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Nate, Caroline and Kim Kirby with Howard

Once upon a time, Howard the cat, his six siblings and his mom waited at Animal House Cat Rescue and Adoption Center for a forever home. As time passed, Howard was the only sibling left at the shelter.

Miles away in Chesterfield, the Kirby family had been debating about getting a pet for a long time. Though they’re self-proclaimed “dog people,” they decided to look at cats. Kim Kirby went online and found Animal House. She was impressed with what she saw on its website, so she and her two kids ventured to the shelter to “take a look.”

“The people there were just lovely, and my kids fell in love with a cat named Howard,” Kim says. “He was fun and friendly and playful.”

Kim told her kids she and her husband, Aaron, would think about adopting the feline, but they kept asking about Howard. At the end of May, the Kirbys ended up bringing the 8-month-old cat home.

In the time that’s passed since then, Kim says Howard has been “a lot of fun.” Her 11-year-old son and almost ninth-grade daughter “absolutely love him.”

“He’s very easy [to take care of],” she says. “He loves to run around and chase his tail.”

Kim says Howard loves to jump on her, especially in the middle of the night.

“He’ll come tearing up the stairs to our room and walk up and down my back,” she says.

Howard also enjoys the family’s screen-in patio, where he has safe access to the outside world without being an outdoor cat.

“He loves being out there, since he’s never really been outside before,” Kim says. “He asks to go out there and will sit and watch the birds in the backyard.”

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In addition to being a birdwatcher, Howard is quite the sports enthusiast.

The Kirbys have a Ping-Pong table and a floor hockey set in their basement, both of which Howard has completely embraced.

“He’ll get the Ping-Pong ball down off the table and bat it all over the basement,” Kim says. “He’ll also play in the hockey net.”

In addition to his basement antics, the young cat will claw his way into Kim’s bed and wiggle down to her feet, where he’ll fall asleep.

“It’s nice to have his affection,” Kim says. “He’s fun to be around.”

Howard’s new mom had nothing but praise for Animal House.

“They were fabulous to work with,” she says. “They did a great job with helping transition him to our family.”

FOR YOUR OWN FAIRY-TAIL ENDING …

Animal House Cat Rescue and Adoption Center

2151 59th St., St. Louis

314-531-4626, stlcats.org

Proudly sponsored by Carol House Furniture

With their belief that bigger things can come out of selling furniture, Carol House and the Dubmans proudly donate a portion of each sale to local charities. One of the organizations the company supports is its very own Carol House QUICK FIX Pet Clinic, which spays and neuters pets for low-income families. For more information, call 314-771-PETS or visit CarolHousePetClinic.org.

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Robyn is LN's digital editor and a staff writer. Proud alumna of Notre Dame High School in St. Louis and Eastern Illinois University. Avid coffee drinker, dog lover, concertgoer and word nerd.

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