The kitten’s shrill cries woke me from a deep sleep. I sat up and looked around my tiny living room. Where was that noise coming from? It was then that I realized someone was banging on my door.
When I staggered across the room and opened the door, my mom was on the other side with a pet taxi on my porch.
“Somebody dumped this kitten,” she said. “Mew mew mew!” it continued. Mom lived down the street from me and she worships animals. When she was outside doing yard work, her Great Dane was barking at something in the alley. When she saw what the commotion was about, she knew she had to act fast.
I reached into the pet taxi and pulled out a tiny, adorable tabby with mucus-filled eyes. She immediately stopped crying. I already had a cat and a dog, so I really wasn’t looking to bring another animal into my small apartment, but I knew I had to do something. It was clear she was a newborn kitten that would require a lot of care, and I knew most rescue organizations in town wouldn’t take a kitten that young.
My then-boyfriend and I decided we would take her to the vet and maybe find her a home when she was better. The vet estimated her to be around 3-weeks-old. He gave us some medication for her eye infection and we brought her home. She was crawling with fleas, so I gave her a bath in the sink and we got her some formula and fed her with a dropper.
I took a plastic bin and lined it with some blankets and made her a bed for the night. I didn’t get much sleep that night because the moment I would put her down, she cried continuously. After several days, her eyes were not getting any better, so my ex took her to another vet and she was prescribed another medication. The vet said that she was actually around 10- to 14-days-old and her chances of survival weren’t great because it’s very hard for kittens to thrive without their mother. That’s when we decided to call her Hope.
My ex and I were working full-time and we needed someone to care for her during the day, so we ended up finding her a temporary home with a lady named Mary who specializes in cat rescues.
Mary’s expertise was exactly what Hope needed. She looked healthier and stronger every time I visited her. Several weeks later, Hope came to live with us full-time. She was eating solid foods, but we still bottle-fed her until she was about 3-months-old. She and the dog bonded almost instantly, and I couldn’t imagine my life without her.
A couple of months later, my mom discovered two feral kittens about Hope’s age living under a neighbor’s shed. She said they had to be Hope’s sisters because one of them looked just like her.
The neighbor lady, Kim, had been feeding them, so I came up with a plan. I told Kim I would trap the kittens and get them spayed/neutered and vaccinated if she would be willing to let them stay with her until they recuperated. She agreed.
I set two live traps outside of the shed and put some food in it, and within minutes, I had a tabby and a black cat. I brought them to Kim after their surgery and they are still living with her 10 years later.
I learned a lot from Hope, as I have never seen one kitten impact so many lives in such a short time. When it comes to rescuing animals, it really does take a village. And sometimes the best things that happen to you are the ones you don’t expect.
Story submitted by Anne Joyce from Evansville, Indiana.
This story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!