Keri Brady was teaching English in China when Shake came into her life. Outside of work, Brady was also helping an animal rescue group, who would find and assist stray pets in their neighborhood.
Shake was a tiny kitten, no more than 30 grams, when he was found on one of those missions. He was found in a trash can, abandoned alongside his two brothers, Rattle and Roll.
“I fostered him alongside six other kittens at the same time with a mother cat who was taking care of everybody and they were all orphans,” Brady says. “Shake just fit right in and, was one of the 9 kittens running around my apartment.”
Brady eventually got each of the cats adopted except for Shake.
“He chose me and made it very clear that he was not planning to leave or get adopted,” she says.
That was four years ago.
Brady and Shake have been inseparable ever since, though Brady attributes some of that to separation anxiety.
“He just wants to be around me or another animal at all times,” she says. And he’ll start to panic if he’s completely alone. He will scream his head off until somebody comes to the door. He knows that worked the first time he was left alone.”
Brady says Shake finds comfort in animal TV programs and will watch other cats for hours at a time.
“It helps soothe him and makes him feel like he’s not like completely alone,” she says.
Of course, when his favorite human is around, Shake is in heaven.
“He’s so sweet,” Brady says. “He just will melt. He just wants to be loved all the time.”
Brady says Shake is very loving and affectionate in his own unique way.
“One thing that surprises people is that he doesn’t have teeth,” Brady says. “He’s a gummy bear. He’s definitely very sweet.”
Shake is also helpful with other foster kittens and cats.
“He acts as their mother,” Brady says. “He’ll clean them and groom them. He spends all day with them. keeping them warm. He just loves to give back to foster kittens.”
As Brady explains, there are no organized animal shelters in the area where she was saying in China. Because of this, stray animals have little hope for adoption unless private individuals or organizations take action.
“The need was there,” Brady says. “So me and three other people who were also expats at the time, just started an organization and went all over the city and rescued hundreds of animals.”
Brady has fostered nearly 100 cats in multiple countries since Shake has come into her life, and Shake has been a part of almost all of those experiences. Brady and Shake spent about four years in China before coming back to the United States. The pair even spent time in Mexico — though Shake wasn’t a big fan of the heat.
“There has never been a moment in his life where he didn’t have foster kittens,” Brady says. “And he takes on the role so good. He just loves them. He loves them so much.”
Brady considers fostering a great personal experience and an excellent way to help animals.
“If you’re considering adopting an animal, it’s a great way to start that process,” Brady says. “I think it works out best when the cat picks you instead of the other way around. And if you’re fostering it’ll be really clear when the cat has chosen you and you can proceed with the adoption process.”
If that relationship looks anything like this, you’ll know you’ve made the right choice!
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