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Purr-fectly Beloved Christmas Gift Arrives Early at Victory Centre of Sierra Ridge

Dorothy Moehrlin’s rescue cat, May, fills a space in Dorothy’s 71-year-old heart that has been empty for decades.

The last time a four-legged friend was part of her life, Dorothy was literally living on the streets in the late 1980's with her mother and their dog Sandy. A gentle, white collie mix, Sandy was a beloved member of their small, tight-knit family. So much so, that Dorothy and her mom chose to sleep outdoors rather than at a shelter because they couldn’t bear to be separated from Sandy.

Those were very hard times and eventually Dorothy had to say good-bye to Sandy and to her mother, who tragically died after they were both hit by a car while crossing the street. Thankfully, Dorothy was given a second chance at happiness when a local pastor and her husband offered her a home and family.

Dorothy’s good fortune continues today at Victory Centre of Sierra Ridge, where she now lives and is looking forwarding to celebrating her first Christmas with the very special feline, May, and her Victory Centre senior living family.

“I’m going to hang up a Christmas stocking for May, so I can fill it with treats!” said Dorothy, as she cuddled May, who since being adopted in mid-November has clearly grown quite attached to her new person (and slightly spoiled!)

Although Dorothy longed for a pet of her own, she didn’t think it would ever be possible. Thanks to Leslee Schafer, Executive Director of Victory Centre of Sierra Ridge, Dorothy’s wish came true—happily just in time for Christmas!

“I knew that Dorothy longed for a cat but was worried about how she’d make it work,” said Leslee, who had faith in Dorothy’s abilities to care for a pet, especially with the help of her Victory Centre neighbors.

Leslee quickly found the purr-fect match on Facebook. At a meet and greet, when Leslee introduced Dorothy to May, a friendly, five-year-old cat in need of a new home, it was love at first meow.

“Oh, what a gorgeous cat!” was Dorothy’s first reaction. Over the last few weeks, Dorothy has grown to appreciate May’s sweet personality. “She’s wonderful and great company,” she said with a big smile as May purred in her lap, adding, “Having May has been easier than I thought.”

Caring for May has been stress-free for Dorothy due to the kitty support of Leslee and her Victory Centre neighbors. Leslee made sure Dorothy had all the supplies she needed—a collar, toys and a soft bed—and set-up an easy-to-follow feeding and cleaning routine. Resident neighbors check on Dorothy and May to offer help as needed.

This long-awaited, rescue kitty is evidently the “cat’s pajamas” to Dorothy, who enthusiastically exclaims, “I just love her!”

Victory Centre of Sierra Ridge is a supportive living and senior apartment community that assists the area’s older adults by offering quality residential accommodations, amenities and support services at affordable prices. To find a Victory Centre community near you, please call 708-957-8300 or visit