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A ‘Scruffy And Sad’ Shelter Cat That Found His Own Home Completely Changes

When Katherine Meara and her partner came across Tuggly on the New Zealand SPCA website, they knew he was the cat they had been hoping to adopt.

Meara told The Dodo, “I figured he was at least over 10 years old just from his appearance.” He appeared to be so forlorn and scruffy in comparison to the other cat photographs that, even though I was in error, I knew I wanted to take him.


Tuggly is actually around 5 years old, but he had already been through so much by the time he arrived in the care of the SPCA that he looked so much older. He was found living as a stray in Christchurch, New Zealand, and had some pretty bad cuts all around his neck. Due to his past, poor Tuggly was terrified and confused about what was happening to him.

It caused him to act out and be aggressive, and the shelter made sure to inform the couple about this behavior — but even after meeting him and seeing it firsthand, they decided they wanted him regardless. Somehow they just knew it was meant to be.


Tuggly was anxious to explore when he first got to his new house. He was undoubtedly anxious, but his adoptive parents made every effort to make him feel at ease. They gradually became aware of his needs and made adjustments. They thought that soon he would unwind and understand that he was finally secure.

Meara stated, “I think he was a little scared, and after basically being without eating for so long, he would just get panicked and pushy about food. When we first saw him, he was so underweight that his fur was also fairly thin from hunger. He was alright once we purchased an automated feeder since he stopped associating humans with food.


Tuggly was extremely at ease in his new home after just a few weeks, contrary to the couple’s expectations. Today, around six months later, he appears and behaves quite differently.


He no longer possesses an aggressive bone in his body, Meara said. “When we compare Tuggly’s current appearance to his SPCA photographs, he appears to be an entirely different cat. He now has fuller cheeks, and he has the sweetest, roundest tomcat jowls. He is now our huge, floofy boy because his fur has grown so much.

Since my partner and I don’t have any kids or any pets, it would be an understatement to say that he is the head of the home. He enjoys being with us always. He has to be engaged in everything we do since he is so interested.


Tuggly’s appearance and behavior from the time he was originally rescued from the streets are now only vague memories. He has changed into a cat who enjoys chasing butterflies in the summer and lounging in front of the fireplace in the winter. It turns out that Tuggly just truly required time, patience, and love to thrive.


He has changed into the cutest, most friendly little cat, and we love him so unbelievably much, Meara said. “After signing a release for his hostility,” she said.

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