Dr Joanne Righetti and Wildfire, NSW

I spotted Wildfire (he had a different name then) on a shelter’s Facebook page and he sounded like a good fit for our family. We went to meet him and knew immediately that he was the cat for us! The shelter staff were so pleased when we chose him as he had been overlooked by everyone else. Since he is very wild, he is not the cat for everyone!

Dr Joanne Righetti and her cat Wildfire

Wildfire. Photo: Supplied

Wildfire was found living in the wheels of a car, so the shelter called him Pirelli. He was desexed at the shelter and put up for adoption at 9 months of age.  We adopted Wildfire because we lost one of our three rescue kittens the year before – siblings named Earth, Wind, and Fire.  Earth and Wind are tabbies and Fire a ginger. Sadly, Fire died and after a little while, we looked for another ginger cat. Hence Wildfire!

Earth and Wind are calm, placid cats who love a cuddle and do everything very gently. Wildfire is a wild cat who does nothing gently! He scratches. He pounces. He terrorises his brothers and humans! We love him and he is a great complement to our other cats, including Mew our 18-year-old.

Dr Joanne Righetti and her adopted dog Chilli.

Dr Jo and Chilli.

Rescuing Wildfire has transformed his life for the better. He did not like to be touched when he was first adopted. We could give him a head rub but could not put our hands anywhere near his body. We have worked on that and he now tolerates some handling. He still adores a head rub and he is the cat that likes to sleep right by my side. I think life is pretty good for a rescue cat in my household.

We have also benefited from having Wildfire! Life is never dull with this wild cat around. He is a character, always ready to play with his other feline siblings or with us (myself and three sons). He is a little timid of our dog Chilli, so she keeps him in check if he gets too exuberant! My middle son loves to take photos of our pets and Wildfire is very photogenic, so we have lots of pictures of him.

Message to Rescue

I love the work that rescue organisations/volunteers do, which is why I am supporting Pets4Life’s Companion Animal Rescue Awards. Not everyone wants to adopt a shelter pet, but I ask everyone to at least consider it when they are looking for their pet. Your life is improved immensely by having a pet and even more by giving a home and hope to lots of other shelter animals looking for homes.


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