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This was in the local papper today thought this was nice

post #1 of 2
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its kinda long but thought i would share there are so many caring people out there willing to help thoses little kittys cats even if you half to give up something else

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Posted on Thu, Dec. 23, 2004

Christmas sacrifice gift of life for feline

Family's savings aid badly hurt cat

By Barbara Moore

For The Sun News

A tiny kitten struggled to survive after being left for dead beside the road. A baby's first Christmas was canceled. What could the two possibly have in common?

They both learned about compassion this holiday season, traditionally revolving around caring and sharing. It will be some time before the little girl understands that her father's compassion gave a little stray cat the best gift of all: a new lease on life and a family to love her. The kitten knows already. The two will celebrate baby's first Christmas together.

Eleven-month-old Elise Kopp will read about her first Christmas in her baby book. Her parents, Charles and Kirsty Kopp, will tell her why it was canceled.

Saving the life of the tiny kitten that dragged itself to them with one paw would be costly. But they couldn't let her die. They would cancel Christ mas. Money for gifts would be used to cover medical costs.

"For our daughter's first Christmas, there will be few gifts under the tree. But we saved a life, and that just feels right," Kirsty Kopp said. "As she grows older, she will have learned the true meaning of Christmas."

The injuries of the little kitten found by Charles Kopp alongside the road near his home were severe.

"It's amazing that I even saw her," he said. "The window of opportunity was something like 30 seconds and I would have missed her. She was so broken up, I don't know how she dragged herself into the road."

Something in the grass caught his attention as he entered the road on his way to a wedding. He slowed to a near stop. The coal-black kitten dragging itself along by one paw came out into the road in front of him. "Obviously, it was in great pain," he said. "Where it was going it surely did not know. The desire to live was the only thing pushing it to move on."

Charles pulled over and went over to the nearly blind, badly injured kitten. He wondered how many people had seen the wounded animal and continued on their way. He tried to be one of them. He already had an ailing car, student loans, medical bills and expenses that come with a new baby.

But he couldn't ignore the kitten.

"Although a feral cat, she offered little resistance when I picked her up," he said.

He and his wife assessed its injuries. It was Sunday, and most veterinary offices and animal shelters were closed. "We called every vet in the book," Kirsty Kopp said. Veterinarian Heather Cruell opened her office for the kitten.

"The little cat suffered from numerous injuries," Cruell said. "For the first two days, we just tried to stabilize her. She literally had just one paw that was working like it was supposed to."

Examinations revealed head trauma, a hernia on both sides, front leg nerve damage and a badly broken rear leg.

Internal injuries and the broken leg required immediate and costly surgery. The small family just starting out had little money.

"Take care of her, please," they told the doctor. "We will find a way."

She agreed to work with them. They called everyone they knew asking for help and withdrew what they could from their bank account. Friends offered assistance, and a Save-The-Kitten Fund was set up by an acquaintance. They asked family and close friends making shopping lists to send money instead of gifts.

"Instead of all the things we were planning for our baby's first Christmas, we asked them to send money to the kitten fund," Kirsty Kopp said. "I had imagined all these pretty little outfits for Elise, but she will understand. We will write in her baby book something very different from what we thought we would be writing. Along with notations of her first smile, laugh, tooth and step, a notation will read:

'For your first Christmas, there were no presents from all the people who dearly love you, our cherished little daughter. Instead, a little life was saved and we hope that when you grow up and are old enough to read these words, you will understand what we did for your first Christmas. We chose on your behalf the gift of life for a little stray cat.'"

Recovering at home with her new family, the little cat has a big new name: Schwarzgluck. "That's German for black luck," Charles Kopp said. Schwarzgluck could use a new fur coat to keep her warm this Christmas. Much of her own shiny black coat was removed for treatment, and her tattered little body is covered with scars.

The kitten is on the mend and will recover, Cruell said, with the exception of the nerve-damaged leg, which likely will have to be amputated.

"Schwarzgluck is a sweet cat with a good disposition," she said. "She will make a good pet."

Contact BARBARA MOORE at 237-1541 or barbmore@aol.com.

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post #2 of 2
Awww Rhonda, what is heart warming! Those people are just the best! The little baby girl is lucky to have parents like them!!
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