Sadie was rescued by the animal shelter orgainization I was volunteering for in March 2006, at approximately 3 years of age. She was first in a NJ shelter before coming to NY, after not having any luck being adopted. She arrived in NY around April or May. She was extremely shy and just curled up in a ball and hid, terrified of every noise. A local NJ man called in about her. He'd been feeding her, but she would stay in the bushes until she felt safe enough to emerge and eat. The man explained that he could not take her in, but he'd found dead cats in the area, and was sure someone in the neighborhood was putting out poisoned cat food, and he wanted this little shy girl to have a happy home. So began her journey. |
It was my job as a volunteer to clean up the cages in the shelter, put out clean litter, fresh food and water and socialize with the cats that came to us. Sadie had only been with us a short time, and it wasn't until I saw someone interacting with her, that I began to understand her.
The following week, I sat down and pulled her out of her cage, putting her on my lap. I held her gently and stroked her soft fur. I was listening to the more senior volunteers talk amongst themselves. They were afraid that if we couldn't get Sadie socialized, they would have no choice but to return her to the neighborhood where she'd been found, and she'd have to take her chances on the streets.
I immediately volunteered to foster her. I had two girl cats at home, and zero experience in fostering, let alone figuring out how to "introduce" a new cat to the fold. After receiving some basic instructions, I used my pet gate to cordone Sadie off in my entry hallway.
I bought a covered cat litter box to use as a hidey-hole/bed, since I was told when she could hide, she felt safer. And got all the things she would need to get set up.
After she was there a few nights, I began sitting next to her hidey-hole, removed the cover and pulled her gently onto my lap. I would talk to her softly, and pet her until she decided it was enough, and she slunk off back into the box. I did this for 4 months. I began to wonder if I was doing something wrong and doubted my ability to "get thru" to her. Then one night, I sat down, talking to her so she knew I was there, and just before I uncovered the box, I saw one paw emerge. Then the other. Then her head! And she slowly crept out and allowed me to put her on my lap!! It was a miracle! She still tucked her head into my elbow a little bit, but the trust was forming between us. In September, I officially adopted her!!! I knew that I couldn't give her up, now that I had been given her trust. It was too precious a thing to waste.
Anyway, my girl, Maggie, had decided about this time that enough was enough and knocked down the gate and welcomed Sadie to the fold. I now had a threesome.
It took some more time, but eventually I came home to see Sadie laying comfortably on my bed!!!! She no longer felt the need to hide! I burst into tears of joy!! She went from this 'fraidy Sadie to brave Sadie!!!
Fast forward to 2011. In April 2011, I took on a new job that would cause me to move 30 miles away. It was quite traumatic for my now, 4 cats to make the move. They all came together in the last trip of the evening. The most vocal one of the bunch cried for 2 nights, and kept me awake. Poor Sadie hid in the bedroom, while the other two were content to explore their new digs. Then when the noisy one stopped crying Sadie took over. Another 3 nights with little sleep. Thank goodness I was on wasn't working that week. Needless to say, we all settled in finally.
Fast forward to 2014. In December, I began to notice little things. How long they were happening before I noticed, I couldn't say, but as with most cats, it isn't until you do notice something that it's already too late.... Sadie wasn't eating normally. I took her to the vet and they took blood work, but the doctor wasn't really concise about her diagnosis, and that left me feeling like red flags waving in front of me. I spoke to the area supervisor about Sadie, and she offered to call her vet, someone she trusted, and make an appt for Sadie.
After 2 rounds of anti-biotics for a UTI, a shot of cortisone, bloodwork, and an ultrasound, I was given the diagnosis, and it wasn't good...cancer...liver cancer. Liver cancer in cats isn't common, but it's always fatal. The cortisone had perked her appetite up, but it wasn't a cure, and she stopped eating altogether, when it wore off. It had only masked her symptoms, and as much as I wanted to deny it, Sadie was fading, and fading fast.
After speaking with the doctor, that "horrible" decision had been made. I cried for hours after getting off the telephone. It was a horrible night to sleep, and on the morning of January 15th, 2015, I brought my baby to the vet one last time. The vet was so good with her, so gentle and loving, like she was one of his own cats. It made her passing to Rainbows Bridge the best that it could have been.
I'm still hurting, and heart-broken, and will be for some time, but I am forever grateful that Sadie allowed me to be her mommy.