Fishtopher, a 5-year-old cat, was reportedly “sad and depressed” as he sat at the Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center in New Jersey waiting to be adopted.
The “quiet” “sofa addict” seemed “out of place,” the center wrote in its pet finder listing. She only “ate when he had company” and “didn’t even look for pictures.”
But on Thanksgiving, Fishtopher’s luck changed after a cheep sharing his Petfinder profile went viral. The tweet quickly racked up more than 168,000 likes and 21,000 retweets. Many people in the responses shared their own cat adoption stories.
the shelter said in a Facebook post over the weekend he received “hundreds of inquiries” about Fishtopher.
Laura Folts, 22, and her partner Tanner Callahan, 24, were the two to give Fishtopher a forever home on Saturday.
The couple said they drove two hours from Baltimore to Blackwood, New Jersey, to meet him.
Folts said they became interested in adopting Fishtopher after seeing the tweet about him. They said they got to the shelter an hour before he opened, and there were eight or nine others there to see Fishtopher.
“Knowing it was popular, we drove to Homeward Bound with some hope, but we knew if it wasn’t Fishtopher, we wouldn’t be coming home empty-footed, as we saw a few other cats online that we were considering,” Folts said in a statement. message to NBC News. “We got there early enough to be first and he was adopted!”
Folts said she and Callahan felt Fishtopher would be a good fit in Callahan’s quiet apartment. The two have similar personalities because they are both “very easy going but still friendly once they open up,” Folts said.
While there is only one Fishtopher, the shelter and Folts have been encouraging people to adopt other animals that need new homes. Folts retweeted several posts about cats. in need of houses from Fishtopher’s account.
“We saw how willing many others were to adopt Fishtopher, even across the country, and we want to use Fishtopher’s audience to find animals for those people,” Folts said.
More from the NBC News Culture and Trends team
“I want to use this new audience to help other fishtophers and give people funny cat pictures of him relaxing at home (which is what the internet was made for),” a recent cheep from Fishtopher’s account read.
The Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center also asked people interested in Fishtopher to save their other rescues.
“We are so happy for him, but if you were interested in him, have no fear. We have hundreds of other kitties who are just as wonderful and want people to come and line up for them,” the shelter continued. in its facebook post Saturday.
In their about page on your websiteThe Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center shared that it is working with other animal welfare organizations to help New Jersey achieve “no kill” status by 2025, according to the best friends animal society.
The initiative defines a “no kill” shelter as having a savings rate of 90% or higher, meaning it has the resources to save as many dogs and cats as it can. The benchmark is 90% because the proportion of dogs and cats entering shelters with “irreparable medical or behavioral problems” typically does not exceed 10%, according to Best Friends. The Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center reported a 96% savings rate in 2021.
In addition to Fishtopher, the shelter shared on its Facebook page 16 other animals that were adopted last weekend.