Fishtopher, a 5-year-old cat, was reportedly "sad and depressed" as he sat at the Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center in New Jersey waiting to be adopted.
The "Quiet" "Couch potato" seemed "out of sorts," the center wrote in its Petfinder listing. He would only "eat when he has company," and he "wouldn’t even look up for pictures."
But on Thanksgiving, Fishtopher's luck changed after a tweet sharing his Petfinder profile went viral. The tweet quickly amassed over 168,000 likes and 21,000 retweets. Many people in the replies shared their own cat adoption stories.
The shelter said in a Facebook post over the weekend that it received "hundreds of inquiries" about Fishtopher.
On Saturday, Laura Folts, 22, and her partner Tanner Callahan, 24, were the two who gave Fishtopher a forever home.
The couple said they drove two hours from Baltimore to Blackwood, New Jersey, to meet him.
Folts said that they became interested in adopting Fishtopher after seeing the tweet about him. They said they got to the shelter an hour before it opened, and there were eight or nine others who were there to see Fishtopher.
“Knowing he was popular, we drove up to Homeward Bound with some hopes, but knew if not Fishtopher, we wouldn’t come home empty paw’d as we saw a few other cats online that we were considering," Folts said in a message to NBC News. "We arrived early enough to be the first ones and he was adopted!”
Folts said she and Callahan felt Fishtopher would be a good fit in Callahan's quiet apartment. The two have similar personalities because they're both "very quiet but still friendly once they opened up," Folts said.
While there's only one Fishtopher, the shelter and Folts have been encouraging people to adopt other animals in need of new homes. Folts retweeted a number of posts about cats in need of homes from Fishtopher's account.
"We saw how willing many others were to adopt Fishtopher, even around the country, and we want to use Fishtopher’s audience to find animals for those people," Folts said.
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"i want to use this new audience to help other fishtophers and give people fun cat photos of him chilling at home (which is what the internet was made for)," a recent tweet from Fishtopher's account read.
The Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center also asked the people interested in Fishtopher to save its other rescues.
"We’re super happy for him, but if you were interested in him, have no fear. We have hundreds of other kitties who are just as wonderful and are wishing that people would come and stand in line for them," the shelter continued in its Facebook post Saturday.
On its about page on its website, the Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center shared that it is working with other animal welfare organizations to help get New Jersey to "no-kill" status by 2025, in accordance with the Best Friends Animal Society.
The initiative defines a "no-kill" shelter as having a 90% save rate or higher, meaning it has the resources to save every dog and cat it is able to. The benchmark is 90% because the share of dogs and cats entering shelters with "irreparable medical or behavioral issues" is typically no more than 10%, according to Best Friends. The Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center reported a 96% save rate in 2021.
In addition to Fishtopher, the shelter shared on its Facebook page 16 other animals that were adopted this past weekend.