|Hi! I think I'm currently the newest member right now. Today I was researching "tuxedo" cats on the internet and came across savesamoa.org. Our rescue story begins at the worst vacation ever. We had been promising to take our 8yr old daughter Jasmine to Disney for years. She was finally tall enough to get on most of the rides and so we planned out not-so-vacation for April 2006. Although Jasmine had a fabulous time at Disney, my husband & I did not find 15 hours in line all day for the mad hatter's tea cups to quite so fabulous. To be honest, it was more work than actually going to work. Prices for airfare were so high around Easter we decided to drive the 16 hour drive to & from Disney. Wait, let me first tell you, that my husband & I are unlucky...I mean if it wasn't for bad luck we would have no luck at all. At our hotel one day, our daughter was playing with a little boy in the pool who was handi-capped and had his leg amputated just below the knee. The 2 kids had a great time together, and I was sitting near the parents. I overheard the parents of the boy saying that they would've loved to take him to Universal Studios, but they didn't have the money. I talked it over with my husband and we decided to share our Universal Studios passes with the family, so we went 2 days, and they could go 2 days. They were very greatful and we agreed to meet on their side of the hotel that night.
We ended up getting home later than expected and could not find the family, but we did find an odd looking little kitty with a tail like an Easter Bunny. My husband (the cat hater) was absolutely taken by her. She was SO skinny, almost a skeleton, and had these lean long legs. She was also a perfect tuxedo cat with an Easter Bunny tail. Although she was wild, and very cautious of us, it seemed that she was kind of used to people since she was living on the resort. She followed my husband all around periodically jumping to catch & eat moths. She was visably starving and crying for food. We knew we couldn't just leave her there, so we decided to take her into our room and feed her whatever we had left over in our fridge (it was taco bell). She was a little skeptical of the room, but her hunger took over. She inspected every inch of our room and finally settled down with her taco, she gobbled it all up and drank so much water. We just watched her, she had no boundaries, she climbed into the entertainment center, in the tub, up over our heads, everywhere. And finally settled into a little ball of purring.... of course on our daughters bed.
We decided we would at a minimum bring her home, get her to a vet to get shots/spayed etc, and if we couldn't keep her we would place her in a no kill shelter. But she had to rough it the 16 hour drive home. If anyone has ever had a cat in the car they know that they cry constantly. Not my LuckyGirl...she happily made a bed under the seat and slept most of the way, she would crawl out and lay on my husband,the cat hater's lap and check us all out to make sure we were still there, and go back to her cool shaded spot under the seat. She instantly used her litter box in the car, and my husband who is meticulous about his Lexus, was thrilled even though she tap danced the litter onto the floor of his precious truck. She wouldn't eat the cat food out of a bowl, and curiously kept flicking all the food all over the back of the truck and onto the floor to eat.
So back to our bad luck, we brake down in Virginia (we live in Philly, Pa) at 3am and have to get a room, so LuckyGirl ends up sleeping in the truck for the night. The next day we have to get towed home from VA to PA....and it's the transmission (guess how much?). When we get home Lucky is quick to inspect everything, and I was so shocked and surprised at how well she adapted (what an amazingly strong and brave little girl she is!). Despite her issues with jumping high (my table and counters are no no's), we were very worried about her health and her clawing, our furniture is very expensive. The only thing she clawed was my front door mat which is made of straw bristles. Then came her visit to the vet. She did not like this one bit, they gave her her 2 shots and had her blood tested for FIV/FLA/Bartonella, although she tried her best to fight off the nurses. She is 8 months old and weighed just under 5lbs...this is very small and under nourished for her age! Her Easter Bunny tail is a birth defect, probably from the amniotic band in her mothers womb. Her FIV/FLA tests came back negative. But last Friday her results for Bartonella came back positive (this is cat-scratch disease). The chance of her getting rid of the disease is 84%, and she is on antibiotics for a month (she doesn't like the medicine either).
I had a break down over it...you don't realize how much you fall in love with an animal. She is so happy to have us (as we are to have her), she constantly wants to be on our laps, and be loved and rubbed, it's like she is greatful that we took her in. We are just totally in love with her, even though she still enjoys her high climbing. Believe it or not she actually can climb straight up the ladder (at 90mph) to our daughters loft bed....I think she thinks that it's her bedroom, not Jazzy's. LuckyGirl is putting on weight now, she eats like a race horse, and is adapting to her luxe life as a house cat. It's as if she feels she has to wake us up every morning now, loudly meowing "hi, feed me, I'm still here!!!" and she eats a dry packet and wet packet of food everyday, in addition to the kitten milk she has for nutrients, she also gets scraps of our dinner from her beloved "daddy" (formerly known as the cat hater). My husband now refers to her as "daddy's girl", "my cat", and "my buddy"...and she is just completely taking over Jazzy & my spot as his "main girls". My sister tells me to watch out cause she's definately moving in on my man...lol! Not one time can he sit down without her immediately on his lap. Lucky is the most vocal kitty I've ever seen, she tells you when to get up, when she's hungry, when she wants up, when she wants the window open, and when we listen to her she rewards us with LOUD purring and head butts of happiness. She enjoys "turtlevision" (watching our aquatic turtle), and "birdvision" at the bathroom window. She also practices her balancing act on top of the loft bed, she has amazing balance for her tiny cotton ball tail. I think of what she has had to go through in life already at such a young age, her birth defect, contracting a disease, starvation, and it breaks my heart. She is such a warm, loving, well behaved, affectionate LuckyGirl, it makes me sad to think of her out there in the wild, hunting for her next moth to eat. She's the only good thing about our Disney vacation, and she's the only "Lucky" one out of the whole bunch of us. Everyone reading this, please keep our LuckyGirl in your prayers and thoughts... this whole Bartonella thing has us losing sleep at night. We love her so much, and (for health/medical reasons) don't know if we'll be able to keep her if she doesn't recover from it.
PS..... I am very touched by the way everyone has helped save Samoa, I would love to see more pics of Samoa...and hear updates of his story. I think it's wonderful what savesamoa.org is doing, and how much you guys have already accomplished. Although they can't say it, I'm sure the kitty's are thankful, and I'm thankful too! Great job ladies!!! Keep up the good work!!!
Signed, Totally Reformed Dog People