Written by: Shira Savada // Above Photo:  Amelia Johnson // Below photos courtesy of Shira Savada

As the Real Weddings Editor at Martha Stewart Weddings, I hear about how couples meet all the time. The love at first site concept isn’t lost on me. Because when I saw my cat Violet, I knew right away that she was “the one.” It was late 2009, and I had just moved into my apartment. It was a pet-friendly building and it was time for this unabashed cat lady (note, I’m not yet a “crazy” cat lady) to bring home a furry friend.

I had known about the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for quite some time, and with the opportunity to adopt, I did more research and knew it’d be the place to go. All of the animals they foster and adopt out are neutered/spayed, up-to-date on vaccines, and microchipped for safety. When you’re approved and ready to go home, they offer you a veterinary appointment and a starter pack for first time (or repeat) pet parents, so that, aside from a few creature comforts, you go home stress-free and ready to settle in. The organization, which has been around for a century and a half, uses donations to care for new animals brought to them, and to fund all that happens between their intake and their happy transition to being a stray to a pet.


With my own application form complete, I followed a volunteer guiding me around the space, going from room to room of friendly little felines in need of a permanent home and a little love. My friend came along to help me with the process, and we both knew the moment we saw her and how she came right over to me, that it was pretty much a done deal. She was friendly, and sweet, and I was sold. I loved her so much that I named her after my favorite color (purple) and couldn’t help but (over)share photos via her hashtag #mycatviolet because that’s what new parents do. Right?



Violet was about two-years-old when our paths crossed that fateful day at the ASPCA. She’s since discovered her love of catnip toys, sunny spots, the back cushions of the couch, and a good snuggle. And I’ve realized how much of a great companion she is, how rewarding it is in so many ways to have a cat companion. Now, life before her seems so strange in hindsight. Without the ASPCA, who knows if Violet and I would have ended up together? But because they’re a no-kill shelter, we had the chance at true (pet) love. I couldn’t think of any better way to celebrate the marriage of two people than donating to an organization that fights loneliness, unites pets and people, and rescues countless animals across the country so that they, too, can live happily ever after.


Learn more about the ASPCA or add them to your registry here.





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