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When we moved back to Arlington in August 2008, we knew we were finally settled enough to adopt the cats we’d been wanting for a long time. It was sheer luck that we stumbled across Homeward Trails. We knew we wanted a bonded pair, and we wanted at least one of the cats to be black because we know black cats have a harder time being adopted. We quickly narrowed the available cats to two pairs, but when we met them, we knew Trouble and Pax (previously Spark and Toby, respectively) were the right cats for us. They were living at PetMAC at the time, and Trouble (a slightly petite, all black cat) met us at the door and let us pick him up immediately. Then we were regaled with stories from PetMAC staff about how everyone loved Pax (a big orange tabby), but no one that had considered him had wanted two cats. We brought Trouble and Pax home less than two weeks after first meeting them.

Trouble and The BeastTrouble and Pax were amazingly adaptable. They had been surrendered to Homeward Trails when their original owner died. They lived at PetMAC for a while and were adopted by a woman with known allergies that turned out to be much more severe than she realized. Back at PetMAC, we finally found them! Despite all this turmoil in their short lives, they were the most personable cats we’d ever met. They greeted us at the door from the first day and settled into our house as if they’d always lived there. Pax quickly learned (and loved!) to play fetch with toy mice. Trouble found his way onto the highest surfaces in the house, including the occasional balancing act on top of an open door.

Sadly, just over a year after we adopted our boys, Pax became very ill with bladder problems. He passed away quickly in January. Trouble did not know what to do without his constant companion. He became more affectionate and cried at the door when we left the house. We knew he needed another companion so he wasn’t by himself all day. We returned to Homeward Trails, and Lori began to help us with the search for a friend for Trouble.

We met cat after cat, each with great attributes, but when we met Johnny, a milk-and-honey-colored kitty, we just knew he was the cat we’d been searching for. We call him The Beast because he looked like he was about the size of a bobcat in his Homeward Trails profile picture. He’s actually a regular size for a cat, but he has big paws and ears like a kitten who’s still growing into his fur. The nickname just stuck!

 The Beast sitting on a sleeping Trouble

The Beast was relentless in his affections to Trouble, jumping up next to Trouble even when he knew Trouble wasn’t used to him yet. He just didn’t give up, and Trouble quickly gave in. We usually find them in the same room (and always in a room with one or both of us), and The Beast – who is just a big kitten somewhere between a year or two old – has brought some real playfulness to Trouble’s life. (He has also taught Trouble to knock shiny things to the floor – thanks a lot, Beast!) We’re so happy that neither of them are lonely, and we’re lucky to have such affectionate cats from Homeward Trails to greet us at the door when we come home.

-Lauren & Allen, Arlington, VA

See all posts about: Black Cats | Bonded Pairs


Rescues will often tell you that kittens need to be adopted in pairs and I found that is so very true.  I rescued a young kitten on his way to be abandoned in a village in Armenia and brought him back to the US with me.  Marco Polo was the perfect name for my little traveler.  After having romped with dogs and having constant companions, Marco was lonely as an only animal and very vocal in letting me know.  I knew he needed a pal and went in search of a playmate.  Lucky for us we stumbled upon Homeward Trails and Cosmo.

Cosmo was one of several kittens rescued with their mother by HT from a local shelter.  An all-black kitten with a tiny tuft of white at his chest, he was the last in the litter to find a home.  Cosmo’s foster brought him to my apartment as I insisted the cats meet before committing.  He was brave as can be and happy to meet the resident cat.  There were no hisses from either, just a healthy dose of curiosity and plenty of purrs.  Needless to say, he never left that day, and Marco and I adopted him.

CosmoLittle did Cosmo know what life would be like with us.  We moved to Moscow, Russia for two years and most recently to Almaty, Kazakhstan.  With pet passports in hand, Cosmo and Marco have traveled more than many Americans.  When people come to visit, they always compliment the shiny coat of my little panther and his adorable golden eyes.  Cosmo is a lover and total lap cat.  He’s calm, quiet and easy going.  He enjoys our clicker training sessions but is not a fan of the human toilet training – he likes his litter.  Cosmo’s favorite playtime is to chase the string on the wand without any attachments!

I sincerely thank Homeward Trials for having brought Cosmo into our lives.  I’ve since learned that black cats are the last to be adopted and the first to be put to sleep in shelters. Soon to be four wonderful years with my little Cosmo, I simply can’t understand it.  He is a dream kitty, napping on my lap as I type this, and I can’t imagine a home without him.”

-Shana, Marco and Cosmo

Almaty, Kazakhstan

See all posts about: Black Cats