The Good Mews Animal Foundation, located in Marietta, Georgia, has a motto: “Once a Good Mews cat, always a Good Mews cat.” According to volunteer and children’s book author Carlie Sorosiak, no one exemplifies that motto more than Patriot, who has become the foundation’s cat mascot.
Patriot came to Good Mews as a kitten and was adopted fast. While the center has a rule that all adoptees agree to keep their new cats indoors, they of course can’t enforce that rule once the cat is adopted.
Days after Patriot was adopted, he was hit by a car, and his owners returned him to Good Mews for medical care. “We’re thankful that they remembered we’d take him back,” Sorosiak reassured me, “because he got the medical care he needed.”
Patriot had to have surgery on his hip and his tail was amputated. Because of his injuries, Patriot cannot pee on his own and needs to have his bladder expressed multiple times a day manually, and he has fecal incontinence issues.
Understandably, this makes Patriot particularly difficult to rehome. He’s eight years old now and has lived happily at the shelter for all these years, enjoying the many children that come to visit him and the friendship of the other cats at Good Mews.
Good Mews and the HALO Program
Patriot is part of Good Mews’ Home At Last (HALO) Program, which benefits hard-to-rehome cats due to their advanced age, ongoing medical conditions, and/or behavioral issues.
“Donations from angels in the community help to keep the cats [at the foundation],” Sorosiak says. “Because Patriot is really just the sweetest and most loving cat … and because he might never be adopted, he’s become kind of like our mascot.” Patriot would need a special adopter because of his medical needs, and the shelter is hopeful that one day—maybe—that will happen.
Good Mews typically has around 100 cats in their care at a time, and sometimes it takes several years before a cat is adopted. This is because Good Mews intentionally rescues hard-to-adopt cats from shelters in surrounding counties, cats who are under threat of being euthanized. This makes their HALO Program all the more important in keeping the cats in their care healthy and happy.
Good Mews is a free-roaming shelter with no cages except for intake cats or cats that need to be put in isolation. They frequently have children visit the shelter to pet the cats. “I always point [children] towards Patriot,” Sorosiak adds. “He’s really a shelter favorite.” And Patriot loves the attention.