Back in April we brought you the story of Oliver Julius, or OJ, the cat that an Astoria resident couldn't find a home for on account of his bad attitude. Desperate after several attempts at matchmaking that went south when the ornery tabby hissed at his suitors, foster owner Rose Hilliard posted flyers around her neighborhood with the header "Gangsta Cat Seeks Homey 4 Life." The ads got our attention and, after our article went up, the attention of Esinam Quarcoo, the lawyer in the Rockaways who would ultimately become OJ's life partner/eternal homie. But it took a few more false starts before the deal was sealed.
Hilliard explained in an email:
We got a few inquiries from potential adopters here in New York City, some nice well wishes, and invitations for him to live in other areas. He was invited to retire in Florida, and invited to live in Kentucky, Connecticut and upstate New York.
In the end, our strongest NYC prospects all flaked out with the exception of one woman--who will be adopting him. It's now official! She ... lives in a large, quiet apartment with no kids or other cats for OJ to terrorize. His adopter has a soft spot for cats in need of love (all her previous cats have been strays that she brought in from the streets), and she's totally fine with OJ's attitude.
Hilliard made the hand-off yesterday morning. Here is OJ looking out of the window of his Astoria halfway house just before embarking on his next great adventure.
We checked in with Quarcoo, an avid Gothamist reader, and from the sounds of it, OJ is nice if you don't get in his face trying to be all lovey-dovey. "He's actually really friendly," she said. "He follows me everywhere."
In fact, she said, he is so keen on being near her that at 3 am on his first night in his new home he meowed outside her bedroom door until she let him in, then came and slept beside her bed.
Quarcoo added that she is "not a cat person," and that she's actually allergic, but not terribly so. An ex-boyfriend got her in the habit of fostering animals, and when she saw our story, she knew she could help. "I felt like after reading it, I'm never at home and I have a really big apartment," she said. "If all he needs is just somebody to bring him in, I can do that. If he doesn't need affection, I can do that."
Here OJ is reveling in his new environment:
Quarcoo praised the rescue group Anjellicle Cats for its thoroughness in checking her out and making sure that she is responsible. "You get the sense that they really believe in what they're doing," she said.
OJ wasn't the only cat affected by our coverage. Hilliard again:
...we couldn't have done it without you! And I think you'll be pleased to know that another woman contacted my rescue group and asked that they pull a cat off the shelter's [euthanasia] list for her to foster. She said that she found out about fostering through your Gothamist article, so in addition to finding OJ a home, you've also saved another cat's life.