Sweet shelter cat was target of snickering. He found owner to ‘see past his exterior’

A sweet shelter cat was the target of ridicule — but finally found an owner to “see past his exterior.”

Leonard kept being overlooked at a Philadelphia animal shelter, possibly due to bumps on his body. His face and ears are covered in mast cell tumors, which are “benign and do not seem to cause him any discomfort,” according to the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

“Any time someone passes his kennel he is sure to greet them with a chirping meow and outstretched paws,” the animal organization wrote Feb. 14 in a Facebook post. “But, sadly, once potential adopters turn to see him, they leave the room with quiet snickers and whispers under breath.”

Leonard’s luck took a turn Feb. 15, when a new owner decided to take a chance on him. Now, the cat — described as sweet, playful and silly — has been adopted, a photo shows.

Leonard is starting his next chapter after a journey that kicked off in December 2016. At the time, Leonard came to the Pennsylvania SPCA from another facility and soon got a new home. But he recently landed back at the shelter after “his owner could no longer afford to care for him,” the animal organization told McClatchy News in an email.

As the shelter shared online posts about Leonard’s return, several social media users slammed the visitors who laughed at his appearance. Others held out hope that he would find a new home.

“We know that if someone were to see past his exterior and into his heart, they would fall in love with him, just like we have,” the shelter wrote Feb. 14, the day before it shared the heartwarming update that he had been adopted.

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