Bruno’s new owners didn’t know they were getting a famous cat when they thought about applying for adoption.
But they soon found out everyone was talking about Bruno.
The cat first gained attention when he was returned to the Montville (N.J.) Animal Shelter for being “too affectionate.” The shelter’s Facebook post sharing Bruno’s story went viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of views, which turned into dozens of applications for the adorable feline.
Catherine and Andrew, a Denville, New Jersey couple who declined to give their last names, sent in their application at just the right time. The night before the Facebook post went out, they were on the Montville shelter’s Petfinder page. They saw Bruno and thought he was really cute. The didn’t apply right away, instead opting to wait a day. The following day, Catherine saw the now-famous post and sent it to Andrew and they decided they had to get him.
“It was before the post blew up,” Andrew said of their application. “A few hours later (Catherine) sends me a screenshot of the post with like a thousand shares, freaking out like ‘What if we don’t get him? What if he got too famous.'”
“It was perfect timing,” Catherine said. “We couldn’t have planned it if we tried.”
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Here’s why everyone was talking about Bruno the cat
Andrew didn’t realize how widespread Bruno’s story had become. When he returned to work after the adoption, he told his colleagues that he got a cat. When he told them the cat’s name they responded by sending him posts about Bruno, asking if it was the same one.
“And in our friend group we sent a photo and introduced Bruno and no more than a few minutes later, our friend sends us a screenshot from Reddit, like, ‘This Bruno?'” Andrew said. “Yeah, that’s him.”
Bruno has settled in well after initially feeling a little nervous in his new surroundings. Slowly, Bruno has been revealing more of his personality every day.
Bruno first arrived at the Montville Animal Shelter in November, after the child of his original owners became allergic to him. Two months later he was adopted by a single mother and young daughter seeking a first pet. But when they brought him home, the shelter’s Lindsay Persico said, he was just a little too close for comfort.
Persico explained that the mother worked from home and the cat would constantly headbutt her, making it difficult to get work done. The cat also insisted on sleeping in the young daughter’s bed, which resulted in the latter staying up late to play with the former. So a week later, Bruno was brought back to the shelter.
“He’s very outgoing when you first meet him,” Catherine said. “When we first picked him up he basically crawled into my neck … I think he was very excited to leave the shelter and be held again.”
In his first night in Catherine and Andrew’s home, they got a taste of Bruno’s affection. He woke them up with headbutts.
“It was adorable,” Andrew said.
To help Bruno get settled in, Catherine, who works as a land steward, has been working from home. She’s since started to go back to work as he’s gotten more comfortable.
The overwhelming response to Bruno’s story helped get nearly all of the remaining cats at the Montville shelter adopted.
“The story really got to people,” Catherine said.
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