Donut, an adopted cat, sits near Mirror Lake on OSU's campus.

Donut, an adopted cat, sits near Mirror Lake on OSU’s campus. Credit: Courtesy of Kristina Sossa

Happiness is a Donut with whiskers and a tail.

No, I am not talking about a delicious pastry — I am talking about my cat Donut who has brought me nothing but joy since I adopted him.

I went in for a black cat and came out with a gray one named Humphrey, who had ears that were oversized for his kitten head. The name Humphrey simply would not do — he was renamed Donut immediately. The first day I had him, he refused to come out from under the bed and needless to say, I was crushed. He loved me at the adoption shelter, why is he now sitting out of my reach? We found trust in each other though and became best buddies.

We turned out to basically have the same personality and he is quite a character. Our favorite foods include lasagna, mac-n-cheese, chips, even pizza. We enjoy snuggling in bed all day under the covers if it is cold, sprawled out if it is too hot. We also like long walks along Mirror Lake. That would be my dating profile if I needed one — we are a package deal.

Before getting Donut, I did not know what unconditional love felt like. There is something reassuring about knowing that when I come home from a Saturday night out, I have a guard cat that will lay on my stomach and keep watch while I sleep. Donut knows when I am upset — I know this because he lets me hug him extra long when I am depressed about school or work.

As he sits in my lap and purrs, I cannot help but be forever thankful for Colony Cats, a Central Ohio cat adoption center, for uniting me with my best friend. It is always hard for me to think why anyone would just leave him at the shelter. I would not give him up for anything. Come to think of it, I wonder why anyone leaves any animal at a shelter or on the streets.

The number of cats residing in Colony Cats at the moment is quite shocking – nearly 75. Mona McKinniss, the founder of the shelter, said overpopulation is a large part of the problem and encourages those who find feral cats to spay or neuter them.

Colony Cats is a nonprofit organization and spends anywhere between $75 and $100 to care for one cat — they truly appreciate any type of donation given. The shelter is having a benefit night March 11 at the Grass Skirt Tiki Room Restaurant, where 10 percent of the food sales will go toward helping the shelter, along with $1 from every special drink sold.

McKinniss said she has one dream for Colony Cats — to not be there. She hopes there will come a day when no cats are living in the shelter, but in loving homes. For now, there are many fuzzy felines who have more charisma than they have whiskers. You never know who you will meet during your visit. You might meet your best friend.

“The cat picks the person when they come through the door,” McKinniss said of friendship found at the shelter. ”The connection is instant.”

The adoption center is located at 2740 Festival Lane in Dublin, Ohio.