Jill and her family have always loved cats. So it was no surprise when, twelve months after adopting their cat Samantha, her son announced, “She needs a companion!”

Jill began an online search for potential friends for Samantha. She came across The Lost Dogs’ Home website and found a black, eight-week-old male kitten named Elmo who was waiting to be adopted from the Campaspe shelter in Echuca.

“I phone my husband and I said, ‘I found a kitten! The problem is he’s in Echuca!’” Jill laughed. “He replied, ‘You’ve got to be joking!’”

Concerned about the three hour drive from their home in Melbourne, Jill and her husband decided not to call the shelter straight away. However Jill found herself checking the website every day to see if Elmo was still there. Then, a few days later, her husband gave her a surprise phone call.

“He said, ‘I phoned Echuca and there’s a hold on Elmo. We’re going up tomorrow.’”

When Jill met little Elmo at The Lost Dogs’ Home Campaspe Shelter in Echuca, she instantly fell in love.

“I knelt down, held out my hand and said, ‘Come on’. Elmo darted out and rushed up to me and was really responsive… I picked him up and there was this throaty purr that was about ten times bigger than he was. He was just gorgeous.”

The three hour drive was not a problem for Elmo, as Jill and her husband brought along suitable cat transport and kept an eye on him to make sure he was ok.

Introducing Samantha to her new companion was not so easy, but once she realised Elmo was not going anywhere, she began to tolerate him. Twelve months later, she still ignores him in her ‘superior way’, unless of course he tries to play with her ‘feather duster’ of a tail!

Elmo likes to have his paws in the house work too! He’s been known to jump into the car boot when the groceries are being taken in to house, sit in the laundry basket and even help Jill ‘tidy up’ after dinner!

“He is a cat that wants to be in everything that you do. If you’re washing the dishes, he’ll walk along the sink and drink out of the tap.”

It was this curious nature that nearly got Elmo into some hot water – literally!

“I was in the laundry and he jumped up onto the trough and leant forward to drink,” Samantha recalled. “His paws slid and he went straight down, head first into the soapy water! I immediately pulled him out but it didn’t stop him! He has tried to drink the water out of the tap again since!”

The whole family is taken with little Elmo. Jill’s son dotes on him and her husband has even been spotted rubbing his belly.

Jill and her family have a long history of adopting animals from shelters and couldn’t imagine getting a cat from anywhere else.

“They need homes… Elmo’s an incredibly friendly cat, he’s very amiable and no claws ever come out. He’s just beautiful.”

Sounds like it was worth the trip!