Feline Resiliency

Author: Sarah Brandon, DVM

August 10, 2012

I have been rescuing and fostering strays for years and am forever amazed by their ability to overcome some tough situations. In addition to my own experiences, ten years of listening to both heartbreaking and loving stories have furthered my awe of these little critters. I would like to share three different wonderful cats and their stories. We humans could learn a lot about how to weather the storms life throws at us. I know I have and will continue to do so as they share their lives with me.

Henna’s Story
Henna had a truly rough beginning in life. She was part of a small feral litter in California whose mother was near starvation trying to support her little ones. She scrounged in local trash bins and alleyways, as well as hunted numerous bugs and rodents, all to keep herself and her kittens alive. Many in the area had seen her and tried to leave food out, but none were able to capture her. Sadly, she and her kittens were found one day in a park, badly abused. Only the mother, Henna, and her brother survived the atrocity.

They were taken in by a local shelter and provided excellent medical care and abundant TLC. The mother was adopted out by a loving family to live her life in an indoor-only home, as the queen of the household. Reports from her family show a happy, well-adjusted cat who doesn’t seem to remember her previous trials. Henna’s brother underwent months of physical therapy and is also in a loving home. He seems to be the household clown and races around on wobbly legs catching sunbeams and imaginary prey.

And little Henna is the apple of her new family’s eye. She had some permanent eye damage and will remain blind in one eye for the rest of her life. Has that stopped her personality from shining through? No way! She is always seeking attention and providing affection for her human and adopted feline family. Nothing phases her and she acts as if her life has always been the perfect one it is now

Susie's Story
Miss Susie is an adorable little cat who was scrounging for food near a rural highway. She seemed oblivious to the semis whisking past and was solely focused on catching grasshoppers and other small insects. It was late at night, but I couldn’t drive past without at least attempting to entice her into my car. It worked! She curiously walked up to me – hopeful for a handout, I’m sure – and I nabbed her immediately. 

She spent a few days recovering from malnutrition and worms in my home then we spayed her. Susie spent the next week wiggling her way in the hearts of all the Cats Exclusive staff. She is currently fostering with one of our doctors, and while she likes owning that house, the dogs are not so pleased with their new taskmaster. Susie’s new home will be taking her in another week and we expect rave reviews about our sassy little friend.

Nikki’s Story
Nikki was found on the side of the road as well, but she had managed to come in contact with a car. She had 3 facial fractures and a severely damaged eye. The local emergency hospital and a good Samaritan were willing to put her back together and support her long enough for the fractures to heal. During her convalescence, she remained sweet and always loved to have a good pet. 

Nikki is now part of a loving household that has one other cat, an older ‘brother’, who hasn’t noticed his new housemate just yet. She likes to spend her days in her human’s room, while the ‘brother’ wanders the house oblivious to his new friend. Recently, Nikki developed more eye issues and we found that she also has a damaged knee, presumably from her car accident. But does that phase her? Nope. Nikki just wants to hang out in her new home and takes everything in stride.

These amazing cats remind me that no matter what life throws at you, you can always hold your head up, bat a cat toy, and sit in the sunshine.