For Mohamed “Mo” Khaled, kittens, cats and pets are no stranger to him. Mo works as a Bronx Caseworker for the ASPCA Community Engagement (CE) team, where year-round, he works with people throughout the community to provide necessary veterinary services, supplies and information to help keep people and pets together.
However, on occasion, Mo and his team will sometimes encounter overwhelmed caregivers, who may have more pets than they are able to care for properly. In these instances, caregivers will sometimes surrender some of their animals to the ASPCA so that they can find homes where they are better suited. Though this can be a hard thing to do, it ultimately helps both the caregiver and the animals in the long run.
This is exactly how Mo met Muezza.
A Chance Encounter
In March 2018, Mo and his team had begun working with a caregiver who had become overwhelmed with the number of cats she had. The CE team stepped in and offered to help the pet owner with spay/neuter for her cats and veterinary services. They also offered to take as many cats as she was comfortable surrendering.
On their first visit, Mo was greeted by one kitten who he wouldn’t soon forget. “He was so little and he jumped on me and made a little noise. It was so cute,” Mo says. “And on the second visit he did the same thing.”
The kitten, who we now know as Muezza, had some slight issues with his eyes, but it was his friendly, bold behavior that caught Mo’s attention. Mo knew shortly after beginning this case that he felt bonded to the small feline, and when Muezza was surrendered to the ASPCA, it seemed like fate for the pair.
Adopting a New Family Member
Once Muezza was surrendered, Mo knew that he was the one who could really care for and love the kitten, so he acted quickly to make the adoption official. Once his little furry friend was home, Mo turned to his mom to help with a name.
Muezza is the name of the Prophet Muhammad’s cat. And since the names line up, it only made sense for Mo’s new cat to also take on the name.
“But my mother, she likes to call him Easy, so we just call him Easy because he’s very easygoing,” Mo tells us.
So a small kitten from the Bronx became an easygoing kitty living on Long Island. And life has never been better.
An “Easy” Life for Muezza
Though Mo and Easy’s bond runs deep, there was still an adjustment period for the new furry family member. Mo and his family already had two adult cats, so introductions were slow and took time.
“He’s the youngest guy here, so the other two still worry about him a little,” Mo says with a laugh.
But aside from the initial adjustment. Life with Easy is just how it sounds: easy.
“Life with Muezza is fun,” Mo tells us. “He wakes us up early and is all over the place.”
From the beginning, Mo felt like Muezza was a special cat, and it turned out that instinct was correct. Muezza may have come from crowded beginnings, but he’s now got plenty of room for love in Mo’s heart.
Making a Difference for More Cats Like Easy
For Mo, his commitment to animals doesn’t stop with Easy and his pets at home. He remains committed to working within the communities he serves to help pet caregivers comfortably care for their pets so that they can experience the joys of pet companionship while keeping their pets happy and healthy.
Take for instance one of Mo’s clients in the Bronx, Jose V., whose cat had suffered from a high-rise fall and needed immediate veterinary care. Jose knew he wanted to save his beloved pet, but struggled to find a veterinarian he could afford.
Mo helped Jose get care for his cat, who recovered thanks to the work of the CE team. Mo also checks in on Jose from time to time to help with supplies and food for his furry friend.
Jose is just one of the many whom Mo feels committed to serving.
“I work in the Bronx and the South Bronx where they call it a ‘vet desert.’ There are so many pets in that area and so many people who are in need of vet care or in need of food or supplies for their pets,” Mo says. “I like to go out and work with the community and work with the people –to get to know people and understand what’s going on in life. Because life is not easy for everybody.”
Working with the CE team not only brought Mo his new best friend, but it also gives him a purpose that he truly believes in. “I love to help, and helping people is the most important thing in my life,” he says.
June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month—the perfect time to bring home a feline companion. Find adoptable cats and kittens near you today.
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