Unwanted by Some, Beloved by Others

For this family, felines in need are friends indeed


Knox and Neyland Pet Rescue Story for PetSmart CharitiesA life can be changed in an instant, with one small decision. For Neyland, a tiny black and white kitten in Georgia, life changed drastically with a series of decisions. First, that his original owner abandoned him by the side of a road. Second, that a woman who was driving down that road pulled right over when she saw the tiny bundle of black and white fur. Next, that Heather York’s sister knew exactly who to call. “She said her friend had just found this itty bitty kitten, probably the runt of the litter,” says Heather. “And I told her to bring him to me immediately.” 


Good care and lots of love

Heather took the kitten, who she named Neyland, to a vet. “He had ear mites and some stomach issues, but otherwise, he was fine,” she says. At home, Neyland settled right in. “My husband and I let him sleep with us. He likes to sleep on my chest or shoulder,” Heather says with a laugh.  


A television executive who now lives in New York City, Heather describes herself as “a 100 percent cat person. We may get a dog some day, but I’ve always grown up with cats.” She remembered one childhood cat in particular, a white long-haired male with blue eyes. When Neyland was about four, Heather decided it was time to get him a friend, a white cat like the one she’d grown up with.


Knox and Neyland Cat Adoption Story for PetSmart CharitiesTwo good to be true

Not long into their search, Heather’s husband heard of a woman nearby who needed to find a new home for a cat. The woman had adopted two from a shelter, but found out that she and her little girl could really only handle one. “When I heard that, I didn’t care what the cat looked like,” Heather says. When she went to meet the cats, the woman told Heather she could take her pick. One of the two was a white long-haired male. “That’s how we got Knox,” Heather says. “It was crazy how it all fell into place.”


Knox and Neyland Animal Welfare Story for PetSmart Charities









Never giving up

Though each cat’s previous owners had given up on them, Heather was determined that the boys’ new home would be permanent, no matter what. “Neyland was fine when Knox came along, at first. He was excited to have a friend. But then he started acting out.” A cat specialist told Heather to make sure each had his own bowls of food and water, an extra litter box, and individual playtime. “Little things like that changed everything,” Heather says.


Ten years later, the biggest problem for Knox and Neyland is who will win the nightly battle to sleep on Heather’s head.


“They’re the ones who’ve changed my life. They’re always here, ready to love on me when I have a bad day. That’s the great thing about adopted pets,” she says. “They let you know that you’re needed.”


Knox and Neyland Animal Adoption Story for PetSmart Charities



More adoption success stories:


Keep up with Knox and Neyland on Instagram      


Tiny Dog, Big Surprises            


8 Times we Fell in Love at National Adoption Weekend


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