The following story is a finalist in the Pawsitively Picture Perfect photo contest. The top three finishers will receive $500 in cash, as well as $2,000 in cash and supplies for their favorite shelter. Voting runs through June 1. To read more stories and cast your vote, click here!
It began on a busy traffic bridge over the Fox River on a Labor Day weekend. My husband was driving us to a dance with fireworks left over from the rained-out 4th of July. While waiting for a light to turn left to go over the bridge, we saw a tiny grey and white kitten bravely crossing the street where the bridge started. Its little eyes locked with mine just before a big semi-trailer ran right over it.
I then glimpsed the semi driver’s eyes, which were big with fright, thinking he just ran over a poor little kitten. I hoped he looked back to see that the kitten had safely stopped right between the huge tires. As traffic continued, the kitten ran over to the other side where the riverbank rose sharply up to thick brush. As my husband and I drove over the bridge, I made him stop right in the middle as he turned left, blocking the two lanes of traffic.
Since this was a major highway with only this one bridge, and traffic was heavy due to the dance, my husband got angry when I jumped out and meowed to the kitten. I told it to stay where it was, and I would be right back to rescue it. I meowed once more, and it meowed back, so I knew it was safely hidden in the brush. This area was on the edge of the country with many dangers, least of all traffic and eagles. Then my husband would not come right back, as he said we were going to the dance. I made a deal with him to stop back later on our way home. He agreed thinking there was no way it would still be there, or we could find it in all that brush.
Five hours later, in the middle of the night, we finally stopped to look. Since I heard it meow five hours before, I went right to the area where I had heard it. I meowed again, and it popped right out. I made the mistake of allowing it to smell me and it got frightened and darted right back into the brush. So, I meowed again and this time when it came out, I grabbed it in one hand, holding it way up while I almost fell down the bank into the river. My husband was amazed I both found it so quickly and held it so high so it wouldn’t get wet when he thought for sure I was going into the river. Because of this, he immediately became attached, too.
The next week, the vet told me what I was hoping for, that she was a girl and would have gold eyes when her inflamed blue eyes turned color. She was only five-weeks-old, had tummy worms, ear mites that needed flushing and drops for a week thereafter, and eye drops for her eyes too. But she was a girl, which was what I always wanted back when trying for my own human daughter (I couldn’t have children). And she fit right in with her two older brothers, who were grey tabbies also.
In the last 15 years, she has become an older sister to another girl we found right outside our doorstep two years ago. If it wasn’t for her always listening and understanding me, her new sister would have been dumped at a kill shelter, labeled “she couldn’t get along with other cats”. In fact, she has always been my therapy kitty, never failing to make me feel better, even more so than my medications. Her name Foxy Lady came from the Fox River, where I found her and almost fell in.
This story was submitted by Victoria Todd-Barth in support of Neenah Animal Shelter. To read other stories from the Pawsitively Picture Perfect photo contest, and to cast your vote for your favorite, click here!