DENVER — A pair of homeless cats is still looking for their forever home after living at a Denver shelter for the past six years.
Inside MaxFund Animal Adoption Center, there are two main rooms full of social, healthy adoptable cats. There is a room full of kittens up for adoption. Then, there are small rooms in the back with cats that are harder to adopt.
Some of the cats are feral, some have behavioral issues and some are shy.
“These rooms are just a lot of times overlooked because…the labels on the rooms scare people off a little bit,” volunteer Jill Osborne told FOX31.
One of the rooms has a slightly tattered, printed sign with pictures of two cats: Banksy and Squeakers.
“Oh my god, those cats are so special,” Maxfund vet tech Sonya Baigildin said.
They are both extremely friendly, curious and playful. Jill says Squeakers is “a total lap cat when she’s in the mood” while Banksy “just likes to observe” when he’s not busy playing with toys.
Banksy and Squeakers both have short black fur. While they are not siblings, they are best friends. And, like every homeless animal in the shelter, their backstories are heartbreaking.
“Banksy was actually four to five weeks old and he was dropped off on the side of the highway by somebody,” Sonya said.
He was brought to the shelter by a good Samaritan. Squeakers came to the shelter the same month. She was relinquished by her owners as a kitten.
That was back in June 2014. Neither cat has left the shelter since, aside from a ten-day foster during the 2019 Christmas holiday.
They have been living together in a room the size of a closet for six years.
“They’re loving cats and it’s heartbreaking to see them here for six years,” Sonya said. “They’re just here because nobody wants them.”
Maxfund is a “no kill” shelter. Banksy and Squeakers can stay there as long as they need to.
“We provide the best care that we can for them but, of course, it’s with a heavy heart because we see everybody come and go. They see other cats come and go and they’re still here. And it’s just not fair because it’s no fault of their own,” Sonya said. “They didn’t do anything wrong.”
Banksy and Squeakers both suffer from a similar injury to their spine called “cauda equina”. In Banksy, it causes incontinence, meaning he can’t always get to the litter box in time. For Squeakers, the injury causes her to leak urine when she begins to relax. She also suffers from chronic diarrhea, but she has been able to manage it with a special diet.
“The little accidents that they do have, it’s no big deal,” Jill said.
The pair have become a favorite among the Maxfund volunteers.
“I guess they’re kind of a constant for me. Because with Maxfund there is so much turnover that I get attached to a cat and then the cat gets adopted,” Jill said.
She never has to worry about that with Banksy and Squeakers. Every day she comes to volunteer, she knows they will be there because no one has ever given them a chance.
“They’re still very young and have a lot of life left in them,” she said.
According to Sonya, the cats have no behavioral issues. They love people. They love other cats. And they would love a home too.
“They deserve a better life than a shelter,” she said.
Since they have grown up together, Banksy and Squeakers are considered a bonded pair and would like to go to a home together.
The ideal family would have a room without carpet where the cats could sleep at night and when the owner is out of the house. An owner can consider using feline diapers to help prevent accidents as well.