Pet of the week: Thunder is coming out of his shell

Thunder can be adopted at the Winchester SPCA. Rachel Mahoney/Daily

WINCHESTER – Having spent the better part of his young life in a shelter, Thunder is ready to find a home of his own.

A wide-eyed domestic short-hair cat, Thunder came to the Winchester SPCA in October as a young kitten of only 10 weeks. Shelter documents report that his owner surrendered him because they had too many cats.

Kennel attendant Savanah Michael said that she would interact with Thunder and hold him every day so he’d become more familiar with her. She used a soft blanket to coax him out of his kennel and he’s perfectly content to lie on her lap, burying his face in the crook of her elbow.

“He doesn’t mind other cats at all…but you have to get used to him, and he has to get used to you,” she said.

Since Thunder tends to shy away and retreat to the back of his kennel when confronted with a new face, Michael said he hasn’t had a lot of visitors wanting to spend time getting to know him.

“Sometimes he’s down into the main part and he’s rubbing up against the cage,” she said. “He’s super sweet, he just has to get used to people.”

Thunder is alert and observant when he’s out and about, ears and eyes open. Michael said he clings to her and loves to be held by her, sometimes seeking out security in his blanket. Once he’s back in his own space, Michael said Thunder will walk around meowing and demanding attention of her.

“He’s a lot more curious now than he was, because he used to just bury himself into his blanket,” she said.

She said he still hasn’t come out of his shell enough for the shelter to let him roam around freely with the other cats, despite getting along fine with the other residents. Even as shy as he is, Thunder is willing to play and will keep his eye on a rattling toy that catches his attention.

Michael said Thunder would do well as an indoor cat for a family who understands his needs and won’t startle him. She said that prospective owners could visit and spend time with him before adopting him so that he could get used to them before making the move into a new home.

“He doesn’t really like loud noises, so he’s not too good with kids,” she said. “If you’re very gentle around him, he’s perfectly OK.”

Thunder is neutered, microchipped and is up to date on his rabies and distemper shots. Adopting him from the Winchester SPCA would cost $95. Contact the shelter by calling 540-662-8616 or visit

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or