Two Senior Felines Find Homes

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Cali adjusted to her new home well, and enjoys the company of Bonny the dog

Stephen Swearingen’s cats were the reason he decided to enroll in the OHS Friends Forever™ program. Stephen was only 60 years old, but he knew that the diabetes he was battling would soon bring his life to an end. Stephen’s closest companions were his cats Cali and Chelula.

To make sure the two cats, who were 21 and 22 years of age, received the care they needed and would be adopted into a good home, Stephen enrolled in the OHS Friends Forever program. His plan was to include an OHS gift in his will in exchange for the peace of mind of knowing that his pets would be well cared for and adopted into loving homes.

Stephen’s hospice social worker called on February 10 to let OHS know that Cali and Chelula, along with two of Stephen’s dogs, should be transferred to OHS. Stephen was in good spirits when he chatted with an OHS staffer for about 90 minutes about his four pets.

Aphrodite and Apollo were his bonded Chihuahua mixes who were originally adopted from OHS. The dogs were healthy and Stephen knew they would quickly find a new person to love them.

“Chelula makes the sweetest cooing sounds when I come close,” says Chelula’s adopter

He was, however, very concerned about his elderly cats finding homes. Stephen said that even though the cats had lived together for over two decades, they mainly tolerated each other and were not a bonded pair.

What they did share in common, however, was their love for Stephen. They always stayed close and he was grateful for their companionship and loyalty.

Stephen died on February 14. Chelula was adopted three days after Stephen’s death; Cali found her new home eight days later.

Chelula’s adopter was Kristen Bury, who had been looking for a senior pet since she lost her elderly dog last summer. “I wanted to give my home to an animal who really needed a loving place to retire,” said Kristen. Chelula has turned out to be everything Kristin hoped for. “She’s just the right amount of curmudgeon and the sweetest granny combined.”

Mandara Nott and her roommates were looking for kittens when they came across Cali. The older cat’s story was particularly touching for Mandara because her mother, like Stephen Swearengin, suffered from ill health and always had cats close by to keep her spirits up. “My roommates and I were glad to give Cali a home, since she had been there for her human through all of his tough times,” said Mandara.

Photo Gallery

Cali and Chelula each settled into their loving new homes, and provided countless photo opportunities!

More Information

The OHS Friends Forever program was founded in 1994 and has helped hundreds of OHS supporters make a plan for their pets.

Friends Forever Information and Contacts

Main information page here »

Gary Kish, Vice President for Development
Phone: (503) 416-2988 direct line or email

Kathryn Karr, Donor Relations Manager, Legacy Gifts
Phone: (503) 416-2988 direct line or email

Read about more pets and people helped by Friends Forever:



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