• Jace Shoemaker-Galloway

National Cat Day: Meet Geoffrey, the first official National Cat Day 'MasCAT'

Have you heard the "mews?" An annual "howliday" that celebrates fabulous felines of all breeds, shapes and sizes is here and animal lovers are ready to celebrate! Oct. 29 is "pawsitively purrfect!" It's National Cat Day!

According to an interview with Colleen Paige, Founder of the Animal Miracle Network and National Cat Day, the yearly event was created to raise awareness about the millions of homeless cats and kittens waiting for "furever" homes.

Geoffrey was named the first official "MasCAT" for National Cat Day in 2013.

Geoffrey's Amazing Tail

In the spring of 2012, Kyle Newsham was volunteering at a local animal shelter when she noticed a handsome feline named Geoffrey, a stray cat with an unknown past. Despite his good looks, his fur was matted and his rear-end was red and raw. Newsham asked the staff about Geoffrey's condition and was assured his needs were being taken care of but according to his chart, Geoffrey had not been given his medication as prescribed. Newsham decided to give Geoffrey a bath and noticed any time his bottom area was touched or when he tried to sit, he'd cry out in pain. Newsham asked friend, Jace Shoemaker-Galloway, for help.

Shoemaker-Galloway went to the shelter to follow-up on Geoffrey's condition, which had not improved. After reading about the Animal Miracle Network organization, Shoemaker-Galloway reached out to Colleen Paige, who offered to help. Once all the arrangements were made, Shoemaker-Galloway went to the shelter to pick Geoffrey up. After being shoved into his carrier, Geoffrey was finally free! As soon as he was in the car, his demeanor instantly changed. Besides purring up a storm, Shoemaker-Galloway swears he had a little smile on that "purrty" face of his! No more life behind bars for this pretty kitty!

While his well-being was no longer in question, he still wasn't out of the woods quite yet. Geoffrey's first stop was the vet's office, where he was treated for a variety of issues including bloody diarrhea, worms, an upper respiratory infection and a raw bottom. He was also neutered and immunized.

Anne Butler had a great big hole in her heart after losing her beloved 16-year-old cat. But when she spotted Geoffrey's photograph on a cat lover's website, it was love at first sight! Besides his pretty coat, handsome face and giant white whiskers, he also has two adorable heart shapes on his body - an upside-down heart on his face and a large heart on his chest. What human could resist that?

Butler contacted Newsham and Shoemaker-Galloway and offered to give Geoffrey his once-and-furever home. After spending about a week at the vet clinic, arrangements were made to transport Geoffrey to his new home.

Despite his unknown past and the lack of proper care, it didn't take long for Geoffrey to feel safe and secure in his new surroundings. Geoffrey quickly became a beloved companion to Butler, who suffers from severe degenerative arthritis and spends a good portion of her day in a wheelchair. In an exclusive interview, Butler said despite his size, Geoffrey is a gentle soul and a real sweetheart.

Geoffrey's story serves as an important reminder how an unwanted, unloved and/or neglected cat, can become a beloved member of the family. Millions of four-legged friends across America are waiting for their furever homes. Sadly, many of those animals will never make it out alive. If you have been thinking about adding a cat (or dog) to your family, please consider opening your heart and home by adopting an animal from a shelter or Humane Society - before it's too late!