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People & Pets

Love for Luca

1/31/2024

A litter of kittens, along with their “street cat” mama, was found nearly six years ago under a busy highway bridge.

Hope Animal Rescue of Iowa rescued the mom and kittens, then offered them up for adoption. One black kitten, which looked like it was struck by lightning, caught the attention of Sarah Muller, and she adopted him.

The kitten, formerly named Bob Seeger, was renamed Luca. Muller explains she learned about a dog named Puccini and then searched for Italian names. 

“I came across the name ‘Luca’ and thought he looked like a suave Italian mob boss,” she recalls.

Muller wanted a pet ever since living on her own. She considered getting a dog, yet, at the time, a long work commute meant little time to care for it. 

As a child, she had a cat briefly, but her dad was allergic to it and they couldn’t keep the pet. She liked cats and searched on the Petfinder app, specifically looking for a black cat.

“Black cats have a bad reputation and don’t get adopted. A lot of people think that black cats are bad luck or scary,” she says.

As she researched black cats, she discovered they are the least likely pet to be adopted. 

“I knew that I wanted to go in that direction,” she says.

Luca likes to curl up but has his ‘zoomie’ moments. 

“I love that he’s feisty and fun but never aggressive. He likes to wake up at 2 a.m. running laps around my head,” she laughs. 

Because she works remotely, with a lot of time at home, she says Luca is “privileged.” In addition, three out of four of her coworkers also have black cats. 

“At team meetings online, all of our black cats hang out together,” she says.

As she acquired Luca from Hope Animal Rescue, she feels it’s important to adopt.

“Sometimes the ARL has no place to put cats. There are so many stray cats. There’s no need to shop — adopt instead,” she recalls the mantra.

If people are unsure of cat ownership, they can test the waters by fostering. Being a foster cat mom or dad offers a temporary home until the cat is adopted.

Muller is also an advocate for pets with owners who are in domestic violence situations. Victims often can’t bring pets with them to shelters. 

“RedRover places animals in crisis in the interim, when the humans are struggling. Often people forget that animals are impacted by domestic violence and homelessness,” she says. 

Muller is delighted with Luca. 

“He’s obviously the cutest cat. He’s chill. I couldn’t ask for more,” she reflects. “Except at 2 a.m. If he would just go back to sleep and not run around.”

For more information on fostering cats, visit http://hopeanimalrescueofiowa.org/; or for resources and assistance for pets in domestic violence situations, visit https://redrover.org/get-help/. ♦

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