Rufus is the feline equivalent of a Bruce Springsteen song.

He’s seen the rougher parts of life and New Jersey.
He’s a bit of a tough guy, but he loves deeply.
And he’s filled with an inner melody that rises above all the struggle.

This tough, tender tabby came to Tabby’s Place from a life on the streets of the Jersey shore. This wasn’t the life Rufus expected; he’d once been a cherished indoor cat. But, when his family moved away, they simply left him outside.

Rufus’ season outdoors wounded him deeply. Scuffles with other cats left Rufus infected with feline
immunodeficiency virus (FIV), a disease transmitted through deep bite wounds. FIV compromises a cat’s immune system by disabling or destroying white blood cells, leaving him more vulnerable to infection. Although FIV+ cats can live long, healthy lives, they are far less likely to be adopted, making them especially vulnerable at crowded shelters.

That’s likely where Rufus would have ended up if not for the mercy of a Good Samaritan. Through a happy series of events, Rufus rocked from his original rescuer to Tabby’s Place. We’re a haven for all kinds of quirky cats, so Rufus would find a warm welcome in our special FIV+ Suite.

To our delight, Rufus warmly welcomed our affections. A love-bug from arrival, he enchanted everyone he met. Rufus wasn’t going to let some bad memories get in the way of giving and receiving love; the future was as bright as the sunrise over Barnegat Bay. In fact, Rufus’ sweetness got him adopted quickly.

But then, things got … complicated.
Rufus’ adopter returned him after a few days, explaining that he’d been unpredictably aggressive. Sure enough, as Rufus settled back into Tabby’s Place, his tough-guy tendencies emerged. Although he was a sweetie at heart, Rufus was a complex soul, with a short fuse around both humans and cats. We placed him on two behavior medications and made him one of our “orange-collar” cats, to be approached with care.

Today, Rufus enjoys a generally peaceful life — and oodles of love and affection — in Suite FIV at Tabby’s Place. Our skilled team is working with him on his behavior issues, and staff and volunteers dote on him daily. In addition, Rufus receives the world-class medical care he needs to stay healthy despite his FIV.

We realize Rufus isn’t going to be just everyone’s favorite song. But his fiery, loving spirit makes us dance, and we hope he’s tickled your ears, too. As Rufus awaits his just-right forever home, you can nurture him as his generous sponsor. Please help us to care for this brave, Bruce-like boy.