I started 2014 with a desire to move away, change my life in a big way and the only cat i had in my life was Maggie, an 8 year old tabby who lived at the same residence i did. She was the house cat. In April, during a warm spring evening walk, Willow, about 6 months old, ran from under a bush, meowing and rubbing against me. I told my daughter to walk faster, I didn’t want this little kitten following me home. Well, she did and i even walked back to the house she came out from and knocked; no luck, and none at the homes in the neighborhood, it seems she was lost or abandoned. After i picked her up, i immediately was sorry i made her walk, she was skin and bones, emaciated and weak, using all her energy to stay with me, maybe knowing i would help.
To be clear, i did not want any more cats, i was moving on, maybe even going to be living in my car, a cat just didn’t fit in the picture. Also, i believed cats are pretty independent i would give this cat some good food, take her to a rescue in the morning, but she wasn’t coming in my house. i made a box and gave her food on the back porch. As i settled back in my house after watching her eat, i soon heard a HORRIFYING noise… turns out the neighborhood Tomcat had her cornered and i am pretty sure he would have killed her had i not moved fast, shoeing him away and picking up a weak and terrified kitten. What was i thinking???? This was a sick and weak baby!!!!! I wrapped her up and brought her into the garage where it was warm and dry and she was safe from predators . I loved her up, noticing her bones, weak muscles, burned damage on one of her front paws, road tar stuck in her fur… What had this baby been through??? She was NOT feral, she was grateful and loudly purring, hip bones sticking out, ribs rising and falling with her breath.
A few days later i was able to contact a local rescue Salem Friends of Felines and they couldn’t take her in as they were full but they said if i Fostered her, they would pick up her medical bills, get her spayed and vaccines and help me find her a good home. I was willing, since they were willing! After about a month, she was fat, healthy, spayed, up to date on shots and up for adoption…. after the third time some one called to look at her, i knew i had failed at fostering, i would not be letting her go and i would be formally adopting her. My heart had won over my common sense!
Because of my sense of gratitude to SFOF for what they did for Willow, i had a big need to give back so in August 2014, is started volunteering in the sorting room, going through donations and deciding what to price them, among other duties. Three weeks after i started i was asked if wanted to foster two little tiny kittens who needed bottle feeding… without even knowing how to do this, without even seeing the kittens, i said yes. The pair, a black and white tuxedo and a long haired tabby, become known as Eddie and Bear and i successfully adopted out both; Bear going to a FABULOUS home in Lake Oswego, Eddie going to a family with two kids and another kitten. I quickly learned that everyone in my home thrived on being foster parents, so i kept saying YES to more kittens!!!!! At one time, we had 15 cats in the house!!!
In April i got a phone call from Willamette Animal Hospital and i learned that Eddie had been severely injured and the cost to treat him was exceedingly too high for his family to take on, he would have to be surrendered to some one willing to pay for his medical bills or be euthanized! He was only NINE months old, his right rear leg was broke right above the knee and his options were surgery, amputation or death!! I met Eddies’ family at the hospital, they were so upset… they loved Eddie, who expects a very rambunctious cat to break a leg??? But they also had large financial issues and no money, no family and no credit… it happens, i am the same way… no money, no family with lots of money to give me and poor credit.. BUT i had been saving for a car and good enough credit, i learned, to get Care Credit AND Eddie is such a cool cat a few of the Vet techs had fallen IN LOVE with him and a few people donated towards his care and the doctor herself lowered her fees… All because he is such a special Tuxedo boy and they were grateful i was able to come forward and take care of his bills. After his surgery i brought Eddie home, we nursed him through 2 surgeries and 10 weeks of recovery and it only took me 6 months to pay his bill! I was sad his adopted family needed to surrender him but I was so incredibly grateful to have him back in our lives. What i didn’t say before was when his adoption was final and he went to his new family in December, my heart broke.. he was my heart cat and i let him go, which was why, when i got the phone call in April, i was torn between grief for his adoptive family but so.completly.overjoyed.to.have.him.home!!!!!!!!! Today he is healed, happy and one of the most gentlest cats i have ever known!!!!