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Adoptable Pets of the Week: Houston and Irene, shy but irresistible


Dogs overshadowed cats a bit this month, after the Iowa City Animal Center accepted eight dogs from Hurricane Harvey-impacted shelters in Texas. The cats likely didn’t mind; a historic rush of cat adoptions — 128 in August, a new record — left the remaining felines and some new arrivals with plenty of room to stretch out in their cages.

Two of these kitties are Houston and Irene.

Houston. — photo by Zak Neumann,

Houston, whose name proved appropriate when eight dogs from Houston joined the center’s ranks, is presumed to be about six years old. You’re most likely to find him resting in his cave: a soft enclosed cat bed in his kennel.

Houston. — photo by Zak Neumann,

But even though Houston is a homebody, he’s not a scaredy cat; larger in size, he likes deep pets and scratches, and will respond with a generous purr. This ginger and white cat — with an intriguing white arrow on the center of his face — will likely have an easy time getting comfortable in his new home, so long as he has a loving family and a cozy box, bed or hiding place to sleep.

Irene. — photo by Zak Neumann,

Irene, named after the fictional Irene Adler, is one of several cats who have been named for Sherlock Holmes characters, and the only one still waiting to be adopted. Black and small in stature, this three-year-old is pure sweetness. She is a bit wary, at least in the shelter environment, though still curious about her surroundings.

Volunteers say that once Irene feels safe and secure, she melts into a cuddly lap cat. Irene will thrive in a fairly quiet home with gentle and loving companions.

Irene. — photo by Zak Neumann,

Visit the shelter’s website for more information on adoption. To meet Houston and Irene, stop by the Iowa City Animal Center at 3910 Napoleon Ln. in Iowa City between 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, or 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays.

UPDATE: Lucky goes home!

Lucky — photo by Zak Neumann

Senior dog and longtime shelter resident Lucky finally found her forever home. Lucky was one of several dogs removed from an animal hoarding situation, and had spent her six-plus years tied to a post outdoors. When she arrived at the Iowa City Animal Center in March, she had a number of medical issues and a distrust of humans. But attentive care and socialization in the shelter made Lucky a more relaxed, playful and loving dog. After nearly six months in a kennel, she finally has a home to call her own.

Lucky with her adopters. — photo courtesy of the Iowa City Animal Center Facebook page.

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