This pet rescue story is an entry in the Most Heartwarming Story Contest, by Helen Woodward Animal Center. The Most Heartwarming Story Contest is open to any and all participating Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays pet organizations. The winner will win $500 for their facility or rescue! Your organization can become a Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays partner today. This story will now have an opportunity to be featured in the finalist pool in February, 2014.
Stray Kitty Becomes Store’s Favorite “Clerk”
By Caring-Learning-Connecting Rescue and Rehabilitation, located in Rawlins, Wyoming
One day in late February, 2013, we received a phone call from a man who had found a stray cat, called the police department and was instructed to call us for assistance. Because of weather, we were unable to drive the 40 miles to visit the kitty, and photograph him, but the man reported that he was “limping” pretty badly. Upon questioning him, it was determined by his answers that the injury was not an urgent situation and could wait until we could pick him up, as there is not a veterinarian in our small town regularly. The cat was eating well, he could walk, he didn’t seem bothered by it, and there was nothing “sticking out” or hanging – but he didn’t use it much. The man agreed to hold the cat until we could get there.
Roughly 10 days passed and the weather cleared, and we went to pick the kitty up. He was in the care of a kind man, gentle, who said that he could not keep him unfortunately because he managed a motel and the cat was not using a litterbox (later determined to be due to the injury likely!), and he really could not afford to care for a pet, but if he could keep him he would have loved to. We waited, a few minutes, and one of the most striking cats wobbled into the room, and made a quick attempt to jump up on the counter! He missed because of his injury, which appeared to be worse than we determined over the phone. The limp was very pronounced, and affected his overall gait tremendously. He never stopped purring though and he was extremely affectionate and social!
We scooped him up and took him straight to our vet in Rawlins, Wyoming. Dr. Hones examined him, and ordered an x-ray. This revealed a clean, but bad, break that was nearly completely healed. She told us that as it had healed he had to have been in tremendous pain, but he no longer was, and there was nothing we could do – he’d already done it. She said she anticipated he may walk with a limp for a while longer, but the healing was clean and he was making a full recovery. He was neutered, and vaccinated, and placed in a foster home with a retired nun/nurse who brought him back to complete health, giving him undivided love and kindness, until he no longer limped and was becoming a large “kitten”, displaying those behaviors he must have longed to engage in, but was unable to because of his injury. He was dubbed “Turtle” because of his gimpy gait, his tortie patterned coat, and his love of hiding under blankets and peeking his head and feet out, and letting his tail hang out.
Because of his playful and active nature, and his foster mother’s age, we determined he needed a home as soon as possible! We didn’t want him running underfoot and causing her to trip or fall. We placed him in a local feed store, so that he would get more public attention and visibility. In less than a day, they let him out of the enclosure. He has delighted customers with his playful and social antics, and charmed them into purchasing gifts for him and our other adoptable pets!
Finally, the week before Christmas, the store owner contacted us, and said she couldn’t bear the thought of him not snuggling in the silk scarves, or terrorizing her “schnitzels” (dachshunds who also hang at the store all day), or draping across her keyboard as she does inventory or struggles to get her orders in around his demanding cuteness! She wanted the adoption contract to fill out, so he could stay there forever and be our mutual ambassador for how wonderful partnerships can create great lives for these animals, and how such an unlikely little guy could become such an amazing friend to people! Turtle seems to know he is home, and has claimed the store as his kingdom! He cavorts, he is the first to greet the customers, he loves to hang out or help them select new clothing, hats, boots, or supplies for their pets and livestock! If you are ever in Saratoga, Wyoming, stop in at the Platte Valley Ranch Supply store and Turtle will introduce himself.
During the 2013 Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays campaign (Oct. 1, 2013 – Jan. 2, 2014), participating animal organizations are encouraged to enter heartwarming adoption success stories. Submissions can be made weekly by snail mail, fax or email, and at the end of each week Helen Woodward Animal Center will select a winning story to be featured on this very blog! After the campaign ends on Jan. 2, 2014, the weekly winning stories will be compiled into a pool and voted on by partnered organizations, animal welfare fans and the public. The story with the most votes will win a $500 donation for their animal organization and will be announced on Helen Woodward Animal Center’s blog in February, 2014. For more rules and guidelines, please click here.