Cats of all different shapes and sizes come through the doors of the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, an adoption and rehoming charity located in London, England.
They’ve been in business since 1860 and have cared for over three million animals, so the staff thought they’d seen just about everything – but then they met Ana.
A seven-week-old black kitten, Ana arrived at the shelter with a cleft lip and an underdeveloped right eye.
After vets at the shelter examined her, they decided to remove the eye entirely in order to make her as comfortable as possible.
Battersea’s vision is to make sure “every dog and cat … live in a home where they are treated with love, care, and respect.”
But the staff feared that Ana would have trouble finding a forever home because of her appearance.
Battersea voiced their concerns on Instagram in a post that read, “Ana may have had a rough start in life, but she isn’t letting that hold her back. She’s struggling to find a home at the moment, and we fear that may be due to her unusual appearance. Could you give Ana the love she deserves?”
To add to their worries, they also worried that people would turn Ana away because of the superstition that black cats are bad luck.
Weeks passed by and other kittens and puppies found forever homes as Ana waited patiently for someone to finally choose her.
Adopters posted adorable photos of their new family members online, while the staff struggled to find visitors who could look past Ana’s appearance.
They placed Ana in a temporary foster home and vowed to find the perfect match for her.
Then inspiration struck. Battersea decided to join the body positivity movement, but with a twist: they declared that all cats are perfect just the way they are and that “different is beautiful.”
To help spread the message, staff teamed up with the Wandsworth Times.
“We think she’s beautiful just the way she is because the things that make an animal different are what makes them special,” said Rachel Saunders, Battersea’s Cattery Manager. “As with any rescue animal, Ana deserves a fresh start and has a lot to offer as a pet.”
They talked about her sweet and loving personality, her spirit and spunk, and her incredible strength.
“She’s had a tough start to life, but she’s definitely still got eight of her nine lives left to live and we hope that her luck is about to change for the better,” staff said.
Thankfully, they were right. There was an outpouring of support for Ana, her story, and her positive message.
The very next day after the article ran, a visitor adopted Ana.
Staff were excited to see her finally leave to go to her forever home.
Ana may look different than other kittens, but she has just as much love to share.
Thanks to the dedication and hard work of animal lovers across the UK, now Ana finally has someone to share that love with, who thinks she’s beautiful inside and out.
Ana wasn’t “unlucky” after all – her perfect family was there all along!