When Two Cats Are Better Than One: My Adoption Story

Jetson and Juju 1

Many pet adoptions end up being a win-win situation for both the owner and the adopted pet. Sasha Holland's adoption of Jujube, her second cat, was a win-win-win situation for Sasha, Jujube, and Sasha's first cat, Jetson.

Jetson was adopted by Sasha in 2009, while she was living in a tiny Arkansas town. Sasha and her mother, who had both relocated from Russia the previous year, were excited to see what the big box pet store had to offer. The exhibition of adopting kitties near the door was their biggest surprise.

In one of the lower cages, the couple fell in love with Jetson, a 1-year-old black cat who was rubbing against the door with his tail raised in what would become his characteristic "question mark" shape. They took him home the next day, and Jetson stayed with the family for several years before accompanying Sasha to college in Missouri and then to Virginia after she graduated.

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“I brought him to college with me; he got fatter,” Sasha said. “We moved to Virginia; he got even fatter.”

Time for Some Company

Jetson's weight growth was triggered by the slow transition from living in a house with other dogs and cats to living in a one-bedroom apartment as an only-cat, which finally led to the adoption of another cat.

Sasha observed, "He wasn't getting any exercise." "He was quite lethargic, and we were also concerned that he was growing bored, since he had some self-destructive inclinations," she said. He was gnawing at his fur and seemed nervous in general."

Sasha and her now-husband, Devin, started discussing about obtaining another cat to keep Jetson company about 2018. Sasha had been volunteering at King Street Cats, a local animal shelter, for almost a year at the time.

King Street Cats had just gotten two kittens, Jezebel and Jujube, a bonded pair of black cats someone had found on the street. Sasha quickly fell in love with Jujube—Juju for short.

"Jujube, the fuzzier of the two, was this small ball of fur that you wanted to touch and pet right away, and when you took her up, she would just melt into your arms because she's so nice," Sasha explained.

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Despite her immediate connection with Juju, Sasha resigned to knowing that she couldn’t adopt her because she couldn’t take home two cats. 

Juju and Jezebel, however, were ill with ringworm not long after and had to be separated from the other cats at the shelter. Because Jezebel recovered faster than Juju, shelter personnel decided it was best to separate the two and place Juju in foster care until she was well enough to be adopted. Sasha had an adoption application ready when Juju was fully cured some months later.

"Devin and I chatted, and because of Jetson, we had to think about a lot of things," Sasha explained. "We had to think about how we'd introduce them." We had to think about what might happen if Jetson didn't like her. What happens if they don't accept? It was a difficult choice."

Time to Go Home

Sasha and Devin eventually chose to go forward with the adoption and welcomed Juju into their family in January 2019, after establishing that she and Jetson were a suitable age and personality fit. The following task was to introduce the two cats.

“You have to do an , which for cats should last, in an ideal environment, up to two weeks,” Sasha said. 

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During the introduction time, they kept Jetson in the bedroom and Juju in the living room, carefully swapping blankets back and forth so the cats could become used to one other's scent. They also fed the cats on opposite sides of the bedroom door at the same time to promote a good food association.

After almost three years, Jetson, now 13, and Juju, aged 3, have become great friends. They play together, hug together, and wash each other. Jetson has even shed several pounds. Sasha and Devin, the two black cats, still live peacefully in Virginia with their folks.

Follow along with their adventures on Instagram: @jetsonandjuju 

“It was just the best decision that we made for both [Jetson] and for ourselves,” Sasha said. “They both bring us so much joy.”

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