Rebecca was scrolling through Facebook and came across a post about a cat available for adoption.

The post on the One of a Kind Pets page warned it was “time for some brutal honesty.”

Gummy Bear had lived at the Akron rescue for the last two years. She has feline leukemia and had all her teeth removed because of abscesses and infections — hence her name.

She isn’t sweet, cuddly or affectionate. But she is quiet, simple and easy, the post said.

Rebecca, who lives in Michigan, was instantly attracted to the light gray calico.

Rebecca was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis about a year ago, with a prognosis of about three to five years.

"She's sick. I'm also sick,” she said. “It just kind of clicked. She's kind of like the feline version of me.”

Rebecca reached out to the rescue on Facebook and traveled to Akron this week to pick up Gummy Bear and take her home to join her family, which includes her husband, daughter and pet snake.

The Beacon Journal/Ohio.com is withholding Rebecca’s last name and other identifying information, as some of her family members don’t know about her diagnosis.

Tanya Jonda, the rescue's director of social media who wrote the Facebook post, said the rescue staff had accepted that Gummy Bear, who was found as a stray and was likely feral, probably would never find a permanent home.

Gummy Bear is one of several leukemia-positive cats who share a room at the rescue, as the disease is extremely contagious to other cats.

“We didn't think anybody would want an anti-social, toothless, leukemia-positive cat,” Jonda said.

But after sharing a photo of another less-than-friendly cat at the rescue who was soon adopted, Jonda decided to try finding Gummy Bear a home.

 

Along with people from Australia and Alaska, one of the 230,000 people to see the post was Rebecca, who quickly checked where the rescue was located, crossing her fingers that it wouldn’t be several states away.

But that wouldn’t have mattered.

"I was coming for her, one way or another,” Rebecca said.

“It was clear to us that she was just willing to take Gummy Bear the way she was and they could spend their last years together,” Jonda said of Rebecca.

Rebecca has had respiratory diseases, such as chronic bronchitis and asthma, her whole life, but she noticed it seemed to be getting worse.

The only way to treat the disease is with a lung transplant, but Rebecca isn’t a good candidate for a transplant, as she also has avascular necrosis, which means parts of her bones are dying.

Jonda said it’s hard to tell how long cats will live with feline leukemia, a virus that’s the most common cause of cancer in cats and can cause other blood disorders and immune deficiencies. It could be six months or six years.

But however long it is, Rebecca and her family will provide a safe, loving home for Gummy Bear, who turns 10 in November — "whether she likes it or not, which I hear that she will not,” Rebecca said, laughing.

As Gummy Bear, who’d been lightly sedated for the hours-long car ride, was getting ready to go home this week, she was mostly bewildered as she sat in a cat carrier, looking around with piercing green eyes at all the people saying goodbye to her and at her new mom reassuring her everything would be all right.

Normally, only one young volunteer is able to pet Gummy Bear, who usually scowls and sometimes hisses at people, preferring to be left alone to hide and watch what’s going on. But on the day she was leaving the rescue, she let another volunteer pet her.

"She knows she's going home,” Rebecca said.

 

Contact reporter Emily Mills at 330-996-3334, emills@thebeaconjournal.com and @EmilyMills818.