I'm very obviously coming in late to this thread. But, I feel, as a pet owner and educated individual, that I need to respond.
First off, there is no way to know this individual's true circumstances (as everything thus far has been heresay -- and subjective at that) and so I'm not going to go off on a tangent about the adoption agency's (be it a shelter, rescue organization, or the like) reasoning for rejecting his application to adopt a cat. But, that being said, I am absolutely appalled that he would choose to go back and adopt a cat by being dishonest.
In fact, there are a lot of issues where this thread is concerned that has me scratching my head and wondering whether there is truth to any of what has been stated thus far. It seems outlandish, off, and just too, well, scattered to be of truth. I'm purely speculating here and this is just my opinion, but it's something I've been wondering about over the last hour while I've read and re-read this thread (again and again).
Organizations of any kind that are adopting out animals have a responsibility to the said animals to ensure that they are going to stable, loving, educated homes. However, what that boils down to is different for everyone in every situation -- especially as evidenced in this thread (some shelters adopting out with the knowledge that the cats may be declawed, some shelters requiring home visits, some with extensive interview processes, and some that lack structure). Regardless of what the reasoning behind their rejection of the potential adopter, it was their right to choose not to adopt the cat out to him. The fact that he then lied to adopt another cat is, indeed, fishy and it would be a stretch to assume that the majority of members of this site would agree with lying to get a cat.
The sheer fact that he lied to adopt another cat at the same shelter has my head spinning. That reason alone is most likely the "vibe" that many were speaking of on this thread. Lying to adopt an animal is irresponsible -- in almost all situations (there are some situations where lying may be in the animal's best interest, but that would be situations such as neglect or abuse). From the picture you've painted of your friend, he seems like a troubled individual. I don't know him and will say nothing more than that, but if he feels that lying to adopt an animal is appropriate behavior, there is some sort of disconnect there and that alone sends a red flag up to me immediately.
There are a lot of issues in this thread. First, he was dead set on a Maine Coon named Odessa who was 8 years old. And he was denied the adoption due to the fact that he didn't have the name of a humane vet (this request is not outlandish -- many organizations would like either personal or professional references as well as information on what vet the potential adopter is preparing to use). However, if he did his research, he should have had that information available. Then Odessa was magically older and not a Maine Coon at all. And he was then suddenly potentially able to adopt once again. But, again, he was rejected -- this time due to the fact that he was unemployed (which is a valid reason). And, also, there was concern over potential home visits which should not be an issue for anyone who is being open and honest through the adoption process in the first place. Then Odessa is suddenly no longer available, but they screen him again and approve him to adopt another cat. Did they not remember him from the previous two interviews? In my experience, that alone would've thrown up huge red flags. I'm just utterly confused.
This whole thing has me reeling. And, to the original poster, why are you so defensive? Lying is lying is lying and as a cat owner (I'm assuming here -- are you a cat owner?) why would you not find this set of circumstances alarming? Unfortunately, in this day and age, animals are seen as property and commodoties, not as living, breathing, feeling creatures -- would you think lying to adopt a child would be appropriate? Animals, in my opinion, are no different. And, in fact, the situation should be even more strict considering the lack of legislation to protect animals. And, trust me, we've all been privy to the horror stories or horrific neglect and abuse as well as the stories of cats being returned to shelters or euthanized for financial reasons. There's nothing wrong with being an advocate for animals for someone certainly has to be. The fact that your friend has lied and that you're in agreement with his practices is sad. My prayers go out to his new cat and, yes, even to him. I think everyone involved in this situation needs them...