101-Year-Old Woman Adopts Shelter’s Oldest Cat


Growing old is a privilege, but it’s sometimes accompanied by feelings of loneliness. Once your body slows down or health issues set in, it can be harder to socialize or even leave the house. Because of the worldwide pandemic, things have gotten even worse and those who may have had a social life previously are home-bound.

That’s where cats come in. Cats and dogs can both make great companions for the elderly, though cats are a bit more independent and can be lower maintenance than dogs. Cats can use a litter box and don’t require potty walks, they can amuse themselves with toys and need less stimulation and playtime overall, making them great for someone spending a large amount of time indoors, in a chair, or in bed.

As it turns out, humans can also be great companions for aging cats – and sometimes, when the timing is just right, an elderly human and an elderly cat can be companions for each other and support one another through the aging process.

Photo: flickr/Doc Searls

That’s what happened when the oldest cat at the Humane Society of Catawba County was adopted. The humane society shared on Facebook that they were pleased to announce their 19-year-old resident Gus-Gus, aka Great-GrandPAW, had found a loving home with a 101-year-old woman named Penny.

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Cats generally live until around 16-years-old, but 19-year-old Gus (133 years old in “human years”) is still full of life and love. He was brought to the shelter after his owner claimed they could no longer care for him due to work commitments.

Photo: flickr/Ian Sane

According to Newsweek, the no-kill shelter assumed they would care for Gus until he crossed the rainbow bridge, but then they got an inquiry from a family looking for an elderly cat.

The Humane Society of Catawba County’s executive director, Jane Bower, shared with Newsweek that Penny’s cat had recently died, so her children were looking to get her another one. Given the ages of both Gus and Penny, there were some hesitations surrounding the adoption, but Penny’s children agreed to care for the cat on Penny’s behalf.


They decided to do a trial run before making the adoption official. Once Gus settled in at Penny’s home, Bower described it as a “match made in heaven.”

The two are now living out their golden years together and it’s incredibly sweet.

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