Dave Smith, a resident at The Fountains at Millbrook, a Watermark Retirement Community in New York, is a long-time cat lover.
Earlier in his life, Smith adopted an orange tabby named Oscar. This feline companion left such a lasting, loving impression on Smith that Smith decided to adopt another orange tabby when the cat passed away, which he named Oscar the 2nd.
Oscar the 2nd and Smith moved into The Fountains at Millbrook — a pet-friendly retirement community — together in 2018. Sadly, last year, Oscar the 2nd died. The orange tabby had a long and eventful life with Smith, and the pet’s passing devastated his devoted owner.
“We could tell there was a big hole in his heart,” Lisa Rieckermann, The Fountains at Millbrook’s community life director, said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
Heartbroken over the loss of Oscar the 2nd and eager to bring a smile back to Smith’s face, the retirement community worked with their animal rescue connections to find a young orange tabby for Smith to meet.
The Dutchess County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) had the perfect cat, a young, energetic, pumpkin-colored kitty named Hercules. Staff at The Fountains at Millbrook took Smith to meet Hercules, and it was love at first sight. Smith decided to adopt the animal on the spot but made one change before bringing the pet back home.
“I said, ‘You don’t look like a Hercules; you look like another Oscar,’ ” Smith said.
Oscar the 3rd moved into The Fountains at Millbrook with Smith shortly after this meeting, and the duo is now best friends who enjoy spending their days watching movies, cuddling, and playing with laser pointers.
“It sure beats living alone,” Smith said, adding, “I am grateful to the staff for taking the time to help me find Oscar and getting me to the shelter for the adoption,” Smith said. “Once they found out I was looking for an orange tiger cat, they were all hands-on deck. I am absolutely appreciative.”