy (as I thought) would come out to talk. It was clear he was hungry so I’d bring a few kibbles. He’d talk and tease, rolling over but not letting me touch. Eventually he would rub against me as I sat on his steps. His owner notice our special connection and offered to let me adopt her. HER? Named Dewey? The owner had adopted two females and named them for the cross streets of her home, Dora and Dewey. At the vet appt I discovered Dewey was 17, fixed but never vaccinated, yet was healthy with good teeth. Oh, and declawed. The owner thought Dewey was peeing in the house so made her an outside cat. Dewey came home with me and I thought I’d give her a good last year, but she surprised me by living to the ripe age of 22! I’ve never had a more loving cat than Dewey. She’d wrap her little self (7 lbs) around my neck or lie on top of me. I thought of renaming her but instead gave her a middle name. She became my little Dewey Decimal. I still miss her. There’s no love like the love from a rescued cat.

    1. Sweet story. I’m glad you had time together to better each other’s lives.

  13. Thank you for rescuing him. Amazing things happen when destiny brings you together. I was driving home from the Fair at midnight and we decided to take a backstreet instead of the main road because of the traffic. An El Camino, 2 car lengths ahead of us, stopped in the middle of the road, opened the passenger door, dropped something in the middle of the road, at midnight, and kept going. As I got closer, I saw this TINY bundle of fur doing circles in the middle of the street. They abandoned a kitten whose eyes had just opened in the middle of the street. Just dropped him. I got out and picked him up. He was crying and shivering and shaking. Heartless F’ing People. But, it worked to mine and his good. I named him Piewacket, he became a beautiful Maine Coon and had a long, happy life filled with kitty treats and my heart.

  14. What a wonderful story! I’m so glad you guys found each other. <3

    1. Yes. People can be stupid & cruel. Thank goodness you came along! You have a good heart.

  15. I often do painting in peoples homes and always enjoy finding out they have a cat. Nothing better than taking time and enjoying with a friendly and curious kitty. You and Pryor are meant to be together!

  16. With so many sad and troubling stories being told these days, this win-win is a soothing, smile- inducing pleasure because love wins. Thanks.

  17. What a beautiful and uplifting story! Kudos to both the lady who is now Pryor’s mom and the man who was unselfish enough to give him up. Our 14-year-old rescued Manx crossed the Rainbow Bridge this past Friday; we adopted him when he was a year old. He slept in my hair every night with his paw touching my face, had many daily rides on his daddy’s shoulders and was generous with his snuggles and kitty kisses. Our hearts are shattered and reading Pryor’s story made those broken hearts smile. We will grieve and never forget Austeyn, but we will rescue and love more fur babies. I simply cannot imagine our lives without cats!

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss of Austeyn. 💔 The rainbow bridge will call him back to you one day. 💞 Best wishes and peace.

  18. What a wonderful story! My husband and I have had many many cat families over the course of our life together. (almost 50 years) Currently, we have 4 furrbabies who were all feral cats and knew each other before we arrived. I am so glad that we were able to take them in and give them a home. Of course, they picked us out. Thank you for sharing your story about Pryor.

    1. How nice of you both to have adopted them! Best wishes & stay safe!

  19. Now that is a priceless story. Hooray Pryor. I am so happy for you.

  20. I LOVE this story! thank you for sharing!

  21. I’m so glad that you got a new baby! It’s really hard when a baby has to cross over the rainbow. Our pets make our lives complete!

  22. Thank you for such a sweet, heart-warming story!! There’s nothing like a ‘babies’ love!!

  23. A very happy ending for a sweet little cat who didn’t deserve to be neglected in the first place. A lesson to be learned here: If one can not take care of an animal, put in the expense & time needed, then PLEASE don’t get a pet! Too many people treat animals/pets as objects that they can dispose of when they become inconvenient. For a father “of three who was overwhelmed with the young cat’s energy, food and litter costs, and veterinary care..[and] did not have the time required…” to have that kind of response makes me wonder “Why did they get the cat in the first place?” Thank you, for taking the time, & expense, to bring this sweet kitty into your home! Mooch would be proud!

    1. Should you judge this man whose full story & situation you don’t really know? I can imagine a number of possible reasons he ended up w/ a cat w/o realizing just what it entailed. Maybe the little cat “adopted” him & he wanted to help it but circumstances made it impossible for him to fulfill that intention – or he had done it w/o knowing what it would really involve. I think we should give him a break & thank him for not simply abandoning the cat & for following up on the note.

      1. Thank you for writing that as I was thinking the same thing!

  24. My MSPCA Adopted kitty and I read this together. Back in 2018, baby Evie spoke to me from her adoption cage and I recognized the language she spoke. She was on sale because she was black and my heart took over and was in charge. She knew I was her forever mommy and I did too. That was in 2018 and we celebrated her birthday on April 9, 2020. Her “your my baby day” is in August. I loved this sweet story and it spoke to my heart. Thank you so much for sharing.

