by: Emily in Massachusetts

A volunteer at the MSPCA shelter in Boston for 6-1/2 years, I had 2 beautiful DSH tabby girls for over 18 years, and when I lost my last one to lymphoma, in 2017, I thought it would be a while before I could adopt again.

ginger and white maine coon mix laying on wood floorFigaro looking handsome
fluffy white and red cat sitting in a boxFigaro in a box

But 2 months later I met Chauncey (now called Figaro) in the shelter, a stray picked up by Animal Control and transferred to the MSPCA shelter.

He was a dirty, skeletal, ginger & white boy, about one year old, and he was lying on his side facing the wall in his cage.

But when I opened the door and started to pet him, he lifted his hind leg to show me his belly, and started purring like mad when I gently stroked his tummy.

That did it, and I tried to resist for 2 days, but the 3rd time I visited him--for some reason, he hadn't been adopted yet, it was a busy and very noisy Saturday in the shelter and people were pawing at him, so I decided, that's it. I have to get him out of here.

He was moved to the clinic for neutering a few days later, and I was able to spend more time with him every day and see his friendly, curious, bright & affectionate personality.

two colorful kitties sitting togetherBuddies
ginger and white kitty in a cageFigaro before being adopted 1-1/2 years ago

It was love, even though I'd never had a longer haired cat before. He settled in pretty well at home, was very hungry, & used the litter box well; but 5 days later he got a clump of litter stuck like cement on the fuzzy hair between his toes on a front paw.

Neither he nor I could get it out, and it seemed painful, so ultimately, we ended up at the ER where he had to be sedated, had a laceration between his toes stitched up, a cone put on (which he promptly removed 3 times), and $472 later!!

At home, he just wouldn't keep that cone on, and of course, I changed litter immediately to a corn-based that wouldn't clump hard.

When we went to our vet for a checkup, he was much cleaner and was eating better. He was a bony 8-1/2lbs when I adopted him, & was now about 9lbs, had started to get fluffy and our vet the the amazing Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston said, "He is gorgeous! I bet he's got some Maine Coon in him."

Am thinking she is right. He is now about 2-1/2, has filled out and weighs about 13 lbs. I call him my "fluff-monster," and is just beautiful, with a tail like a fox, funny and smart with golden eyes, and what seem like many characteristics of a Maine Coon.

I never expected him to be so big! I grew up with Golden Retrievers, and I call him my "golden retriever" cat.

I adopted a "friend" for him 8 months later, Adina, also medium-haired, and though it took a while, they get along pretty well, groom & chase each other, & wrestle at times.

I'm sneezing more (am slightly allergic to cats & dogs anyway), and fur is everywhere--shedding like mad now, but I love them dearly!

I do wonder if Figaro is a Maine Coon mix though. Any thoughts? Thank you.

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