These heartwarming photos capture the moment that an 103 year-old woman got the best birthday she could possibly ask for.
When Lillian Grant reached the amazing age of 103, she received so much more than a surprise party.
Lillian resides in assisted living housing in St. George, Utah, and they had organised an outdoor barbecue to celebrate her birthday.
When Debbie Presland, who is one of the administrators there asked her what would be her ideal birthday present she replied: “A sweet cat like Sammy.”
Sammy was Lillian’s beloved cat who had sadly passed away just over a year ago and had left her brokenhearted.
After hearing this Debbie decided she would do all she could to make Lillian’s wish come true. So she enlisted the help of her brother Joseph to find a feline companion.
He works at St George Animal Shelter and before long the shelter had presented 9 year-old kitty named Marley.
He had recently arrived at the shelter because his previous owner had to give him up when she moved into another assisted living facility, unfortunately for her they did not allow pets.
“We wanted to make sure that it would work out perfectly,” explained Joseph. “If (Grant and Marley) hadn’t connected, we would’ve tried another cat.”
So right before bringing out her birthday cake, Debbie told Lillian they had an extra special surprise for her. They presented her with Marley and Lily and went straight in for a cuddle. “The cat just took to her immediately,” Joseph added.
At first, Lillian didn’t quite understand what was going on, she thought that Marley was just visiting her for her birthday party. But then Debbie leaned in and explained to her that Marley was her cat now, Lillian couldn’t believe this was actually happening to her.
The two of them bonded immediately and are already inseparable. Lillian now calls her new best friend Marley Sammy, after the cat that she misses so much.
Debbie couldn’t be happier to have been able to give Lillian this special ray of sunshine that has changed her life for the better. “Just to see her reaction choked me up,” she said. “I actually had tears in my eyes. It was so sweet.”
Here’s Debbie with Lillian, Marley and her brother Joseph: