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Fluff: Living, Loving Proof

As it does for all homeless kittens, life for Fluff began with loneliness, fear, and desperation. Found abandoned and shivering during a cold night in Miami, Fla., Fluff, however, was luckier than most. A kind young man in the neighborhood picked him up and knew immediately there was only one place to take the quivering little creature.

“Is he yours?” he asked, after ringing the doorbell at the home of Joan and Michael Page. As the proud owners of seven adult cats, the Pages are known in their community as true cat people. They also recognize an orphan when they see one, so with no hesitation Michael said, “We’ll take him.”

As Joan tells it, Fluff was “a tiny fur ball of a kitten…you could feel his bones…and he had a very bad case of mange.” A trip to the veterinarian confirmed that Fluff was only two-and-half weeks old, and if not for the Page’s concern, his prognosis was grim. As Joan recalls, “The vet wasn’t 100 percent sure the little guy was going to make it.” But after thorough medical treatment and lots of TLC in Joan and Michael’s home, Fluff rebounded, and according to Joan grew “very strong, spunky, and full of energy, very affectionate with people, and very smart.”

Joan and Michael became supporters of North Shore Animal League America a few years ago after contacting us about our Safe Haven Surviving Pet Care Program for their beloved cats. The program guarantees that should any of their cats survive them, they would immediately be brought to the safety of our no-kill adoption facility, in Port Washington, N.Y., by means of a professional pet transportation company. Once here, their cats would be lovingly cared for until we found them new forever homes with carefully screened adopters.

“This is a difficult thing for pet parents to face,” says Joan. “Mike and I don’t have family members with whom we can leave our cats.” After carefully researching their options, they decided that North Shore Animal League America was the only place for their cats. “You were it!” Joan says.

Once little Fluff was recovered and brimming with life, Joan and Michael realized that he deserved a forever home where he could fully express his boundless kitten energy. “We have seven large cats who know each other,” Joan explains, “and it was very intimidating for a little kitty after such a rough start. Our cats are pretty sedentary and just weren’t up for his level of energy.“

Because of their selfless concern for Fluff’s well-being, Joan and Michael once again turned to North Shore Animal League America for help. They worked with our office to arrange for Fluff’s safe travel, and — voila! — it was official: Fluff was going to be a New Yorker just like Joan, a Brooklyn native!

Within a week of arriving safely at our campus, Fluff found a wonderful home with his new mom, Joleen, and her 13-year-old son, Brendon. Just two months before adopting Fluff, Joleen had lost her beloved 15-year-old black cat, Shadow, to natural causes. Despite the fact that she was still coping with heartbreak, she decided to visit North Shore Animal League America. Affectionate and resilient, little Fluff has helped heal the hurt of Shadow’s death. As Joleen reports, “Fluff slept in my bed from the first night. He’s such a mush. He’s like my soul mate.”

In just a few short months, Fluff touched many lives, beginning with the young man in Miami who did not walk away, then the Pages who lovingly took him in, next his caretakers at NSALA…and now, finally, his new family, Joleen and Brendon.

When we look at Fluff’s long journey home, we think his story is living proof of the power of North Shore Animal League America’s no-kill philosophy. All he needed was a chance, and thanks to a network of care, Fluff is happy and healthy today, and will be giving and receiving meaningful companionship in his new home for many years to come.

If you would like to learn more about how you can find your new best friend at North Shore Animal League America, please visit

To learn more about the Safe Haven Surviving Pet Care Program, please visit or contact our Planned Giving Department at 516-883-7900 or