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Slinky, now known as Mrs. Bigglesworth, was adopted at age 2 by a loving family.

COURTESY PHOTO: CAT ADOPTION TEAM - Slinky, now called Mrs. Bigglesworth, is a calico cat with feline leukemia who became the Cat Adoption Teams 50,000th cat successfully adopted out to a forever home.There are milestones in life, but this one in Sherwood is particularly sweet.

The Cat Adoption Team (CAT) recently announced its 50,000th adoption. The honors go to Slinky, who is enjoying a new home.

Heather Svoboda, communications and development manager at CAT, describes Slinky, 2, as a special needs cat because she has feline leukemia.

"She is a young, very beautiful cat," Svoboda said.

Of CAT, she said, "We took Slinky in. We knew that she was feline leukemia-positive and, typically, that will reduce their immunity to things, and it will typically shorten their lifespan."

Unlike leukemia in humans, feline leukemia is a contagious disease.

"It is something that can be passed to other cats with immediate contact, so we want to adopt those cats to homes where there are either no other cats in the home or the other cats are also positive for leukemia," Svoboda explained.

Svoboda recalls when the calico cat was adopted by Courtney Simpson and Paulo Dias.

"Unfortunately, I wasn't here to get to witness it," Svoboda said. "For all of our shelter staff and our volunteers, it's always so special anytime a cat gets adopted — especially when we see a special needs cat go home, it really just warms the heart that much more."

Svoboda continued, "It was just a really exciting time for us as an organization, for Slinky, and, of course, for her new people."

Slinky joined her new family Nov. 17, 2019.

"I spoke with them (Simpson and Dias) right around the time she was adopted, and she was settling into their home really well," Svoboda said. "They were really falling in love with her."

COURTESY PHOTO - Paulo Dias and Courtney Simpson pose for a photo with Mrs. Bigglesworth, whom they adopted from the Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood on Nov. 17, 2019.In fact, the Sherwood Gazette has learned that Slinky has been renamed by her owners. She is now Mrs. Bigglesworth.

Via email, Simpson said, "Mrs. Bigglesworth is a friendly cat and enjoys meeting new people. Our friends and her vet love her because she is very social and likes being petted. She loves to chase the laser pointer around the room and likes to play with her ball of yarn."

Simpson continued, "She is not food motivated and likes to do things on her terms. We enjoy her independence and the way she's let us know when she would like attention. She is very talkative and makes penguin sounds when she is very excited."

The milestone with Slinky — or Mrs. Bigglesworth, if you prefer — continues an impressive history at Cat Adoption Team, located at 14175 S.W. Galbreath Drive, where Sherwood bumps up against Tualatin.

"We were founded (in 1998), initially, to help, especially, those cats who didn't have a safety net," Svoboda said. "Maybe they were sick or injured, or otherwise homeless."

At the time CAT was founded, "our local county shelters were very full," she said. "CAT was founded to help alleviate some of that volume at those other organizations."

Currently, CAT works with local county shelters from both Washington and Multnomah counties.

"We work with Oregon Humane Society and several other local, smaller rescue groups and partners," Svoboda said, noting her organization also accepts cats from owners who, for whatever reason, are not able to care for their felines.

"Mostly, we're taking in cats from crowded shelters, who need to move those cats so that they're not euthanized," Svoboda said. "We function as an adoption-guaranteed facility, so we're working to find a home for every cat who comes into our shelter. We limit our intake so that we're never going above what we can manage."

Cat Adoption Team, which includes a feline hospital, is able to house a little over 200 cats.

"Our hospital is full-service, so we're able to do just about anything a cat could need," Svoboda said.

At Cat Adoption Team, about 99% of the cats find new homes.

CAT is especially excited to announce that last December, the shelter completed the "musts" in the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters.

Svoboda said, "There are 254 musts, and only a few shelters in the country have completed them all — we are honored to be one of them. Beginning in 2020, we'll start working toward ensuring that we meet all of the 'should' listed in the guidelines, some of which we've already accomplished and some which may take time."

Simpson remarked, "We went to CAT looking for a cat whose life we could change and make better. I don't think either of us realized how much she would enrich our lives, but she has and continues to do so every day."COURTESY PHOTO - The Cat Adoption Team operates an adoption-guaranteed shelter and feline hospital in Sherwood's industrial area, just off Southwest Tualatin-Sherwood Road.

Gazette Editor Mark Miller is among the thousands of people who have adopted a cat from the Cat Adoption Team.

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