Cats normally love to cuddle, but 3-year-old Zorro takes cuddling to the next level. Whenever people pick him up at the shelter, he latches onto them and nuzzles into their necks for a great, big hug.
“You can just pick him up, and he will wrap his arms around you like a baby orangutan and just hang on,” Kristen Nau, a veterinarian at the Pennsylvania SPCA, the rescue group that currently cares for Zorro, told The Dodo. “He’ll rest his head on your shoulder, too, just like a little child does.”
This extra-cuddly shelter cat first arrived at the center run by the Pennsylvania SPCA back in January.
“The story as I understand it is that there was a Good Samaritan who had been feeding him … and trying to find him a home in the process,” Gillian Kocher, director of public relations at the Pennsylvania SPCA, told The Dodo. “But for whatever reason, it was hard to find him a home, so she decided to bring him to us.”
At first, people at the shelter didn’t have any idea that Zorro liked giving hugs, or even that he was affectionate. In fact, they wrote on his files that he “didn’t tolerate a lot of handling,” according to Kocher.
Shortly after Zorro arrived at the shelter, he got sick — he was urinating more than usual and sometimes there was blood in his litterbox. When the shelter cat was sent to the hospital for surgery, the vets diagnosed him with having bladder stones.
Thankfully, the animal doctors were able to perform surgery and help the shelter cat get better, although he’ll need to stay on a special diet, Nau explained. After the surgery, Zorro stayed in the recovery area for a couple of weeks, and this is when the team started to figure out how special Zorro was.
“Whenever the [veterinary] techs would take him out to clean [his kennel], or for the vets to check him out, he would sort of give them hugs, and didn’t really want to let go,” Kocher said. “He would do it to everyone. He certainly doesn’t discriminate with his hugs.”
Everyone fell in love with Zorro, including Nau, who likes holding the shelter cat while she’s working on her computer. “He’ll just wrap his arms around me the entire time,” she said. “I was holding him last night, and he was actually giving me kisses all over my face.”