It’s a tale of love at first sight.

When her beloved childhood cat passed away, 19-year-old Maddie Horrigan of Hudson was devastated. Still coping with the loss, she knew she needed to find another kitty to lavish love upon. Maybe a new kitty could fill a tiny part of the hole in my heart, she thought.

Shortly after, she and her father made an appointment with the Humane Society of Summit County to meet the cats in the shelter.

“We looked at a few kittens, but then I saw a bunch of cats that were just rescued from a hoarding situation,” said Maddie. “I saw Michael in the top corner. He was curled up in this tiny cardboard box facing the wall, but I was intrigued and wanted to get to know him.”

The adoption counselor warned Maddie that the cat she wanted to see was severely depressed and hadn’t come out of his box since he was brought in. Maybe you should try another cat, the adoption counselor suggested.

Thankfully, Maddie’s mind was made up. Once Michael was brought out of his box, he took one look at Maddie and walked right to her.

“It was one of those moments I just knew he was the one for me,” she said. “He stood out among the rest.” She brought Michael, renamed Bug, home that day.

Since bringing him home, Bug is anything but depressed! His daily zoomies start at 6 a.m. and end at 10 p.m., with a brief nap in the middle of the day. He loves people, snuggling in laps and even hopping in the shower.

As for Maddie, she is sharing his story with the world. When Freshpet ® pet food company recently held a writing contest to share adoption stories of pets, she entered her story of how Bug became part of their family. Her winning entry won $5,000 for the Humane Society of Summit County!

Congratulations and best wishes to both Maddie and Bug. We wish you many years of happiness ahead!

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