From Cozy Home to Shelter Cage: Chunky’s Journey After Losing His Mom


He doesn’t understand what has happened to him. Just a few days ago, he and Mom were at home and she was knitting something for the church bazaar next week and now he’s here.

At an animal shelter.

Mom was always so good with her hands. She would knit and crochet all kinds of wonderful scarves and blankets and wash cloths. The family loved the presents she would give them every Christmas because they knew it came from her and it meant something.

The last few years, Mom complained about her arthritis and how she wasn’t as nimble as she used to be, but it didn’t stop her from working on her creations.

Mom was acting a little funny the last few days and a neighbor had come to take her to the doctor to see what was going on, but she never came home.

When the neighbor came back, Mom wasn’t with her and he ended up in his carrier and that night, he was in a cage at the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter.

He’s an 8-year-old gray tabby cat and he’s a little shy because he doesn’t really understand what’s going on. He really just wants to go back home and watch Mom knit while he sits on the couch above her.

It was his favorite spot, you see.

He could watch Mom and maybe play with a strand of yarn and the couch was situated right across from the window in the living room, so he could also keep an eye on what was going on outside.

You never knew when a bird might fly by and he wanted to make sure to witness that.

But now, all he can see are the cats across from him in the other cages.

They talk to him at night, some of them. They tell him how long they’ve been here and what they’ve seen and how the kittens are the ones everyone is drawn to and how the older cats often get overlooked.

They tell him the best part of the day is the staff who works here. The older cats tell him that the staff loves every cat in the building and after that first night, he realizes they’re right.

When his cage gets cleaned each day, the staff talks to him and pets him and makes sure he doesn’t feel all that alone. At night, they make sure he has a full water dish and that his litter is clean before they all go home and he usually gets a kiss on his head.

It’s almost like being with Mom.


He’s moved over into the adoption area and he sees families come in and the volunteers play with him and he hopes that maybe one day, someone might consider adopting him.

He knows what happened to his mom. He heard the staff talking about how she had passed away and he had to come here. He misses her every day and hopes that she’ll be waiting for him when he can see her again.

Until then, he’ll watch for that person – the other cats say it’s a special person – who sees what his Mom saw in him and takes that chance.

His name is Chunky. He’s in the cat adoption area at CVAS right now.

Could he be waiting for you?


Jennifer Vanderau is the Publications and Promotions Consultant for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and can be reached at [email protected]. The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at 263-5791 or visit the website CVAS also operates a thrift store in Chambersburg. Help support the animals at the shelter by donating to or shopping at the store.

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