It was a close call, but Lucky really got lucky and he has been adopted, though his story is just as much a rescue as an adoption.
Five-year-old Lucky and his fur brother were first “lucky” to be adopted as kittens by a loving person and cherished as her companions. She made it her wish that if anything should happen to her, the two cats would be cared for by her family, or found a new loving home.
But the woman’s two adult children did not follow through. After she died one of the children moved the two cats to the basement of her house and fed them but neither paid any attention to them nor attempted to find a home. Though one of the children lived just a few doors away from the woman’s home that child never visited them at all, and for four months they lived in the basement with only the occasional visits from the other child who fed them. One day the feeder arrived to find one of the cats had died with no known cause, and the other sibling and spouse discovered how the cats were being neglected.
Lucky had lost his person and his best fur friend, and if that wasn’t bad enough one of the humans involved called a veterinarian to find out about euthanizing Lucky while another considered tossing him outside to “fend for himself”.
Dr. Jones received the cats’ veterinary records and found they were in good health and had been seen annually for exams and vaccines. She just couldn’t see euthanizing a healthy young cat and mentioned that a young cat needed a foster or a new home to Beth, who she knew rescued cats, during an appointment for one of Beth’s cats, without divulging any other family facts. Beth said she’d find a foster home, and Dr. Jones worked to make arrangements for Lucky to have an exam and vaccines and to be taken to the foster home. She gave the family a price for the veterinary care Lucky would need, far less than the cost euthanasia would have been.
This was when I heard about Lucky and posted about him, and he really seemed to touch the hearts of a lot of people. I was so happy when I heard a foster home, which might become a permanent home, had been found and Lucky would soon be on his way!
But days went by and the family didn’t respond. No one had actually seen Lucky nor knew where he was, and everyone feared the worst. The neglect, the disrespect for the mother’s wishes, the other cat who had died, it all added up to a frightening situation for Lucky. Beth and I messaged about what we could do, if we could find out where he was and she even wanted to start looking in local shelters in case they’d just decided to surrender Lucky—they’d briefly mentioned they’d called around and “all the shelters were full”. But since we had no clues at all the only thing we could do was wait and hope for the best.
Finally Beth, agonizing over the fate of this cat, told Dr. Jones to tell the family there would be no charge for Lucky, just to have them surrender him to her. They responded right away, and Lucky was in Dr. Jones’s hands and transported to Beth. An exam found nothing more serious than flea bite dermatitis and some worms. He was negative for both FIV and FeLV, treated for his conditions and given necessary vaccinations.
The deceased woman’s one child said Lucky would probably have to be socialized after going so long without human contact, but he was only confused and a little frightened, never made a peep in the car nor gave any trouble during his exam.
That night Beth took Lucky to his foster home with Alex, a med student, pictured above. Alex also has another cat, Nellie, who was rescued from a hoarding situation a year ago, so they set up a crate for Lucky in a spare bedroom to keep him contained in case he was frightened and keep the two cats apart for later introductions. Alex “instantly fell in love with [Lucky] and was able to pet him and hold him,” Beth said. Only two days later, Lucky was “out of the crate and doing great”, and his foster home became his forever home.
After one more test for worms Alex will introduce Lucky to Nellie. “Alex is unable to pick Nellie up or really pet her, though Nellie sleeps on her bed, so she is thrilled that Lucky is so friendly and hopes that he and Nellie will be companions.” Beth said.
Lucky’s story has a happy ending, but all too often abandonment or euthanasia is the sad story for cats whose owners are hospitalized, institutionalized or who die, that even with explicit wishes to care for their pets, their wishes are not respected. A home and possessions are one thing, but pets are living beings and were often the most meaningful part of a persons’ life because of a pet’s unconditional love and their living presence every day. It is not always easy to find a new home for even the nicest cat, or even a foster home, but often no attempt is made. Cats, especially, are often simply tossed outside and left to fend for themselves, and as rescuers we’ve actually seen it happen and talked to the family members who’ve done it, then done our best to chase and trap the frightened cats. Pets and their needs can be more than families can handle, or more than they want to handle, like Baxter and Bailey, and little assistance is given to families in cases like this. Planning for your pets is something we who love animals need to encourage, even at adoption.
But like Baxter’s and Bailey’s happy endings, I think we can guess that Lucky’s human is smiling down on a new and wonderful forever home for her house panther.
. . . . . . .
Some of the names in this story have been changed or omitted for privacy.
Read more stories in my weekly Rescue Stories series
and read about my Rescue Stories series.
Can’t adopt? Foster! Can’t foster? Donate or volunteer.
There are so many ways you can help cats who need homes and care. You may not have room to adopt another cat, but can foster a cat or kitten for a few weeks. If not that, you can volunteer at a shelter or with a rescue, or donate. You do this because you love your cat, and by doing so you help all cats. No matter which of these actions you take, you help to save a life, and make life better for all cats.
- Adopt one of the cats I’ve posted here, or from any shelter or rescue near you, or from Petfinder, to open up a space for another cat to be rescued and fostered.
- Offer to foster cats or kittens for a shelter or rescue near you.
- Volunteer at a shelter or rescue.
- Find a group of volunteers who work with homeless cats and help them with their efforts.
- Donate to a shelter or rescue near you.
If you can foster kittens or adults cats to help prepare them for a forever home, please run to your nearest shelter and find a cat who needs you! Anyone can help with this effort at any level, even if all you do is donate to a shelter or rescue so they can help to pay for the food or medications needed for their foster, or the spay/neuter/veterinary care during a clinic.
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
Subscribe to The Creative Cat on your Kindle
Start with a 14-day free trial. You can cancel at any time during the free trial period. If you enjoy your subscription, do nothing and it will automatically continue at the regular monthly price of 99 cents. Click here to subscribe to The Creative Cat on your Kindle.
Do you appreciate the stories and images we offer you each day?