By Jayn Corral


Do you remember the who-done-it crime TV show from the 1970s starring Peter Falk as Lieutenant Columbo with the Los Angeles Police Department? The rumpled, beige raincoat-attired, disheveled homicide detective typically solved murder mysteries after asking, “Just one more thing.” The SPA has the gato version of Columbo. 


Vanderbilt was named for one of the wealthiest families in America in the 1800s. They were of Dutch origin and made their fortune in the shipping and railroad empires operated by Cornelius Vanderbilt.  


Our gato Vanderbilt more appropriately should have been named Columbo. He came to the SPA in late September 2017 at the age of one year. He had an odd posture, a short tail, drippy eyes, a messy black and white coat, and a bad attitude. He obviously had a troubled first year of life. His tail and back were broken and never treated. He was in pain and did not tolerate petting. Volunteers learned quickly that it was not ok to touch him anywhere other than his head and chin. We warned visitors to be wary of him. In fact, if he decided it was the thing to do, he would run across the room and bite a volunteer on the leg.


He was placed on daily medication to help relieve the pain. Over time, he just opened his mouth to accept the pill. He seemed to be overly groggy from the medicine, so after a while, our veterinarian decided to stop medicating him.


Something wonderful happened to Vanderbilt since he has been at the SPA. He loves his SPA home and loves his roommates. He is the first cat to welcome a new resident. He loves to play with others and will approach volunteers when he wants a gentle head and neck massage. Although he still is prone to bite without warning, most of the time it is a soft love bite or a message that it is time to stop.


Columbo…I mean Vanderbilt, is a fun, quirky little fellow with lots of spunk. He may be the perfect companion for the special person, but not for most people. The SPA has many terrific cats that would be a great addition to your family. Remy, Oreo, and Sheridan are wonderful cats. Please check our website ( for available cats ready for adoption. Our adoption hours are Monday-Saturday, 11am-2pm at Los Pinos 7, 415 152 6124.


All our cats and dogs will benefit from your donation to our Pet Food Money Bank fundraiser, our only major fundraiser of the year. Our goal: 250,000 pesos (about US$13,500)—100 percent will be applied to the cost of food for our resident and foster cats and dogs (an average of 100 in total). For more details and to learn how to donate, please see or write Please help!