  25. It was meant to be <3

  26. I read your story with my current outside rescue kitty, Grace, sitting on my lap. She is purring up a storm. Cats are wonderful companions. I am very happy for your happy ending & I know Pryor is in the best home he could ever wish for.

  27. Thank you for your beautiful story. Pryor hit the jackpot! I’m so happy for all of you, and the photos are great!

  28. Hooray for happy endings. I would have done the same thing. Cats are truly great companions.

  29. I guess I haven’t much new to add to the sweet comments about this heart-warming, uplifting story. Thank you, Nikki, for sharing it and to Mutts for running it. Many blessings to Nikki the Heroine, her mom, Kyle, Moose, and to Pryor the Magic Cat.

  30. What a heartwarming story! It’s so wonderful that you were able to give that kitty a home! !

  31. Wonderful story! You are your mother are true angels! My husband and I are parents to 4 furbabies. 🙂 xoxo

  32. Thank you for sharing such a heartwarming story! We need it during this challenging time of social distancing! Thank you for following your instincts and giving him a wonderful forever home! In the past I’ve had 3 different cats show up at my door and said, well, c’mon in…..and they were all with me for very long and happy lives.

    1. How welcoming and what a good hostess! ❤️👍

  33. What a lovely story. Best wishes to Pryor and his new family.

  34. What a beautiful story! My family are kitty lovers and each one has had a special place in our hearts…those in Kitty heaven and those that are still with us.
    “Mary Poppins” was found in the parking lot to the that movie. “Ninji” came to us; we found her in our window. Both of these were with us for 18 years. Now I have two Grand Kitties; Sable and Tuxie to bring us joy!

  35. Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for saving Pryor!

  36. The story can’t be any more beautiful!! Thank God he has you, what a very lucky little guy!

  37. I’m so glad you found each other. Sounds like he picked you out!

  38. Wonderful story. So very good to follow your heart and return to Georgia. Beautifully done with the previous caretaker. Best of luck and health to all of you.

    1. Your reply is thoughtful & heartfelt. ❤️👍

  39. It’s unbelievable how we can stumble on treasures without setting out to look for them. I’m so glad you all found each other, thank you for sharing this beautiful and happy story.

  40. Thank you for sharing your story. Glad you and your mother were in Georgia. Pryor appreciated the love, food and attention you gave him, even if for a couple of days.
    My daughter and I volunteer at a cat rescue shelter and we are always saddened by their stories. The good news is the cats are receiving love and medical care when necessary.

    1. That’s terrific that both you & your daughter are generous with your time! ❤️

  41. That’s such a beautiful story! Kudos to you and to the family who had the courage to give him to you. 😻

  42. I just loved the story of Pryor’s rescue. He’s so sweet and looks much like one of our rescues, named Morey, who is now our senior statesman at age 15. Our youngest, born last September or thereabouts, showed up in our garage last fall. Just a tiny kitten. Either lost or abandoned. He’s now indoors and learning how to be a big cat from his Uncle Morey who grooms and nurtures him. We have eight fur babies now, both inside and outside. All were rescues from friends, our vet or just showing up at the back door looking hungry and homeless. So happy to read this story of love found where you least expected it. Hug that boy for all of us!!

    1. Wow. You are busy and kind!

  43. Leaving a note for the owner was the best thing you could have done, regardless of what the outcome might have been. I once rescued a beautiful calico kitten, Fiona, in a similar way, bending over backwards to search out her owner before realizing, weeks later–and in the dead of a northern Michigan winter–that there was no owner to be found. I’m so glad this worked out for everyone. Sounds like it was just meant to be.

    1. Yes, indeed. Cats can take off, intentionally or by accident, and we must do due diligence to ask about an owner first! Fiona was lucky to find you in the midst of a cold winter! ❤️

  44. That was a wonderful story! I am so grateful that there are purrsons like you in the world.

  45. Thank you for this lovely story. Pryor remind me of my recently passed little guy, Otto, who I sometimes called “Bright Eyes” as a nickname. Pryor has the same paint-dipped paws and bright eyes. I’m so glad for you both that you found one another!

  46. Great to have a story like this during our stressful times.

  47. This is such a wonderful story! Bless you for adopting this sweet baby, and bless the family who knew he would be better off with someone else!

  48. Thanks for sharing this truly heartwarming story!

  49. The love of a cat or dog is just the best ❤️

  50. Wonderful story ❤️

  51. I’m so happy you were able to save Pryor! Love the photo of Pryor and Moose; they are darling. My Livia (small and pure black) was a stray, but in the lane behind our apartment co-op.

  52. What a blessing you are to this beautiful kitty. Thank you for taking the steps needed for him to become yours. He will live a long, safe and loved life in your home.

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