Our Animal Rescue Team deployed to Muncie, Indiana, in October 2021 ready to rescue dozens of cats living in filthy conditions inside a residential property. As rescuers entered the house, they encountered an unexpected obstacle: A black-and-white cat approached them and began rubbing against their legs, demanding to be petted.
“He was the first cat anybody saw,” says Jessica Johnson, senior director of the rescue team, who was on scene that day. “We actually had to remove him first ... because he was so interested in people and kept getting in the way, like right on our feet as we walked.”
If you were looking at him or thinking about looking at him, he wanted attention from you.
Allison Bundock, The HSUS
After completing the first stop, Jenn Cherry, a former field responder with the rescue team, drove Miles Finch the rest of the way to Maryland. The two stopped at a pet-friendly hotel where Miles Finch followed Cherry around room to room. “When it was time to hit the hay for the evening, [he] snuggled up right next to me and turned his purr motor on high volume,” Cherry says.
The next day, the pair arrived at our Maryland care and rehabilitation center, where Miles Finch stayed while Johnson’s family finished moving into their new house and preparing for his arrival. The center’s staff quickly fell in love with him and spent their breaks playing with him.
After a short stint at the center, Miles Finch’s final stop was his new home with Johnson and her family. He made quick friends with Johnson’s daughter and smoothly adjusted to living with dogs after a slow introduction. One of Johnson’s dogs is called “Buddy the Elf” after the character from the Christmas movie Elf, and they thought it was fitting to name Miles Finch after another character. Now, a few months later, it’s “kind of like he’s always been here,” Johnson says.
And while rescue team members went the extra mile (literally) to deliver Miles Finch to his new home, the lovable cat helped them, too.
“As rescuers, we see animals living in deplorable conditions often, but it never gets easy to see,” says Cherry. “Having a gem like [him] on a case reminds us that there is hope for these animals, that even in miserable living conditions, some animals will never let their faith in humans cease to exist.”